It is Bristol’s irreverent spirit and powerful sense of identity that make it such a compelling place for sustainable business to thrive. Since attaining European Green Capital status in 2015, Bristol has become a fertile ground for businesses with an eco-agenda. Along with a host of organisations nationwide, Bristol 24/7 has become the latest to commit itself to cutting carbon, a move embraced by Josh Kendall, Business Development manager.
“There seems to be a genuine appetite to make meaningful steps towards carbon neutrality in Bristol. As a city we really are lucky to have so many great people and businesses working on meaningful change when it comes to sustainability. We’re home to so many inspiring businesses at the forefront of sustainability, the likes of Triodos Bank, Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and so many others working to make massive strides in this sphere,” Josh explains.
Perhaps there’s no greater testament to Josh’s conviction than Bristol’s audacious climate targets; The city aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
“It’s time for transparency across the board. But it’s not just something that businesses can tackle on their own. Transparency is needed at national and local government and we need to be more honest with ourselves at home too. We all have our part to play, as individuals, as communities and as businesses. The science is now suggesting we’ve got just 12 years left to make meaningful change, there really isn’t any time to just talk about this, we need to act now. “
The search for competitive advantage is an ongoing quest for all businesses, and sustainability presents a unique opportunity for organisations, Josh explains.
“From a business point of view, it’s clear that businesses tackling environmental issues are often also those with the best employee satisfaction, greater customer loyalty and are much better at retaining talent. This isn’t just coincidental, those who are slow off the mark at reporting on their environmental impact will be left behind. “
“Businesses have a massive opportunity, the ability to unify their people. So often throughout history when people have unified around a subject or issue, we’ve found ingenious solutions and I think the same will be said when it comes to sustainability. A dual approach of top down and bottom up will mean greater change at faster pace and as we spend so much of our lives at work, if our habits change here then this is bound to have a knock-on effect on our habits at home too.”
Bristol 24/7 is one of 400+ organisations to have been certified by The Planet Mark Sustainability Certification, a business decision embraced by Josh and his team.
“We were keen to ensure that we worked with an organisation that genuinely cared about sustainability and wasn’t just in it for the ‘green pound’. The Planet Mark had been on our radar for a little while, initially through their support of our Better Bristol initiative – a new collaborative approach to social and environmental change in the city. It was clear from the start that they genuinely care about sustainability and supporting businesses to become more sustainable, so it was a no-brainer for us to partner with The Planet Mark.”
Backed by ERDF funding, The Planet Mark and Bristol 24/7 have teamed up to host Better Business Bristol, a sustainability event for start-ups based in the south-west. The free workshops, events and training will help a business to build the ‘business case’ for sustainability. Incorporating elements of social, environmental and energy efficiency to create a green solution which works for them.