Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Green Business Networking

a guest article from Tracy Weeks 

Many years ago, when I was a student in Cornwall, I had to complete work placements as part of my course in Graphic Information Design, one of these introduced me to Dorothy Mackenzie, author of Green Design: Design for the EnvironmentThis really inspired me and has had a long-lasting influence on my way of thinking. My dissertation was based on advertising campaigns created by NGOs and environmental organisations and my major design project focused on the logistical issues of recycling in Cornwall and included posters with the headline ‘everything has the potential to be something else’ (1997).

As I’ve always had a great passion for design as well as anything that is ‘green’, it made perfect sense to combine the two with the work I create as a freelance graphic designer. It’s why Purplelily Design was created back in 2005, to nurture businesses with similar values.

As a freelance graphic designer I do a lot of networking in Hampshire (and sometimes Dorset and Wiltshire); part of Purplelily Design’s ethos is to work with and support local businesses. This has taken me to events organised by the University of Winchester to hear Jonathon Porritt* talk (twice); The Big Green Event and The Big Green Breakfast and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainable Business Network events.
*Forum for the Future and formerly of the Green Party and Friends of the Earth.

The first Big Green Event, in October 2016, introduced me to the organisers Lynda Daniels and Anita Potten, also of the Southern Sustainability Partnership. The breakfast events they organise in Hampshire and Dorset have, so far, included talks by Mat Jane, Head of Energy and Environment at University of Winchester, who talked about an increase in student numbers and a decrease in resources as well as engaging students in big ‘switch offs’ at the University; Peter Schofield, Environment Manager at GEP Environmental Ltd, who talked about ISO 14001:2015 updates and 918 Coffee who talked about using spent coffee beans.

The Environmental Management Conference (April 2017), held at the Ageas Bowl, introduced me to the Circular Economy, Cradle2Cradle production and so much more! The whole day encouraged me to support sustainable businesses and look at promoting my business values more as we all need to ‘shout louder’ about all the good things we do.
• Adam Woodhall, Inspiring Sustainability, brought his own knowledge and experience on sustainability and a flourishing economy.
• Ken Webster, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation talked about the Circular Economy, as well as an incredible list of books that included A Wealth of Flows Circular Economy.
• Josh Fothergill, IEMA, talked about the British Standards Institute’s BSI 8001 and its relation to ISO14001, the Environmental Management System.
• Philip Dudell, Sustainable Procurement, gave us a fun task to see how we would buy in office furniture on budget and on brief for a sustainable business.
• Jason Light, Environmental Lead at Eastleigh Borough Council, talked about projects using Solar PV, LED Lighting, Electric Vehicles, Bike to Work Scheme to name a few.
• Jonathan Lodge, City Farm Systems, talked about how City Farm Systems installations (produce grown at source on a rooftop plot) can allow suppliers to save on wastage, transport, packaging and pollution.
• Steve Mason, Pearce Compaction Systems, showed how waste can be reduced and that they have a solar powered compactor installed at Windsor Castle.
• Tom Old and Karl Walker, Clean Energy UK, talked about their time with Al Gore in the Philippines and the 2015 Paris Climate talks.
The winner of the Conference competition was Alex MacArthur, Mayflower Theatre, who won an electric bike from Richard Davies of FreeGo Electric Bikes (Southampton).

Events held by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainable Business Network (Formerly SBN Solent) have included Marketing Sustainability, Sustainable Workplaces, Sustainable Transport and Corporate social responsibility (CSR).
• At the CSR breakfast in July John Buckley, Carbon Footprint Ltd, talked about CSR on a Shoe String. CSR can have a positive or negative impact on a brand… “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffet. CSR is important for all organisations and is more than just giving to charity. It’s also about taking responsibility for ethics in an organisation large or small.
• Tracy Jarvis, Community Matters, talked about a purpose beyond profit which included fund raising and employee volunteering. Members of the Community Matters partnership include the BMW Group UK, TAG Farnborough Airport and the Sixth Form College Farnborough.
• Sharon Ball, De La Rue, talked about their Code of Business Principles – doing the right thing, which includes: health, safety and the environment; fairness and respect; records and reports; conflicts of interest; protecting personal information competition and anti-trust laws; bribery and corruption; gifts and hospitality; insider trading and confidential information; anyone who raises a concern in good faith will be fully supported. She also assured us that De La Rue does not produce the new plastic five pound notes that use animal tallow in production!

(c) New Forest Tartan
(c) New Forest Tartan
I recently met Kate Collison of New Forest Tartan at the New Forest Business Partnership networking breakfast, just before the New Forest Show. New Forest Tartan is a new business that uses British, plant dyed wool, hand woven into a blend of oak, yew, silver birch, heather and fern colours.

 Oh, and I mustn’t forget the lovely Suzii Fido of Marketing with Ethics, who I met at a Business Builder’s breakfast in Fareham a couple of years ago. Suzii also runs a Facebook group called Ethical Marketing for Business with her husband. Business and Facebook page are now run remotely from the beautiful island of Kefalonia, where they also help Wildlife Sense supporting the local turtles.

See you at The Big Green Event in October to check out what’s new with Tesla and other sustainable businesses! There really is so much going on, time to ‘shout louder’ everyone, make your sustainable business stand out!

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