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#AskMark – Made in Britain for the planet

#AskMark – Made in Britain for the planet

Summer’s here and the sun is out. Once again, it’s time to dig out my cricket whites and get back to the crease with a bunch of old mates.

While playing ‘dad’s cricket’, a pal of mine – a ship broker by trade – had some grim news that he wanted to share. “Things are going mad in the market and it’s going to be bad for everyone.”

Shipping prices are a pretty good early indicator of inflation and national prosperity, it turns out. And container shipping, especially from Asia, seems to have lost its mind. Where forward rates for ship hire were recently around $8,000 a day, they are now hitting a staggering $146,000. And these are prices that are locked in… for at least five years.

As someone who runs a growing SME, the intricacies of the container market had passed me by. But pandemic imports like PPE and medicines, a growth in online shopping demand and low ship availability have created a perfect storm. Or as my mate said, it means everything imported is going to get way more expensive. “The government should watch out – inflation is coming like a bullet train.”

Of course, inflation is bad for business because it forces up interest rates, hurting investment and hitting jobs. However, that wasn’t the issue that got me thinking.

At Delphis Eco we have been passionately pro-British since the off. Not in a creepy jingoistic way, but more to do with wanting to do the right thing to deliver on our environmental promise. For me, supporting local businesses supports local communities, it also means we can share our eco-vision and standards with suppliers and cut the ‘carbon miles’ of our products.

Sadly, over time Britain has become a manufacturing wasteland. There is no doubt that we have some of the brightest and best minds in this country, yet successive governments have seemingly given up on the idea of supporting companies that make ‘stuff’. The attitude seems to be that third world countries will produce cheap goods and we should just leave them to it, no matter that it means products have to come halfway round the world to us.

Recently there has been plenty of bluster about how the post-pandemic world will be a chance to ‘build back better’. A ‘green revolution’ is going to take place, with Britain at the forefront, apparently.

For our business, the lack of homegrown manufacturing capability has been a real bind. Trying to find a UK firm making lotion pumps and spray triggers for our bottles (we want them made of 100% recycled plastic, of course) has proved totally impossible. Look around your house and you’ll find virtually every one of those trigger sprays on domestic products was made in China.

It’s the same for washing powders. We’d love to get into that market and have a great recipe ready and waiting but I’d have to go to France to get it made (a 30-second phone call would do it), so still our search goes on to find a British partner.

Plastic as a raw material costs the same here as anywhere else in the world, and machine-made mass-produced items have virtually no cost of production. My big gripe is how – as a nation – we’ve got ourselves into such a state. All the small, simple consumables that we import from the Far East could easily be made here if only there was concerted political will to give SMEs a break. As a solution, why not make stuff here and do away with the crazy global supply chains on items that do not require specialist know-how?

Instead, Politicians go for headlines rather than having a joined-up approach. SMB’s make up 99% of UK companies and employ 61% of the workforce, accounting for 52% of the UK’s turnover. They love this kind of stuff and are happy to take risks but unless you are a huge company with a massive lobby budget, you’re invisible to politicians.

For example, on the green front, the recent announcements of Nissan’s decision to base future battery production for new electric models in Sunderland is undoubtably great news. But the 1,600 direct jobs it secures – plus 4,500 more in the firm’s supply chain – is just a drop in the ocean compared to what the wider business community could offer.

From an environmental perspective, people have to see the bigger picture. As a nation we’re signed up to a legal pledge to cut emissions drastically, yet the issue of carbon miles is overlooked and rarely articulated.

Offering SMEs tax incentives to invest in the UK would bring back huge amounts of manufacturing to these shores and create millions of worthwhile jobs, while simultaneously doing away with the need for wasteful, high-emissions imports. I can’t help wonder that if the government gave some kind of incentive to SMEs to invest in machine manufactured goods, we would see a huge lift in locally made products, creating jobs, supporting local communities and cutting C02 units.

It would also spark innovation, meaning businesses like ours could find someone here to make our new washing detergent and triggers for our bottles.

Unfortunately, calls such as this can often be viewed through a distorted Brexit lens. This isn’t about being ‘Little Englanders’, but more about understanding that global commerce in its current form definitely doesn’t work for the planet.

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#AskMark – Scope 3 and the combined might of a collective

#AskMark – Scope 3 and the combined might of a collective

I love the summer because you can invariably count on long days packed with sport. This year is a right feast, with the Euros, Wimbledon, Lions Tour and Olympic Games all packed into a few short weeks.

The thing that I’m always fascinated by is the fantastic team ethics of top-class competitors. Even those in ferociously competitive individual events such as track cycling or athletics are supported by huge networks of backroom staff – such as nutritionists, coaches and physios – to help them get over the line.

Business is the same. Success certainly is never down to one person or idea, but typically is about taking the combined might of a collective to achieve a dream. And it usually requires both a ‘carrot and a stick’ to get the best results.

I make no secret that I want my company, Delphis Eco, to be a winner when it comes to being for the planet and for profit. And to that end we need to lead our entire team including suppliers to become net positive businesses – who care about the planet, people and profit.

We’re already a B-Corp business, which means we can demonstrate a high moral and social compass. Our products are EU Ecolabel certified to prove they do not harm the environment or users and come in 100% recycled plastic bottles. We were founding signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) Plastics Pact and among the first 100 companies globally to back  Global Optimism’s The Climate Pledge. We are also signed up to The Race to Net Zero and The Prince of Wales’s Terra Carta. I am proud of every single initiative and support them passionately.

Being an eco-friendly business can’t be the end of things though. In our drive towards net zero emissions we are already working hard on what’s called our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Basically, that’s all the greenhouse gas that we produce directly through our facilities, vehicles and energy use. More difficult is Scope 3 – these emissions include all our supply activity, not strictly ours, but directly related to our products.

The letter that landed on the desks of the respective CEOs of our suppliers addressed these emissions. Think of it as a mission statement about how we all move forward to reach a net zero target. It effectively asked them to join our journey and now the ball really is in their court as to how we get there.

We work with a tight selection of businesses and, typically, have chosen those along the way that have similar ideals to us. For example, as I’ve mentioned before, our printer for our labels is the greenest in the world, using eco-friendly inks and cutting-edge processes. So what we are asking of these guys won’t be too much of a struggle, but for others it will be a huge challenge.

You see, what we have suggested is that all our suppliers come on an eco-journey with us, cutting their own carbon emissions and improving the green credentials. We will be conducting audits to see how they are progressing – and holding them to account on promises.

I’ll admit that years ago you could not have expected the type of businesses we work with to have given these issues much thought. But things have moved on. Today, there is no reason why a factory in the Midlands can’t have solar panels on its roof to decarbonise its power needs.

This all sounds a bit draconian and Big Brother, but it really isn’t. The feedback we’ve had so far has been amazingly positive. Now’s the time to realise they are called ‘business partners’ for a reason. The ‘partnership’ comes in the form of a two-way exchange of views and ideas. We are helping with advice and contacts but have also set clear goals about what we expect.

Having a greener and more holistic supply chain requires bold action and may mean some short-term increases in costs. I like the famous IKEA example best – the Swedish giant unilaterally decided to only sell low energy LED bulbs and de-list all non-LED bulbs, which over time completely changed the lighting market. The good news is that LED bulbs have dramatically come down in price and are a normal thing in every home.

We expect to see changes in behaviour across our supply chain, and this will feed further along into thousands of other companies – the suppliers of our suppliers.

It’s all about the action of the collective. Teamwork makes champions.

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#AskMark – the journey to find the holy grail of greenness

#AskMark – the journey to find the holy grail of greenness

Dressed for work in a suit and a tie, I’m probably the last bloke you’d consider to be an eco-warrior.

But the longer I am involved in the world of environmentally conscious manufacturing, the more I realise that there is a real fight to get involved in. And it is time that everyone picks a side!

Down at the frontline of the war on waste, it is a dark and dispiriting place. And as with all battles, the picture is confusing and difficult to explain. But I’ll try here, using my experience as a guide.

At Delphis Eco, I’ve made a point of trying to do the right thing from the off. Producing cleaning products without chemical nasties was always going to be a challenge simply because the industry wasn’t set up for it. But developing recipes that suppliers could work with was just the starting point.

My interest in green products really grew during my former life in banking and ethical investment. Seeing pictures of mountains of plastic waste in poverty-stricken Third World countries was a particular eye-opener that made me question the traditional thinking of capitalism’s industrial model – the destructive linear economy of ‘Take-Make-Waste’.

So, as well as all the other challenges of starting a business, ensuring our products were packaged the right way has always been important.

We wanted plastic bottles that were 100% recycled, so off we went, chasing waste collectors, rubbish dumps and plastic suppliers only to be told our dream wasn’t possible. When we did find a small business that was recycling London’s plastic milk bottles – and was able to help us – they rather inconveniently went bust.

Still, out of adversity came an even stronger desire to succeed. And if milk bottles were the way forward, it presented another opportunity – to reuse ‘home-grown’ waste products, rather than plastics that had been sent halfway around the world to be processed before coming back. In the circular economy, keeping this production in the UK was the holy grail of ‘greenness’.

Of course, waste collection firms thought we were mad, but when they realised we were serious they agreed to separate used milk bottles for us. The same too for our bottle blower, who initially insisted this plastic wasn’t of good enough quality to go into their plant and needed lots of convincing. There was some complicated science too (all to do with molecule length, in case you’re interested!) but we overcame that by making our bottles slightly thicker. Sure, they are slightly heavier as a result, but UK recycling and manufacture means zero carbon miles, which far outweighs the emissions cost of importing recycled raw materials from China.

At the same time, our supplier is now getting considerable interest from a whole host of other manufacturers about their 100% recycled plastic, opening up the prospect of new jobs and new investment. And as more potential customers make the switch, the processing should get cheaper meaning better prices for all of us.

So there has been some interesting learning on this journey. First off is perseverance. When it comes to the environment, you encounter plenty of ‘old world’ thinking. Asking to do new stuff in different ways will typically be met with a shake of a head or sharp intake of breath, so the secret is to have a thick skin and a total belief that you are doing the right thing. We’ve pushed boundaries and changed opinions by convincing suppliers to work with us – mostly by paying more than to get the technology up and running and shown them why it will be financially beneficial for us all in the long run.

Secondly, and on a rather more depressing note, is the fact that the whole recycling arena is one of smoke and mirrors. The present packaging waste regulations essentially incentivise companies to watch plastic waste be exported to poorer nations for recycling. Given the UK is fast running out of landfill capacity, it’s no surprise the government is happy to see plastic sent abroad, but we are not fooling anyone if we think recycling facilities in Indonesia, Vietnam or India are more efficient than here. Thousands of miles away, mountains of rubbish are building up – and being burned – so we don’t have to deal with the problem.

Meanwhile, consumers should be similarly concerned about the dutiful recycling they do at home. Separating your rubbish is all very well, but in some London Boroughs a staggering 82% of those recyclables are currently being incinerated rather than reused.

Where do we go from here then? For us, it’s about ensuring that every business partner we work with buys in to our eco vision and is committed to joining us to be carbon neutral by 2030. We’re also among the founding signatories to the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s Plastic Pact, which is working towards a true circular economy for plastic products.

Ultimately, I’d like to see the introduction of a proper kitemark system that consumers can trust when it comes to plastic products made from recycled materials. We’ve seen how demand (from Delphis Eco) pushed manufacturers to try new things, so imagine this pressure multiplied across the country. If we can do it with old milk bottles then what about other types of plastic too? The pendulum of public opinion is swinging, and it’s up to business to meet the challenge.

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Collaborate to Zero: Seep

Collaborate to Zero: Seep

How can we achieve net-zero carbon and halt the climate crisis? By working together to drive widescale, meaningful change.

To this end, Delphis CEO Mark Jankovich meets fellow eco-entrepreneurs to swap insights and inspiration. This week, we’re honoured to welcome Laura Harnett, founder of sustainable cleaning retailer, Seep.

 

Mark Jankovich: A big welcome, and thank you for being our second in the series after Toast Ale!

 

Laura Harnett: Toast was actually one of my inspirations, so this was clearly meant to be.

MJ: Excellent. Please start by telling us about your background and the story of Seep.

LH: I was a buyer, a consultant, and then I went into Selfridges as the chief of staff, but my corporate life was at odds with how I was living, the products I was using, alongside being very aware of things going on in the world, and at some point you can't live this kind of separate life. Then I was diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer, and that puts a fire in your belly. I’d had the idea for Seep for quite some time and at the beginning of lockdown I decided to finally go for it.

MJ: What is the idea, in a nutshell?

LH: I believe it should be easier for people to make sustainable choices. I was in my local Waitrose and I had my recycled toilet paper and my organic food in the trolley, but then I went down the cleaning aisle – bin liners, sponges, cloths, washing-up brushes, mops, all of that bumpf – and it looked like the 1950s. There wasn't a sustainable product anywhere to be seen. I wanted to put in some innovation, to give people an alternative.

 

MJ: I think you've succeeded in that for sure, Laura. And as you say it should be easier to make better choices. What do you think businesses should be doing to drive this impact at scale?

LH: You have to keep peeling back the layers of what you've got in your supply chain, because it’s not ingrained. The guys doing our packaging and our printing, they don’t automatically think of sustainability unless you ask questions. And if they come back with a crappy answer or say, "oh, it’s biodegradable", that’s not good enough.

MJ: I hear you work with On A Mission. How are they different from the 55 million others doing carbon offsetting?

LH: They are scientists and engineers who work in reforestation. They’re very data-driven, there’s no ego, no flashy branding, just great decision-making and backup for how they choose their projects. If I feel that somebody has the same sort of ethics as me, that goes a long way.

MJ: Did they help you with your LCA, the Life-Cycle Assessment?

LH: Yeah, we’re at the early stages of doing that as part of our B Corp certification. They look at what your products are made of, how they’re made, how you're shipping them, the mileage, and then they give you a carbon footprint based on the way that you're currently sourcing. We offset three times our footprint, but the idea is that you keep the money the same, even though your footprint – hopefully – comes down, so you’re offsetting more and more over time. How have you done it? Any tips?

MJ: For us, scope one and two was easy, the hard piece is scope three. It's auditing our factories at a real deep detail. They are moving in the right direction, but I'm almost at the point of panicking about scope three and how we can draw that baseline. Because you can't say you’re going to race to zero and not know where you started.

LH: Exactly. I mean, it's really great to hear, because that's the stuff I endlessly beat myself up about, you know? How far back can we go? But knowing that even someone like you, Mark, is still worrying about that sort of thing, actually makes me feel better. If I can just chip away at it and understand where I'm at, anything that I can move forwards is a little victory.

MJ: And the whole point of this session is that it’s 100% our responsibility – 100% our responsibility! – and it winds me up that you have massive corporates that are putting their heads in the sand and saying, it’s not me! We are talking about such systemic change and you're not seeing it on a massive scale. The only one is Tesla where, at a binary level, they’ve redesigned the entire infrastructure and that's what we need. We need somebody to blow a billion dollars and be broke and be crying on the floor because he's got cars that nobody wants to buy and be within seconds of shutting down and then… make it! Everybody's now copying him, and governments are going we need to stop combustion engines!

LH: I couldn't agree more, it's the big disruptors that are prepared to challenge their industry. I'm biased, but I think Selfridges has done some really good stuff in that space. They did the ‘No More Fish in The Sea’ campaign years before it was the thing that caught on. It really comes from the top, so Alannah Western, the chairman, and the MD Anne Pitcher, they baked it into the strategy.

MJ: Alannah is a real stand-up leader.

LH: And brave. Because she said, "Look, it's going to impact our bottom line, but I believe so much in this".

MJ: What's so important about case studies and telling stories is we need to tell people that stuff is happening, things are changing, and this is the way you can behave, and they'll follow. If we can keep telling great stories and can collaborate on how we can work together, we will move the needle.

LH: If you can get people to love a brand, and an ethos, and a great looking product, and it also just happens to be sustainable, I'm good with that. A great example is Stella McCartney who, when she became a designer, said, I'm not using any animal products. Another example is Good Club. Are you listed with them?

MJ: Yes.

LH: Okay, so they’ve really thought it through from beginning to end. You get the crate that you can decant when you’re buying it loose, and they’ve made it super easy for the customer. The ethos they have on the buying side, being really clear about what they think is okay and what is not, I think that’s a real challenge to other grocery retailers.

MJ: The more I learn about them, the more I like their passion. What about your journey to getting B Corp certified? How’s that going?

LH: We are very early days, but I wanted to build Seep from the ground up in a way that was right, and I knew that B Corp was kind of a North Star that would guide me in the decision making. What works really well with me is, if I make a public statement about something, by God am I going to make sure that it happens!

MJ: I remember doing my B Corp submission. Oh, my God, that was hard yards! You know, Laura, it's amazing the overlap, because my ethos has also been, we’ve just got to do it, we've got to keep going and we've got to be true to ourselves. We have to think through all of our procurement, we have to make those better choices.

LH: Yeah, and it's tough when you're a new business, because those choices add cost. And you don't have the budget sometimes, so they're not choices that you make lightly. I think that's the hardest thing actually, how do you tread the balance of being as sustainable as you can be without killing your margin along the way?

MJ: I mean, that’s the reality of being an entrepreneur and a disrupter and delivering something completely new. I've got long-suffering shareholders who have been around for three times longer than they'd hoped, but you've just got to keep going and hope that it will come right. Last question. Where did the name come from?

 

LH: My husband's an orthopaedic surgeon and he loves an acronym. He came up with Sustainable Eco Everyday Products or something, and I thought, God, that’s naff! But then I thought, hang on a minute, it spells Seep, it’s got a lovely sound and a graphic designer would get quite excited about it. And it stuck.

MJ: That’s pretty cool. Well, thank you for taking time to talk.

LH: I mean, I have a ton more questions but they're all really practical, like plastic bottles and inks and, you know, no end of it. I’ll have to set up another time to pick your brains!

MJ: That is the point of Collaborate to Zero. I want to share what I know, my suppliers and so on, and get tips from others and kind of help push the whole thing. So, watch this space…

 

      

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Collaborate to Zero: Toast Ale

Collaborate to Zero: Toast Ale

How can we achieve net-zero carbon and halt the climate crisis? By working together to drive wide-scale, meaningful change.

To this end, Delphis CEO Mark Jankovich meets fellow eco-entrepreneurs to swap insights and inspiration. First up is Louisa Ziane, co-founder and COO of Toast Ale.

Louisa Ziane, co-founder and COO of Toast Ale.

Mark Jankovich: Welcome Louisa, thanks for finding time to talk. I’d love to start by understanding the story of Toast, where you guys came from and how you developed this amazing, sustainable approach to craft beer.

Louisa Ziane: My pleasure, Mark. We started Toast over five years ago when we saw that there was a huge problem with food waste. Did you know that in the UK, 44% of commercially made bread is discarded?

MJ: That’s appalling.

LZ: But thanks to a visit to a brewery in Belgium we learnt that the origins of brewing and baking are intertwined, because the original recipes for beer actually used a fermented grain like bread. This brewery created a delicious beer using surplus bread, creating a circular product. And we saw that we could marry the huge problem of food waste with the growing market opportunity of craft beer and create a really tasty solution. Now we dedicate our profits to a charity called Feedback, which was started by my Toast co-founder Tristram Stuart, to campaign for systemic change in the food industry. And of course, it’s also a communication tool, beer being the perfect way of starting a conversation. We know that the industrial production of food is the biggest contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss, yet we're wasting a third of everything that we produce. It's nonsensical. So it's a fun and delicious way to solve the problem, where we're not asking people to make concessions, but to value all of those natural resources and the human resources that we’re expending to produce food in the first place.

Toast Brewers Adding Bread To The Mix

MJ: Drinking beer is nearly as much fun as cleaning your bathroom, but I would say that…! My ‘ah-ha’ moment was in Italy where I saw a shop owner pour a bucket of soapy brown water into the storm drain, that literally went straight onto a crowded beach. And I realised it’s such a massive disconnect between this person who owns the shop, who wants us to shop there, but really is there because of the beach. So the question was, how can I create a cleaning product that doesn't have an impact on the environment? And then think through everything that we're doing to try and remove and reduce the environmental impact. The logic was obvious, like making beer from discarded bread, but the tricky bit has been telling the story and getting people to come on the journey and that took a lot longer than I thought. But there are lots of similarities around there being a fundamental need to be more sustainable and then delivering a product and a solution. How was your journey to becoming B Corp certified?

LZ: I was previously a climate change consultant at the Carbon Trust and before that I did a master's in environmental sciences, so I’ve known about the movement for quite some time. And when we started Toast, I saw some really interesting brands that were engaging with it, for example my daughter was six months old, so I was using Ella's Kitchen products. Ben and Jerry's is another B Corp. It was then connecting the dots between these fantastic brands and this greater purpose that maybe I hadn't been aware of as a consumer. I did the B Corp impact assessment just to see what it was all about and it opened my eyes to the fact that, yes, we're a fantastic environmental business, but there's still a lot more that we could do. I used the assessment as a framework to help me build a responsible business and our environmental mission, then it was a natural step to then go through the certification process. And it was the most wonderful experience for me, because I love everything about B Corp.

MJ: Yeah, I mean, we get asked every day to join some form of eco club. When we started there were none so am delighted that others are now on the journey, but I'm quite strict on sticking with very few and sticking with the best. And B Corp, I think, arguably is the toughest. From a provenance perspective, very few companies have it. There are a lot of massive competitors of ours who can't get it. We've got high-level product endorsement and at the corporate level B Corp arguably is the best or the toughest to achieve in that respect. My key driver with any club is collaboration and conversation, and B Corp make all of the members do the work, which is genius. We're having conversations with people and then we feed back to B Corp, but it works for us because it enables us to have strong conversations with people we wouldn't ordinarily have. And that’s the only way we’ll get to net zero carbon, don’t you think?

LZ: It's going to be very challenging. It requires partnerships, not just between businesses, but with government and civil society as well. You know, we all have a role to play and I think the structural changes that are required are huge. More than we've experienced over the last year with the lockdowns. But I saw in the news this morning that the UK reported that we're 50% of the way there to our target. And we're seeing some other countries switching away from fossil fuels. China is making a huge investment in wind, for example. And we've also seen the investment community moving away from investment in the old structures. I think all the players are there, the people in organisations that want to make this happen, and we've set these ambitious targets. It will be interesting to see what happens at COP26, whether we and other countries go with ambitious enough plans. So I'm hopeful, but the scale of the challenge is not to be underestimated.

MJ: We're going to get there, but it's either going to be collaborative or incredibly painful. I mean, it's going to be painful whichever way we look at it, but we're going to get there. But I think, to your point, the level of disruption is something that nobody is currently thinking about. And I think that's where conversations like this are super important because we are going to need to disrupt so fundamentally everything that we think about

LZ: Yes, there's a huge element of behaviour change to overcome. For example, one of the reasons there is so much bread waste is that supermarkets purposefully fully stock their shelves to create a feeling of abundance and luxury when you shop. And then the bread is fresh daily, usually, which creates so much surplus. A lot of it goes to charities, but some of those charities have too much bread. I don't know if you know the app OLIO?

MJ: Yes.

LZ: Where people go and they actually collect food direct from supermarkets and other retailers and then they distribute it to the neighbourhood? There's always bread on there because there's so much of it. And it's a short shelf-life product. Often charities have to turn it away or they end up with a waste problem and cost for themselves. So we have to incentivise the reduction of overproduction in the first place, as well as incentivising the use of that waste, you know, shaming some of these companies and working with them to re-educate, to change people's expectations of how we buy our food.

MJ: Absolutely. The way we operate businesses, the supply chain, the way we consume, the entire infrastructure and framework needs to be completely unravelled and re-woven, to orient it to a new way of doing things.

LZ: Exactly.

MJ: Last question. As a consumer, what could I be doing differently to make more sustainable choices? Besides drinking lots of Toast ale, of course?

LZ: I would say, don't feel like you have to be perfect. Don't feel like you have to fix everything in your life, focus on one thing. For example, you can can look at one room in your house. What’s under the kitchen sink? What are my cleaning products? Replace one at a time and find what works for you. Think about what interests you, like fashion, then find out what brands are doing something, like looking at alternative materials. Or if you're a real foodie, focus on where your food’s coming from and what changes you can make. Everything needs to change, but each of us individually doesn't need to change everything all in one go.

MJ: Wise words. Thank you, Louisa, and all the best with Toast.

LZ: Thank you, Mark.

To summarise, green businesses must do more networking and showcasing of best practice so we can learn from each other and drive scale change. And as consumers, we have the power to move the needle, from deciding what cleaning products and beer to buy, to how products are packaged and so on, it has a massive ripple effect.

   

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The Power is ours - Vote with your wallet

The Power is ours - Vote with your wallet

I keep hearing that it’s the Government’s responsibility to fix the environment - false. Ikea didn’t wait for approval to mandate that they wouldn’t sell non-LED light bulbs. Yes they were more expensive and yes they had to take a huge hit on margin to make them more affordable for homeowners but their buying power drove manufacturers’ prices down and everybody, including the environment, is a winner.

There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. The toxic cycle of plastic-filled oceans, animal ingestion and human consumption at the top of the food chain means the effects are potentially catastrophic. We cannot wait until we face irreversible damage and the collapse of society.

It’s in our power to tell shops to have free water fountains, to tell supermarkets to relinquish fruit and vegetable packaging or to tell schools to reduce waste in kitchens. Systemic change is essential to create movements.

Our entire business model is predicated on being as environmentally friendly as possible. This means that my suppliers need to understand and live our beliefs or lose our business. It’s inspiring to know our main factory has installed a massive rainwater capture system to use in the manufacturing of our products.  Our box suppliers have worked really hard to not only provide a 100% recycled cardboard box but also to ensure that the inner liner, which is normally virgin paper for rigidity, is also 100% recycled. 

If we don’t ask, we won’t get and it’s 100% down to us.

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