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Delphis Eco Wins The Queen’s Award For Sustainability Excellence

Delphis Eco Wins The Queen’s Award For Sustainability Excellence

We are pleased to announce that Delphis Eco has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development!

Her Majesty The Queen personally approves the winners, thus recognising and celebrating the ecological cleaning excellence we have achieved at Delphis Eco over the last ten years.

Find out why we've received the Queen's Awards for Enterprises and what we do to for the environment.

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Don’t Look Up and Climate Change

Don’t Look Up and Climate Change

How the Netflix Hit reshapes the way we talk about the Climate Crisis

Slammed by critics, loved by reviewers. With 263 million hours streamed over the holiday period and more than 360 million hours over its first 28 days, ‘Don’t Look Up’ by Adam McKay has become Netflix’s second most popular debut ever.

The premise is simple: a group of scientists desperately attempts to get the people in charge to act on an apocalyptic threat for the planet. Sounds familiar?

Not without reason. 

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The Environmental Impact of Christmas

The Environmental Impact of Christmas

Christmas is also a time for reflection, for relaxation... and a lot of good food. After a busy year - and especially a difficult year like 2021, with the pandemic still very present in our lives - it’s important to have something good to look out for. We all deserve to eat our own body weight in stuffing or pudding and focus on our loved ones, so the environment moves to the back of our minds.

With Christmas being celebrated by over 25 million households across the UK alone, the festive season has a palpable ecological impact. But how bad is it really?

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Yet another threat to the environment

Yet another threat to the environment
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that face coverings will become mandatory once again. In a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus and its new Omicron variant, people will have to wear face masks on public transport and shops across England, and, after weeks of lessened restrictions, a surge in demand for hand sanitisers is just around the corner. Sadly, neither disposable face masks nor harsh chemicals frequently found in hand sanitisers are particularly good for the environment.  Continue reading

Collaborate to Zero: Chantelle Nicholson

Collaborate to Zero: Chantelle Nicholson

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

To this end, our CEO Mark Jankovich meets fellow eco-business leaders to swap insights and inspiration. This week, we’re honoured to welcome Chantelle Nicholson, Michelin green star polymath Chef and owner of Tredwells and All's Well.

Mark Jankovich: Thank you so much for your time and joining us on Collaborate to Zero. As an introduction, Chantelle is a New Zealander, a qualified lawyer, an author, a business woman, a restaurant owner and a sustainability champion. And then also to mention an influential woman in hospitality and a Michelin Green Star chef.

MJ: Today’s conversation is about the restaurant world and how they can collaborate and move forward to net zero. From your personal journey and restaurant career is there a moment or situation you realised we needed to be more aware of sustainability and climate change?

Chantelle Nicolson: I would say I’m very privileged having grown up in New Zealand, surrounded by amazing produce and nature. That really set the tone for me.

MJ: I think for people like us, who grew up in nature, it really becomes a part of you.

MJ: Could you imagine the uptake in plant-based eating we are seeing even just a few years ago?  What’s causing it?

CN: We have got to the point where people are a lot more conscious now. Covid has taught us many things, and these conscious decisions are some of the good to come out of what has happened. I have this vision of us, pre-Covid being on a mouse wheel, constantly going and going and going. It was only when the wheel was stopped for us, we could hop off, sit back and see things in a more 360 approach.

MJ: I agree. It allowed us to stop and take stock. And think about how we want to build back better. If that drives better decisions, then that is the silver lining of a pretty dire situation.

MJ: Your book ‘Planted’ - love the name - is a book not for vegans, but about fantastically tasty food, just without meat. What was your inspiration behind it?

CN: It was two-fold. Firstly, from my perspective, growing up in New Zealand we had so much amazing produce. I love vegetables and enjoy eating them. For me, cooking with more vege was a natural progression. When I opened Tredwells, seven years ago, I wanted to make it really accessible, so to have everything clear on the menu for both allergens and dietary requirements, so guests didn’t have to ask too many questions and feel like it was an effort to find out more about what they could eat. This naturally led to more plant-based options, and thus an environment in which you wouldn’t be judged. Then secondly, as a chef, looking for plant-based recipes to use and inspire, I felt there wasn’t much around. So I wanted to create a resource for others.

MJ: Have you had to push local suppliers?

CN: The challenge is finding them and then getting the local product. It feels a bit harder than it should be and this is across front and back of house with food, beverage, and even cleaning products. We work to find the best things that work for the restaurant and from a wider perspective for the circular economy. If I can do it, then hopefully people will see it is possible and want to do it too.

MJ: Congratulations on your Michelin Green Star!  Do you think restaurants will soon see this as the top Michelin award?

CN: It is something that is needed and needs to be recognised in the industry. Traditionally, waste was recognised but only in terms of food cost. The circular economy never came into it. It needs to be something that affirms what restaurants are doing and give examples of what can be done for others to work towards. It is the beginning of it, so it is a great start.

MJ: Shockingly the supply of food is the worst Green House Gas offender (25%). Construction is only 10%. How do we change it?

CN: For me it is a journey. My team and I are out searching to find best practice. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. The way we change it is by people being more conscious. In terms of restaurants, I don’t believe in preaching to people, as this goes against the joy and pleasure of eating out. Instead, it is about the messaging and communicating that there is more information available if guests want it.  In terms of waste, supermarkets need to do more, from packaging waste and portion sizes. It needs to be a 360 approach, and changes need to be made swiftly. From the farms to retailers to the restaurant, people need to know where their food comes from to get to their plate.

CN: Also in New Zealand, we had to eat seasonally because we were so isolated. In the UK, it was a shock to the system to get asparagus and strawberries in winter when I first arrived. This is all driven by consumption and demand, so instead we need to learn how to make the most of what we currently have. Embracing the imperfect is also important.. We shouldn’t be aiming for constant consistency in looks alone, we should aim for flavour. The consumer demand for consistency and sameness needs to flip to be supply driven, to eat what is available.  

MJ: If you had a magic wand, what would you do or change in the restaurant world?

CN: There is a lot. Sustainability needs to be a 360 degree subject; made up of people, purpose, planet and profit. The hospitality industry has been through a harrowing 14 months. The challenges are real, and currently the biggest is with the staffing crisis. That is not sustainable. Probably one of the biggest things I would also change is to make the true cost of running a restaurant reflected in price to consumers. Everything that goes into it is often not reflected by the price. This would mean that farmers would be paid the true value of their work, and the teams paid for the skills that they have.

MJ: Are you going to COP26 in Glasgow, if yes what will you be doing, if not what should it be highlighting?

CN: TBC on the attending. But I would like action and implementation and not just ‘chat’ at COP.  It is always one thing I find challenging; a lot of talk around the ‘what’, and not enough about the ‘how’. For restaurants, there is no guide or best practice on how to reduce carbon footprint and become more sustainable. That is what I hope to contribute to. To make it easier for everyone else to implement. 

MJ: What are your favourite sustainability brands that are also leading the way?

CN: One is Chef Dan Barber and Blue Hill at Stone Barnes restaurant, where there is no menu as such. Instead, guests get to eat what is best at that time, most of it from local supply. There are a lot of great brands doing good things, such as Cauli Box, obviously what Delphis Eco is doing, and others like Toast Ale and Rubies in the Rubble.

MJ: Is there a podcast or book you would recommend?

CN: There is Silo by Douglas McMaster which is great for restaurants or anyone at home in terms of getting rid of single use plastic like cling film. Another great book is Sitopia by Carolyn Steel. She also wrote Hungry City – both are educational and interesting.  

MJ: The big takeaways are that we need a better platform, and part of this is the platform, we need action coming from Government with real things that we can aim at. Circularity is critical and the manufacturers of tomorrow need to think of circularity. The piece about staff is slightly overlooked but it is critical that we take everyone on the journey with us.

Thank you to Chantelle for adding valuable insight to the restaurant industry and how we can Collaborate to Zero. Chantelle uses Delphis Eco products in her restaurants in order to further reduce the businesses carbon footprint. To find out more about her book and restaurants please visit

Read more about one of Chantelle’s favourite sustainability brand Toast in our Collaborate to Zero interview with co-founder and COO Louisa Ziane here.



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How to clean your barbecue like a pro this summer with planet friendly products

How to clean your barbecue like a pro this summer with planet friendly products

Switch to eco cleaning products that work and allow you to play a role in helping the environment


With lockdown restrictions lifted, and BBQ season in full swing, there’s a lot to celebrate. It's time to get those barbeques in tip top shape, so you’re ready to host family and friends all summer long.  

Delphis Eco is a plant-based cleaning range that is loved by professionals for its unparalleled performance and approved by the planet for the reduced impact it has on the environment. 

With an impressive list of professional fans in all areas of hospitality and catering,  we have pulled together some top eco-friendly tips and advice from professional chef, Calum Richardson on how to get your BBQ spring and summer fit, clean and safe.

How to get your BBQ sparkling clean in three simple steps using Delphis Eco products?

Getting the BBQ out of storage and ready to cook: Firstly, grab a bucket of water and add Delphis Eco Washing-Up Liquid, specially formulated with natural grease-busting action to remove dirt and grime. Wipe down the BBQ with a cloth or a sponge, then rinse with clean water and allow to dry.

Before cooking: Believe it or not a great BBQ hack is to use an onion. When the grill has started to heat up, attach half an onion to a fork and rub over the hot bars. The water in the onion steam cleans the grill plate / bars. Onions have natural antibacterial properties and if you're cooking with charcoal, you can throw the used onion right into the coals when you're finished to add flavour to whatever you're grilling. 

Cleaning your BBQ after cooking, while it’s cooling down: Lastly, using Delphis Eco Heavy Duty Degreaser on the grill will cut through grease, grime, oil, and fat from hard surfaces. It uses a combination of naturally derived vegetable extracts and powerful surfactants to leave surfaces clean and shiny.  What’s more, with no odour you can be sure that your BBQ fare is free from nasty harmful toxins and you can be confident you are serving up delicious food, tasting as great as it can.

Here’s what Calum Richardson, chef director, The Bay Fish & Chips had to say about Delphis Eco products:

“What’s key with Delphis Eco is, not only is it environmentally friendly, but actually, it is a great product that works on heavy duty grease and grime. If you use bleach for example and it leaves a smell, that smell transfers directly to what you’re cooking, shifting onto food. Delphis Eco provides effective plant-based cleaning in my restaurant and is a great way for you to clean at home and get your BBQ sparkling for spring.”

An eco-friendly way to clean your barbecue

Delphis Eco’s range is the first in the UK to be packaged in recycled plastic bottles made entirely from UK recycled plastic milk bottles. By using Delphis Eco products you will be supporting a circular economy, taking plastic waste out of landfill, incineration and the ocean, and reducing your carbon footprint.      

These products are safe to use on paint, aluminium, metal, and glass, so your barbecue will be clean and ready to be used. Plus, take a look at the EU Ecolabel accredited Delphis Eco Masonry and Stone Cleaner and try it out on your porch, you won’t be disappointed. It removes deep stains, moss, algae, oil, grease, traffic film, soot, limescale, rust, charcoal and efflorescence (white, fluffy salt deposits also called salt-petering) from masonry and stone, including granite, concrete and porcelain.

Click here for our BBQ Hero Bundle

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#Ask Mark: 100 Days to COP26

#Ask Mark: 100 Days to COP26

As the excitement and anticipation is building for COP26 which is exactly 100 days away, I feel there is renewed enthusiasm and momentum around international climate action and what this significant event can potentially deliver. There is an appetite for progress, we as a nation are more invested in the environment, we are far more aware of the seriousness of climate change and the impact we as individuals have on the planet.

Efforts to set us all back on the right path will be in the spotlight this November, when Glasgow hosts COP 26, the UN’s Climate Change conference. It will be the most significant inter-governmental meeting about climate change since Paris in 2015, and the largest-ever conference held in the UK, with over 30,000 attendees. This giant undertaking is all very impressive, and demonstrates a global willingness to engage with the subject. However, we need more than empty words.  The truth is we have to half carbon emissions by 2030, and then hit zero net emissions by 2050. There can be no doubt about the huge scale of this challenge and the enormous structural change that is required.  In the history of humanity, we’ve never innovated at the speed we now need to.

As I see it, saving the planet requires a mix of education, collaboration and encouragement, three core pillars that we as a brand stand by .

Pillar 1: Education

Firstly, it’s about education, the kids of today are our future and the planet’s future. The role of education is crucial to help people understand and address the impact of climate change.  The youth is becoming increasingly committed to the fight against global warming and education is a key step to addressing these issues. I believe the education system needs to change; make climate change issues more visible and understandable. Immersing kids from an early age in nature is a crucial part of sustainability education, it helps them to develop an appreciation for the Earth. For older groups, it’s integrating climate change into as many subjects as possible. Our education system should highlight and talk about natural resources, circular economy, natural capital, all of which can help overcome the environmental challenges we are currently experiencing.  Make watching Breaking Boundaries by Sir David Attenborough and Johan Rockstrom compulsory for every teacher and then make them watch it again with their students.

Pillar 2: Collaboration

The second step is collaboration, we are in THE ‘Climate Decade’. The most important decade humanity has ever faced and we need to effect serious change on a large scale from Governments right down to local communities. This has to be a collaborative effort; we all have to play our part in cutting carbon emissions and promote a green recovery. With our initiative Collaborate-to-Zero which is a series of live podcast interviews with sustainable leaders and inspirers from key sectors. Our aim is to create a book with their top tips to share with delegates ahead of COP26 to encourage other disruptive entrepreneurial individuals, businesses, organisations to ultimately transform at an unprecedented scale and speed. We have a unique opportunity to build back a better, fairer ‘Net Zero’ economy. Every business must be ready to meet that challenge to give us a shot at a better future. 

Pillar 3: Encouragement

And lastly, encouragement; how do we encourage on a large scale? We need to invest more from a research and development perspective; governments, private equity and financial institutions must move away from their current focus on making short-term investments in favour of longer-term sustainable ones. Take for instance Zac Goldsmith's urge for change, he is calling for the government to introduce a range of incentives such as stamp duty rebates for homes participating in the green deal, and reduced VAT on materials used to retrofit homes. It’s these innovative ideas and incentives that will give people the encouragement to do the right thing.

Encouraging a different approach is what we have tried to do at Delphis Eco, taking decisions about our business and how it operates to create genuine structural change in our industry. For example, our perseverance with developing a 100% recycled and recyclable plastic bottle has been the right thing to do, though it has cost us financially. Over time, we hope to make it impossible for competitors to not do the same, since consumers will not tolerate it, and as a result innovation and scale will bring down the cost of such products. And finally, SME’s employ over 80% of the UK’s workforce, yet it is these smaller firms that often find it impossible to access the lending they need to invest in the new equipment and processes that would power more efficient and cleaner production. These SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy, so allowing each to work in a greener way would have a huge culminative effect for good.

We are so excited to see what the next 100 days brings and to be in Glasgow for COP26. 

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Collaborate to zero: Harmony Project

Collaborate to zero: Harmony Project

The Collaborate to Zero series is all about how we can help each other get to a net zero position, a goal that Delphis Eco has set for itself by 2040, 10 years before the Paris accord. Our CEO, Mark Jankovich is interviewing business leaders to get their sector insight, tips and learnings.  By working together, we have a better chance of reversing the damage to our planet. It's all about collaboration to drive positive change!

In this fifth interview, Mark interviews Richard Dunne an inspirational educator, from The Harmony Project, to tell us about the importance of education on climate change.

Mark Jankovich: Richard is an absolute Rockstar when it comes to pushing sustainability. He captures the hearts and minds of the next generation and our future leaders. I first met Richard in 2010, when I got a phone call from his office. The year fours at his school had requested that I come in and answer some questions. I was fascinated to sit down and listen to them, and to share with them my vision for the company, a vision that has lasted to this day.

I'm delighted to have Richard join the Collaborate to Zero project. When I spoke to the headmistress of my girl’s school, I said “All around us education is changing by the second. What do you think?”, and she looked at me blankly. What do you think about that Richard, and please tell me a little bit about The Harmony Project and all the work that you are doing?

Richard Dunne: Well, I think that response is quite common. I was just talking to someone overseas last week who was concerned that his education system hadn't really changed since he was a child, 40 years ago. Of course, there are also a lot of parents now who are saying we need a different model of doing things. I believe we need to be much more relevant, meaningful and holistic in our thinking. Education needs to be addressing the issues of our time and there is a movement to try and change that.

I think the biggest challenge, and what we see in The Harmony Project, is that you've got a juggernaut of education going in one direction, and you are trying to jump on board and say: “Actually, we need to be steering this in a different direction.”  At The Harmony Project we are trying to say: “Let's look at what you're doing already, and let's rethink it and rework it.”  That way, we can start to better address the challenges of our time.

If we link climate change to, for example, the ice melting in the Arctic or the Antarctic, then we encourage people to think about the way our climate is changing. By then moving the conversation on to what they can do about it, we can develop a more positive outlook.

It's all about working alongside schools to instil a stronger sense of sustainability into their education system. That is how we help them make it better.

MJ: So, inspiring with a positive message and kind of a feel-good factor, which makes sense. It is where we need to be because there is a lot of positivity that we can get out of this, and we just need to showcase that.

RD: I think the best way to do that is by shifting the focus away from the potential eco-anxiety around climate change and moving towards something that they can do, themselves. If you look at that in the context of energy management, and monitoring in your school, students suddenly feel like they have a role to play if they are given a chance to lead it. Then they take that message home, and they start to ask their parents about where they use energy and how they can change that. By flipping it on its head in quite a simple way, it starts to have an impact.

MJ: Are you seeing a shift? Is there more urgency? Are more schools, waking up to this? Do you see the curriculum changing? Is the government on board?

RD: I think we have obviously been through a hugely challenging time over the last year to 18 months, and on one side that has made people rethink what education is about. A lot of parents have seen how schools are working, because they have seen much more of it in their own homes. It has opened up a conversation about the future of education, and how we want our children's education to be. Alongside that, a lot of people have been much more connected to nature. So, there is a very strong nature element to it. The other side, of course, is managing all of the challenges of COVID and lockdown. That has been really difficult. We have to be careful not to push our agenda too hard at the moment, when everyone is on their knees, just trying to get through to the end of the year.

In a more positive light, it has given us a chance to do things in a different way. My hope is that we start thinking about how we do things in the context of what its impact will be on the natural world. Take the Dasgupta Report and Review, for example, and how it urged us to put nature at the heart of all economic practices. It’s the same for education. If that’s a big message coming through in the economy, then education needs to align with that.

By learning about nature, we are increasingly seeing its value. I would say we need to go further and learn from nature itself.

What I call Principles of Harmony, are an educational context that we can learn from. For example, the things that you are applying to your business cycles: recycling, producing bottles out of 100% recycled materials, etc. It helps young people to think that way.

MJ: I love the Harmony Principles. You very kindly gave me a copy of the Harmony book, written by The Prince of Wales. How can we get those principles embedded into education and what do you think the barriers are to getting those core principles embedded?

RD: I think we have to push for change at all levels. Let me give you an example, I’m currently working with the Forest School Association to ensure that all young people have access to nature-based outdoor learning on a regular basis. Some schools will do it anyway, but in other schools, it will be a big change. They need to have funding to shift beyond the idea that you can only learn in a classroom. The funding will support the change, the training of staff and the running of sessions outside in nature.

So how do we get a better balance between classroom based learning and outdoor learning? That's a policy change. That is something that we are pushing at a government level. We are trying to say, “You've done it for sport, so now let's do it for nature!” My ideal would be that these Principles of Harmony run through the national curriculum, in fact, I am even starting to call it the ‘natural curriculum’.  We need to move away from a national curriculum to a natural curriculum.

MJ: I shudder to think what the percentage of time is that kids spend outside and outdoor learning, I suspect it is woefully low. One of the things that we talked about, all those years ago was how younger generations would lose a sense of urgency as they went off to secondary school and other stuff would become cooler. Are you seeing that the interest in the environment and the surroundings is extending into secondary school and into university?

RD: Less so. I think it tends to be more holistic and more joined up as a way of seeing learning at primary level. At that stage, children are generally very keen to engage with projects that address those kinds of issues. Secondary school, of course, is a different format. You are mainly working in subject-specific areas, with different teachers, departments and styles of learning. I think that the more siloed approach does make it very difficult. It's not a criticism, it's just a reality of what is happening. So really, if we are going to make it work more at secondary, we have to try and reframe the learning to be more project focused. That would need some creative thinking and buy-in from teachers.

My sense is that a lot of young people, and organisations like Teach the Future, are very keen to push an interdisciplinary way of learning around projects. The more that young people demand it, the more it will need to be acknowledged. It might not be the whole time, but there might be more focus around themed weeks, or certain elements within the curriculum that are much more flexible to this kind of approach.

MJ: I'm interested to learn about the Sustainable Food Trust. Can you tell me more about them?

RD: The Sustainable Food Trust is looking to transition food and farming to a more sustainable way of working. They have created what is called a harmonised sustainability metric, which is a tool to enable farmers and people growing food to measure their impact in terms of both environmental and social measures, and to see how they can improve their work.

What's good about it is that it puts your footprint on a spectrum. So, you may start by looking at, for example, soil health, and you may not be in a very good place there. But there are steps that can guide you to creating healthier soil or improving your biodiversity. You can even track the social elements of the wellbeing of your staff, for example. There are lots of different strands to the work, and each strand takes you on a journey. It’s not like you are either onboard or not. It is a constant evaluative process of moving towards a more sustainable, regenerative way of working and there are a lot of people who are really interested in it.

The Prince of Wales is talking about it and highlighting the benefits of this approach. You have got supermarkets, banks, and people involved in the food and farming world who are saying, “Yeah, this is a really helpful way of seeing how we can move to a better place”. You have also got the rewilding elements and the land sharing versus land sparing. But ultimately, we need to be looking at ways of growing food that is both good for us and good for the planet.

MJ: I am a massive fan of rewilding; I think it is great. Under the umbrella of the Sustainable Food Trust, do you think that the government should be supporting farmers and landowners to rewild more land?

RD: I think the government needs to be incentivising practices that are helping to regenerate land, and rewilding as a part of that. If you look at the land sparing approach, you could have a field that is industrially farmed, but has a lot of chemicals, nitrogen, and fertilizer sprays on it. The land at the side might be a little bit wider and as a result, spared of that. It may even have a certain amount of biodiversity.

My sense of it and from what I understand from the Sustainable Food Trust is that we should also be looking at the farmland itself. The technologies that can help us to do that more will be key to not just seeing it as the bit on the side, but seeing how we can ensure that the farmland itself is healthy and good for wildlife.

MJ: Yes, it is important to link them all together. I have a slight bugbear with carbon offsetting. My view is that we need to do everything we possibly can. Lean into reducing our carbon as much as possible and then start offsetting. It is not something that you can just buy to clear your conscience. It is something you need to do at the end. And planting trees isn't necessarily the answer, but the rewilding piece, I think that is critical to getting the biodiversity up.

RD: Yes, the statistics are shocking. I read at the end of last year, in the WWF report, that we'd lost 68% of our biodiversity in the last 50 years. That is an extraordinary figure. I was talking to a school on Friday, I said to them, “Do you know how many different varieties or species of beetle there are in the UK? And one very bright boy said “3,200”. But I think the figure is closer to 4,000. And that is just beetles. And yet, I don’t know about you, I could probably only name three.

MJ: It is about taking a holistic approach. Using a mathematical equation to make the point. It’s about making it visual, versus incredibly dull and boring. I would like to hear more about some of the partnerships that you're working with, and some of the leaders that you've worked with? What is working well? What can you share from a collaboration perspective?

RD: Collaboration is so essential. We need to work together. I already mentioned the Forest School Association and our work on the nature of premium. I am also working with the Eden Project and Eden Project International, and that is fascinating. Tim Smit is such a visionary man. He is keen to see how we can push forward these urgent issues and really address them. So, we are doing some interesting work there.

We have got a lovely project at the moment with young people on the subject of ‘Home’. What is my home? Where is my home? What are my hopes and fears for the future? And what would I say to someone who visits my home? The first group of students we are working with is a group in the Maldives. Their home is hugely under threat and they are very conscious of that. They are absolutely brilliant at sharing their message. We want to build a network of young people sharing their story: their hopes and fears for the future, and how they think we need to address the issue of looking after our ‘home.’ It has got the environmental side, but it has a social dimension as well.

Also, in terms of collaboration, we are doing some interesting work with The Prince’s Foundation. Lord John Bird, who set up The Big Issue, is pushing hard in England with his act that addresses the future and not just the now. It’s called The Future Generations Act. We need to be much more forward thinking, as well as dealing with the here and now. We need to be looking at the long-term impact of the way we live. All of these projects are looking very much along those lines.

MJ: If you had a magic wand in your hand, what would you do?

RD: I would shift learning away from being separated out. I would make it coherent and cohesive. That doesn’t mean to say you cannot teach subjects skills and knowledge, but what it does mean is that you do so because it is relevant to the project that you are doing.

I remember talking to one of my daughters about her learning in maths, and they did the number sequence of the Fibonacci spiral. And I said, “Did you draw the Fibonacci spiral, because it's a spiral of nature?” And she said, “No, no, we just did it as a maths sequence of numbers.” I said, “That's a shame, because it's a really beautiful spiral that we see everywhere in the world.” Then I asked, “By the way, what are you doing in art?”, and she said, “We're doing pop art”. So, I thought, there could be a great connection between the maths and the art. They could have joined it together in a beautiful way but in reality, there was no connection at all. From one lesson to the next, was a different world. I think if I had a magic wand, it would be to bring learning together under projects that really have a sense of purpose, and a sense of practical application.

MJ:  There are so many kids out there who would learn better if you actually made it real. A few last questions. What are your favourite brands that are inspiring you?

RD:  Well, of course, there is Delphis Eco.

MJ: Thank you for the plug, that was not necessary!

RD: No, but in all seriousness, I think the way that you work, and the dedication and commitment you have to the cause is exactly what we need to be looking at. I remember Robert Swann, the polar explorer, talking about the biggest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.  We have to walk the talk. And that is what you do. I love any organisation that is trying to challenge the status quo. More and more, we are seeing organisations, like North Face, who are doing great work around environmental issues.

MJ: Any brilliant books and podcasts that you think we should be listening to? Obviously yours, The Harmony Approach, but any others?

RD: In terms of books, you may know of a guy called Mike Berners Lee. He has written an interesting book called How Bad are Bananas which looks at the journey of our bananas, from where they are grown to our homes. He has done a number of books, which are very environmentally aware and challenging.

I am also reading a lovely book called The Well Gardened Mind. It is about the importance of gardening and nature to our wellbeing, particularly for people who are in situations of trauma or depression. I'll share one last one, which is a beautiful book called The Hidden Geometry of Flowers by Keith Critchlow. It’s written by a man who used to run the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts.  It's all about the amazing beauty and patterns in the geometry of flowers. That is a special book.

Thank you to Richard for adding valuable insight to the education and agricultural sectors and how we can Collaborate to Zero. To find out more about The Harmony Project please visit .


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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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The unintended consequences of pouring chemicals down the drain

The unintended consequences of pouring chemicals down the drain

Chemicals that we dispose of through our plumbing are ending up in your food

As media coverage and general public awareness of the planet’s state of emergency becomes more widespread, many have begun to wake up to the drastic impact that climate change is having on our environment.

A growing number of people realise that, now more than ever, it is crucial that we each individually make those small changes that can help us as a species become more sustainable. - whether that is consuming less meat, driving an electric car, or simply adjusting our shopping habits.

Some of these new habits have become more popularised than others. However, there are some other simple changes to your lifestyle and daily routine that could make a big difference.

Why shouldn’t you put chemicals down the drain?

Have you ever thought about how what you are putting down the drain could be impacting our planet? Not many people do, because it seems like such an innocuous matter. After all, the drain is where liquid waste products should go, right? And whatever happens to it after that is not our problem. The truth, however, is slightly more complicated, and decidedly less convenient.

Did you know that many of the chemicals that we pour down the drain pass through our water’s filtration systems? As a result, many of these substances often end-up back in our surface and groundwater, which then runs into the oceans and is consumed by marine life, or is used to water our crops, and ultimately ends up on our plates.

As these compounds, such as phosphates, have a destructive effect on the ecosystems of our rivers, lakes, streams, and other water sources, water is increasingly becoming unsafe for consumption by all living creatures, including us.

In China, the water supply has become so contaminated by the dumping of toxic and industrial waste that pollution-induced algae blooms have caused the surface of China’s lakes to turn the water bright green. However, greater problems can be seen below surface, with 90% of groundwater in China’s cities now contaminated, linking to high cases of liver, stomach and oesophageal cancer.

How do these toxic chemicals enter water waste?

With all pipes attached to a waterway system, anything that is washed down the drains via our sinks, toilets or washing machines should travel into our wastewater treatment plants.

Shockingly, however, 39 million tonnes of raw, untreated sewage flows into the Thames every year, in 21st century London (although you could be forgiven for thinking that this was describing the Victorian era). And this is just one of the many hundreds of rivers in the UK.  The true national total hardly bears thinking about.

Additionally, with most of our water systems ironically being reliant on old Victorian pipes, these chemicals can often seep directly into our soil through leaks in these outdated pipes. With just under 3 billion litres of water lost to leaks everyday across England and Wales, an equivalent of 1,180 Olympic swimming pools is going straight into the environment. The worst offender, Thames Water, loses around a staggering 179 litres per property each day as a result of broken pipes, meaning that the value of the Thames’ annual 39 million litres of raw sewage water pollution is likely to be much larger.

How are household cleaners damaging the environment?

While household cleaners are not usually thought of as pollutants and instead seen as helpful aids to tackle tough cleaning jobs within our homes, this is not the full picture.

Many common cleaning products contain hazardous and lethal chemicals that are large contributors to water pollution, including bleach, ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphates – with bleach itself having many chemical makeups that are banned across Europe for its corrosive and toxic effects. With a large number of countries taking action to “impeach the bleach”, many are left wondering why the UK government is yet to recognise the extensive damage that these compounds are likely causing to the environment and to people.

With traditional cleaning agents containing dangerous water contaminants in large quantities, pollution in our waters is becoming a widespread problem that is detrimental to marine life and jeopardising our health. With less than 1% of the Earth’s freshwater actually accessible and safe to drink, this will only decrease as our waterways continue to be polluted.

Why chefs clean sustainably 

Calum Richardson, Chef Director at The Bay Fish & Chips restaurant and Delphis Eco ambassador, has woven sustainable practices throughout his business and has always been mindful of the fish he has sourced. However, he later became concerned about the knock-on effects of the products that went down the drain.

“If you use bleach, for example, and it leaves a smell, that smell is a volatile organic compound which transfers directly to what you’re doing on the surface. Do you want to serve people food that has chemicals in it?” 

As a result, Calum became conscious of the cleaning products he was using in his kitchen, realising that the household cleaning brands he was using contained toxic compounds that once washed down toilets, sinks and dishwashers became a severe problem – especially when they travelled up the food chain.

After discovering these long-term effects, Calum began using Delphis Eco and hasn’t looked back. As a perfect green alternative, Delphis Eco is derived from renewable plant-based ingredients – meaning our eco cleaning products are readily biodegradable and never contain harmful toxins.

What cleaning products are safe for our rivers and oceans?

Here at Delphis Eco, we produce professional award-winning, ecological cleaning products made from renewable, plant-based ingredients with an aim to significantly reduce both our plastic waste, water pollution and carbon emissions. With over a decade of experience in tackling tough dirt, all our products are formulated to be kind to the environment without compromising on quality or price.

Read more about our ingredients here.

Here are Calum’s top two favourite cleaning products that are safe for our waterways:

Delphis Eco Multi-Purpose Cleaner 700ml, £4

With Calum Richardson’s stamp of approval, the Multi-Purpose Cleaner is a fan favourite and the perfect all-in-one cleaner to scrub out stubborn marks and any dirt and grease. Working brilliantly throughout the home, our product leaves everything clean and shiny – without impacting our waterways.


Delphis Eco Drain Cleaner and Maintainer (tube of 10), £10

Need to tackle a tough drain blockage? Look no further than Delphis Eco Drain Cleaner and Maintainer. Our powerful enzyme treatment is specially created to eat away at food, grease, and organic waste to eliminate blockages and nasty smells. With its natural ingredients, our product is perfect for putting down the drain.


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