Kath Cockshaw, Enterprise Director for Planet First and co-founder of The Planet Mark was at Goldbrick House in Bristol on Tuesday 24 June, presenting alongside producers of the BBC’s ‘Springwatch’ to members of Bristol Media about sustainable practice in the media industry.

The discussion centred on The Planet Mark, an employee-led sustainability programme for business, in partnership with Eden Project, and the ‘Albert’ carbon measurement process for TV and film production used by the BBC and hosted by BAFTA.

Kath drummed home the importance of the role the media industry must now play in slowing down the rate of climate change, saying,

“A lack of effective leadership from international governments, combined with centuries of institutionalisation has resulted in large scale public inertia on the subject of climate change.

The environmental issues we face today are rooted in complex historical systems of human interactivity with nature, bound by money, power and tradition, which make us feel powerless.

The media industry is perfectly placed to change that widespread sense of inertia in to action.

We urgently need new communications strategies to reframe dominant public values and attitudes and to inspire practical action – what society needs to do to combat climate change now is to shift our perceptions; rebuild values around nature and how we treat our environment; we need to help create the right attitudes – and take action ourselves.

Climate change starts with you. As Marshall McLuhan said in the 60’s, ‘None of us are passengers on spaceship earth, we are all crew’.

Thought leadership must start with media platforms and creative agencies – don’t wait for your clients to call the shots on sustainability communications any longer, you must take the lead. You and your organisation are what you put in to the world.”

Kath ended the session by asking people,

“What will be your unique contribution to a sustainable future?”

The producers of BBC Springwatch also discussed measures they had taken to improve their own production impacts, such as the introduction of a silent hydrogen fuel cell to power their cameras, enabling them to document some species up close for the first time. A series of short films beautifully illustrated this important new work, permissible only through sustainable technological innovation.

Bristol Media is working with The Planet Mark to promote the campaign to its membership, alongside the ‘Albert’ process for production. The Planet Mark certification is designed to save businesses of all kinds carbon, energy, water and waste year on year, which dovetails neatly with the use of Albert for production purposes.

Audience members were clearly affected by the content of the evening, saying they left feeling inspired to use creativity for good, and to readdress their own organisations’ environmental impacts.