B&A Group at the 20th Anniversary CL:AIRE Conference
On the 14th of November, over 180 delegates from across the industry gathered in Westminster for the CL:AIRE 20th Anniversary Conference. Celebrating industry wide achievements and looking forward to the future and new challenges, the conference marked two decades of excellent progress and a bright future for the industry. Helen Griffin, our Head of Environmental Operations & Development, and Rob Lewis, our Remediation Project Manager represented B&A Group at the event.
The conference took place across two lecture theatres, with sessions focused on sustainable soil reuse and the Definition of Waste: Code of Practice (DoWCoP), and technology and innovation in site investigation and remediation.
Sustainable Soil Reuse and the Definition of Waste: Code of Practice
Helen and Rob attended the sessions on sustainable soil reuse. Both are DoWCoP Qualified Persons, so it was of particular interest. There were 11 guest speakers from organisations ranging from Soilfix to the University of Plymouth, including several with whom B&A Group have worked closely. The talks covered a broad scope of issues, plus case studies from throughout the industry. There was even a discussion around the controversial HS2 project. Joe Jackson, from Keltbray Remediation gave a charismatic talk on the use of soil treatment facilities and their place within the Definition of Waste: Code of Practice.
An intriguing talk on the Circular Economy in Flanders shared how only a small percentage of construction and demolition material is actually classified as waste. The speaker also discussed the value of soils within Europe and how they manage the movement process. James Cartwright from Geostream spoke on intelligent plant and its use in soil movement. For the B&A Group team, this was interesting to hear as it is something we have been invested in for several years already.
Discussing Industry Strengths & Challenges
Several talks raised issues around the quality of administering the code of practice, including a talk from Atkins’ Liz Gray entitled ‘QP Perspective – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.
Nicholas Willenbrock, Joint Manager at CL:AIRE gave a report on some of the latest audits they have conducted across the industry. B&A Group recently underwent an audit, with the results expected at the end of this year. Participants were able to discuss how CL:AIRE and other stakeholders can improve standards in the industry. Several valuable suggestions came from the discussions, which Helen and Rob have brought back to B&A Group to implement over the coming weeks and months.
There was across the board consensus around the importance of regulator involvement. Despite some fears, generally people agreed that having dedicated regulators to issue permits, discuss projects and provide guidance is key to helping the industry progress more smoothly.
Overall, the event was a great success. The chance to meet with experts from across the industry, particularly Ged Duckworth – one of the original authors of the DoWCoP, and learn more about the latest developments and discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead was truly invaluable.
If you missed the event, the sessions will be available to view online.