Christian shares the story of how one office conversation changed our approach and kickstarted our journey to be a sustainable marketing agency, offering an alternative for our clients and partners.
A colleague of ours (he wishes to remain anonymous) had just attended a Future Economy Network event in Bristol. He returned to the office enthused and excited about the influence we as a business could have on a sustainable future but also concerned about the impact, we and the services we provide for our customers might be having on the environment.
His exact words were “we need to get a carbon audit done so that we know!”
Simultaneously I was leafing through the latest edition of The Business Exchange and spotted an advert for the PlanetMark Start initiative and the chance to attend an event in Bristol. Spurred on by my colleague’s enthusiasm I booked my place.
Whilst the event itself was more suited to micro-businesses, it was facilitated by a knowledgeable sustainable enterprise advisor who conveyed that “awareness raised by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 TV series had raised the profile of climate change issues and long term societal changes were needed to reduce our carbon emissions”.
This was interwoven with case-studies from local companies who had changed their business practices to reduce emissions.
At the end of the workshop, we wrote down 3 things we could implement as a business to reduce our environmental impact and were awarded a certificate a few days later. Overall it was interesting content and a good introduction.
Unfortunately, the jurisdiction of the sustainable enterprise advisor was Bristol and South Gloucestershire, so not us in sunny Frome then. We swapped emails and a few days later he referred us straight to the CEO of The Planet Mark. He explained that we merited investigating a full-blown carbon audit and Planet Mark accreditation due to the size of our organisation (45+ employees).
After an initial call with The Planet Mark, the concept and cost of a carbon audit were taken to our Board. It gained momentum and overlapped with an internal business strategy workshop that was also taking place. This is where we had the lightbulb moment and things started to move.
We decided to go big! To re-evaluate our purpose as a business including our approach, mission, vision and values and to align ourselves as a future-focused company. Alongside a TBT brand refresh and a new website!
Today (May 2020)
As a result, in our 20th year, we are excited to announce our new approach and sustainable focus which is being implemented across the business through several initiatives, including:
- Our Future Focused approach to marketing, putting sustainability at the heart of every business decision and marketing solution
- We are a Year One Planet Mark certified business having been carbon audited
- We’ve made a public commitment to be a net-zero carbon business by 2025
- We’ve launched Mission Zero, a crack team of employees to champion ways in which to accelerate the business sustainable transition
- We’re active members of the Future Economy network
- Plus we’re engaging with the local council around our initiatives to support the wider community
“What we do now, and in the next few years, will profoundly affect the next few thousand years.”
(Sir David Attenborough, Davos 2019)
A step in the right direction
It’s funny to think about how that one office conversation has evolved into a companywide project that has galvanised and empowered us as an organisation. It’s worth highlighting we still have a long way to go in this decade of action, but we’re on the right track.
The carbon audit has allowed us to identify areas for improvement as well as areas we’re already doing ok. We’re creating Future Focused marketing solutions for our clients and building sustainable business relationships with our partners.
We realise this is the start of the journey and it’s one we are proud to be on.