A graphic titled "East Midlands Sustainability Partnership," crafted by Leonard Design, featuring elements symbolizing sustainability themes: built environment, social change, energy and carbon, biodiversity, and collaboration. Illustrated items include trees, hearts, lightning bolts, and buildings—a testament to their mastery in graphic design.

Last month we attended the inaugural event for the East Midlands Sustainability Partnership. At Leonard Design, we were not only attendees but also proud to be partners, alongside Arup and NTU.

Our team members have been involved in the planning for 14 months (Since Matt met up with Glynn for a walk around Rushcliffe country park and first discussed the idea).  Over this time, we became familiar with the difficulties of setting up an event; finding a suitable venue, arranging catering, costs, producing marketing material… and of course most difficult of all, keeping momentum going.

The idea to overcome was rather than creating a small committee to oversee and organise all the events, we could instead create a relay where we pledge to attend, organise one event and then pass the baton on to another company.

We met up with several individuals from other architects, engineers and design practices and informally pitched the idea, which was met with a lot of support. Will from Arup and Richard from NTU agreed to help organise.  Drafting a memorandum of understanding and NTU offering us a venue free of charge to host events from.

A panel of five individuals, three men and two women, are seated in chairs on a stage. One man is speaking into a microphone. Behind them is a screen displaying the title "East Midlands Sustainability Partnership," with topics related to masterplanning, the built environment, and social change.

Back to the Launch event. Leonard Design team members Matt Alvey and Antoinette Smith, contributed as host panellists to introduce the idea and field questions.

This event, to kick off a 12-month program designed to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration, was well-attended by over 50 professionals from various sectors. These included architects, engineers, clients, public sector procurement, academics, and manufacturers, all converging with a shared purpose: to inspire and develop sustainable practices within our built environment.

The core of the meeting revolved around the series’ goals – to encourage knowledge sharing, research, and cross-industry collaborations, and to provide networking opportunities. These objectives align perfectly with our ethos at Leonard Design, where we consistently strive for innovative and sustainable solutions in architecture and design.

Throughout the event, several straw polls were conducted, revealing a collective interest in themes like retrofit, carbon management, and the circular economy. The diversity of attendees, ranging from decision-makers to entry-level staff, underscored the event’s inclusivity and the broad spectrum of perspectives necessary to drive sustainable design forward.

This event was just the beginning of a series planned to be hosted across various locations in Nottingham City Centre. With a dedicated website to disseminate information and details, the initiative promises to be a resourceful platform for all involved in the built environment. For more details on future events, click here:

Official Website

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