The weather stayed kind, if not a little cold, for the much-anticipated launch of the Environmental Business Network, at the offices of global law firm, and staunch EBN supporter Ashurst, in the Spitalfields area of the City. Rain would have been a disaster, but it stayed away and 50 eager visitors braved the autumn London night to make the evening a huge success.

As a new organisation, and one that is pan sector in its remit, the EBN is evolving but a clear message from the attendees was that we need to be the platform for collaboration and debate about business in the environmental and sustainability sector. And that is what we will be.

The evening was hosted fabulously by Ashurst’s professional front of house staff and whilst drinks and food were served the guests mingled and within minutes the buzz in the room was palpable as people openly swapped notes on their areas of expertise.

After a brief welcome from EBN Founder Roger McKerlie, Jamie Edmonds, Senior Environmental Manager from Kier Utilities and Rail services division, took the reins and eloquently explained why the market needs the EBN and how he and Roger began bringing it to life in the now famous Gloucester Services meeting 2 years ago!

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the talk given by Julie Hirigoyen, the CEO of the UK Green Building Council. Responding to Roger’s request that she put the environmental and sustainable beliefs her organisation campaigns on, into the context of leadership, Julie inspired the audience with her intelligent, emotive and perceptive talk. If you contact us ([email protected]) and give us your details we will give you access to Julie’s talk – don’t miss it!

After the talks the room came together over more drinks – thanks Ashurst! – and the conversations flowed with dozens of business cards being exchanged. With new relationships being forged the air was full of possibility and hope; given this was one of the 5 strands of leadership Julie talked about this was right and fitting.

The relaxed and fun ambience was helped by the display that EBN partners Wessex Archaeology brought to the evening. Drawing on their focus on environmental heritage their education team, led by Sam Fieldhouse, showed the attendees how to make their own borehole sample using marshmallows, chocolate chips and sherbet. There are not many networking events that offer the guests a combination of wine, canapes and chocolate boreholes!

As the evening drew to a close a few eager souls repaired to the nearest watering (not bore) hole to continue the many interesting conversations that began earlier, but most called it a night and headed for home. The consensus amongst every attendee was that the evening had been a great start for the EBN and that the organisation has already proven its worth. We now need to maintain our momentum and grow our influence, so watch this space.