CIBSE Journal magazine

Five-minute intro to… CIBSE

In the first of an occasional and informal series introducing you to CPL One customers, we turn the spotlight on one of our long-standing clients.

First things first, let’s get the acronym out of the way. What does CIBSE actually stand for?

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

And how do you pronounce it?

Do…  say Sibseeee

Don’t… spell out each of the letters.

What do CIBSE members do?

CIBSE says its members “drive better built-environment performance, unlocking economic, environmental and social value”.

Sounds impressive. But how?

Well, here’s one example from the CIBSE website. “Buildings account for almost 50% of damaging carbon emissions, yet innovative services design can bring dramatic improvements in energy efficiency.” According to CIBSE, “our members continue to create the most environmentally friendly systems in major projects across the globe”.

OK, now we’ve got that out of the way, what’s this got to do with CPL?

We create and produce CIBSE Journal, a monthly print and digital magazine for CIBSE’s 20,000-plus members. We also look after the accompanying content hub – you can access loads of stories, podcasts, CPD information and all the back issues from there.

Who’s involved at CPL?

The multi award-winning Alex Smith, who has been editor for the past decade, leads our team, which also includes reporter Molly Tooher-Rudd, technical editor Tim Dwyer and designer James Baldwin. Lots of other people at CPL One, plus a number of freelancers, also get involved. 

Why should I bother reading it?

For a magazine whose core audience includes some highly technical people, it’s actually pretty accessible for the rest of us. Sure, pieces such as this one contain more equations and graphs than some might be comfortable with. But there’s plenty for the non-scientific reader too. For example, a feature in March posed the challenging question “Who’s standing up to inequality?” and a January article on mental health in the workplace would resonate with most people. Plus, for those who love iconic (and hopefully sustainable) buildings, there’s plenty of those too, including a fascinating piece on the new Google HQ at King’s Cross this month. 

And what does the client say?

Well, CIBSE and CPL One have been working together since 2009 so we think it’s fair to say they rate us. In fact, CIBSE chief executive Ruth Carter often says that, before starting in her role in 2021, she believed the magazine should be managed in-house and not by an agency. But after a few months at the helm, and working closely with Alex as editor, Ruth was happy to acknowledge a change of mind. “He is an absolutely fantastic editor,” she says. “Even though he’s officially employed by CPL One, he is part and parcel of the CIBSE community, and has an innate understanding of the huge issues affecting our members and industry.” (Alex will hate us for including this bit, by the way.)

Anything else we should know about this client?

It’s an interesting example of CPL One being agile, in this case by working in a highly effective partnership with another agency. We’re responsible for all the content and the platforms it’s delivered on – they manage the advertising and event sales. We’re not saying this model would always work, but it certainly does in this case.