Take heed of Stern and help to save the planet

I am pleased the Chartered Society of Designers has so quickly and actively responded to the Stern Report.

The report clearly shows where design groups can take a leading role in assisting industry and Government meet the proposed carbon emission reductions.

Designers can get in the driving seat and not have to wait for clients to demand environmental solutions.

However, the results of the 2005/6 Design Industry Valuation Survey (due to be published this month) indicates design groups are dragging their heals on sustainability issues.

Of the 1500 agencies participating in the survey, only 611 answered the sustainability question. Just 13 per cent of those confirmed they operated a sustainability policy.

We concur with the CSD’s view that environmental issues should be prioritised by the design community – not just within their own consultancies but specifically in their recommendation of materials to their clients.

All disciplines (but especially transport, appliance, packaging and print-based graphic designers) are well placed to make a significant impact on the future of the environment.

They need to set aside time to read the Stern Report, recognise where it applies to them and undertake the necessary research to put them in a knowledgeable position to advise clients.

Echoing the sentiments of Sir Terence Conran, maybe designers cannot change the world – but they can attempt to save it.

Maxine J Horn, Chief executive, British Design Innovation, Brighton BN2 1RA

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