A former film company boss has called on business leaders in North Wales to do more to save the environment.
The plea from Justin Albert, the Director for Wales for the National Trust, came at a meeting of Wrexham Business Professionals, where he told the packed audience that the damaging effects of climate change were to be seen every day.
The group is made up of successful businesses and highly skilled professionals working together to promote regional prosperity and the enterprise and expertise that exists in the region.
Mr Albert, who previously worked – in non-fiction production at Paramount Studios, is now also a member of the Ministerial Advisory Board set up by the Welsh Government’s Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates.
The other main speaker at the event held at Wrexham’s Ramada Hotel was leading businessman Alan Peterson, the Cardiff-born chair of both the South Wales-based international diagnostics provider, BBI Diagnostics, and the HSS Hire Group.
In his speech Mr Albert homed in on the threat posed by climate change to future generations.
He said: “There are sceptics but if only 50 per cent of what the scientists predict comes to pass then we face devastating consequences. It is the one issue that is worrying our children and the younger generation.
“I see it every day and the effect it is already having on the environment. We have to behave more responsibly.
“At the National Trust I have invested millions of pounds into renewable energy. One of the first things we did was in Snowdon. More than 250,000 people walk up Watkin Pass every year. But we wanted to install a hydro unit to help deliver greener renewable energy.
“Now the dam itself looks gorgeous, and Watkin Pass is back to looking fantastic.
“It’s the same with our solar panels which we have installed at all our properties. We installed one at Bodnant Garden, one of the world’s best gardens.
“It was name as one of the as one of the best solar projects on the planet by – along with installations at an international airport in India and in the Sahara Desert – by green energy experts, Geo and was described as a ‘work of modern art’ by the respected environmental website, Edie.net.
“Whatever your thoughts on climate change it’s having a profound effect on our psyche as a nation and I believe the Trust has an obligation to fight climate change.
Mr Albert, who is also a vice president of the Hay Festival and is a director and trustee of the Farms for City Children Charity, says he wants to work with Welsh Government, businesses and charities to deliver projects that benefit everyone in Wales’
He said: “We can work together to deliver something that is greater than the sum of our all our parts. At the National Trust in Wales we do a lot of work in our properties around people and partnerships. Some of the benefits are large, others are small, but all are worth it”
Meanwhile, Alan Peterson spoke about his long career and about his work with the NSPCC and Childline.
He said: “I have had great joy working with many North Wales businesses, the extraordinary 25,000 Coleg Cambria students, councils and institutions such as Care Forum Wales who represent the independent provides in the social care sector.
“My work as chair of the NSPCC Appeal Board in Wales, vice president of the NSPCC UK Council and as honorary Colonel Army Cadets in Wales has taught me a great deal about the issues which are prevalent across the business world and society in general.
“Bullying, the tsunami of issues the internet has brought us, single parent challenges. One thing the NSPCC has taught me is that our childhoods should define our adulthood and our adulthood should be defined by our childhood. IT shouldn’t be destroyed because of it.
“It’s about well-being and self-esteem. Destroying someone self-esteem is the most crucifying thing you can do and it carries on into the workplace.
“Bullying in the workplace results in bullying at home and the behaviours of bosses and managers will be replicated at home. It is, I believe, an important lesson, whatever our business, we would do well to learn.”
Gill Kreft, chair of Wrexham Business Professionals, was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome both Justin Albert and Alan Peterson OBE to Wrexham.
She said: “The fact that we can attract such high calibre speakers is an indication of the growing influence of Wrexham in general and Wrexham Business Professionals in particular.
“I think both speakers gave us real food for thought on a number of important issues, such as resilience in the workplace and preparing ourselves for the demands of 21st century commerce. I think Justin’s climate change concerns are shared by many of us here in North East Wales.
“There is no doubt, going forward, we are all going to look ever more closely at this global issue.”