By ThePlanetMark Friday, December 9, 2016

The viewing figures of Planet Earth II suggests people want to feel a closer connection to the living world, something that resonates deeply with the values of The Planet Mark™ in partnership with Eden Project, says Steve Malkin.

Steve Malkin, ceo of The Planet Mark™

More young people are watching Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II than Simon Cowell’s_ X Factor _results show. According to the BBC and ITV, latest audience figures show that a series average of 1.5 million 16-34 year olds prefer to spend their Sunday evenings immersed in the wonders of nature, which is 100,000 more than those following the weekly knock out stages of the X Factor.

Even more heartening are the overall viewing figures, which show that Planet Earth II attracts 12 million viewers, compared to the seven million for_ X Factor._ I am not demeaning X Factor, a show that is built on empowering individuals to unlock their talent and follow their dreams, it’s just that given the choice, I am glad that the nation is generally choosing to be amazed at the beauty of our planet.

There are many reasons for this, from the passion of Sir David to the richness and quality of the programming. But fundamentally, we are marvelling at what nature has to offer and, perhaps, it is fulfilling a need that we all have for a closer connection to the living world.

It is certainly helping raise awareness of the precarious state of many species, biodiversity and our eco systems. It is presenting the beauty of nature and the challenges we face to protect it and, in doing so, asking of us as individuals: “What am I going to do?”

The Planet Mark™ and Eden Project

The Eden Project

Some years ago, we sought a partnership with the Eden Project, which understood the values of connecting people and the living world. Over one million people visit the Eden Project destination in Cornwall, millions more participate in the community-driven Big Lunch and it is anticipated that the next Eden destination, in China, will cater for five million visitors a year. This is natural inspiration on an industrial scale!

We wanted to work with Eden Project to create and launch a sustainability certification programme that would enable organisations to tackle their environmental impacts, cut their carbon emissions and do so by engaging their employees in the process.

We wanted to empower individuals within organisations so that, if they were inspired to do their bit for climate change or for the planet, there was a way to exercise that energy in their place of work. That was the foundations of what is The Planet Mark™, which we launched in 2013.

At the time, questions were raised about why we should embed a charity relationship in a sustainability certification. But customers say it has proved to be one of the most successful elements of the programme. Organisations receive free tickets for employees to visit the Eden Project. This is often in cohorts and as a reward for their hard-working volunteer Sustainability Champions or Green Teams. Experiencing Eden together and meeting the team there, they return to their place of work energised and full of ideas to improve business practices and communications to drive more activity.

The Planet Mark™ annual certification measures and rewards this progress. Since our launch three years ago, the average carbon reduction per employee in organisations certified to The Planet Mark™ is 14.5%.

The Planet Mark™ Acre of Rainforest pledge

Cool Earth and The Planet Mark™ Acre of Rainforest pledge

Embedding the Eden Project in our relationships with customers and partners was the first step.

As part of third anniversary celebrations last month, we pledged to protect an acre of endangered rainforest in every certification. It means that every organisation is directly linked with protecting biodiversity and critical eco systems, but also, it means that every one of the organisations we work with will be introduced to the great work of Cool Earth, the charity which works with indigenous communities to keep their rainforest intact, and which is supported by Sir David Attenborough.

The benefits are felt across an organisation, from reducing consumption of energy and waste, to cost saving and providing credentials to support marketing and new business. But perhaps the most important benefit is cultural. These positive impacts on the environment and society are being made by organisations who have empowered their people to drive change. It is in this space that company and personal purpose can align. And it enables every employee who asks the question “What am I going to do?” to go to work and do their bit for the planet.

_To find out more about the The Planet Mark™and its benefits watch our latest video by clicking on the link below. _

Click here to watch  The Planet Mark™ 3rd Anniversary video
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