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#TogetherAtHome: Connect and Reflect

#TogetherAtHome: Connect and Reflect

Community and connection have always been basic needs for us as individuals and for society as a whole. Like many other companies, The Planet Mark took the decision to work remotely earlier last week. Although this is not a huge shift for our team, as we have supported flexible working for a long time, we are aware that not everyone is in this position. From our homes to yours, we want to share a handful of our thoughts on how to keep building communities and remain well connected.

What does business as usual look like now?

  • Technology – the thing that everyone is talking about. It forms a fundamental part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not. With a history riddled with issues and problems, technology also enables life to flourish when used wisely. Technology has undoubtedly helped businesses connect and build relationships where there were none before. Today, we are seeing this in action as businesses are using forms of technology to reinforce strong communities to support one another and establish new revenues of growth.
  • Enjoy a little bit of accountability. When you are not sitting next to each other on a regular basis, communication is key to building trust amongst many other positive team characteristics. By holding regular and structured meetings, teams can boost solidarity by staying connected and remaining well informed of how individuals and their respective projects are doing.
  • Reflect on your company culture. Does your business promote a supportive, inclusive and encouraging company culture? Invest the time in enabling your employees and colleagues to shine by using their individual strengths to support one another and bring a little fun to the workplace, even when you might not be in your usual place of work.
  • Have a laugh. Laughter is good for the soul. It raises spirits and connects us to those around us in a way nothing else quite can. Those video calls can be quite entertaining. I think we can all recall one or two of those calls which didn’t go to plan but lifted our spirits.

How can we look out for those near and far from us?

  • Pick up the phone. It really is that simple. We understand this is by no means the same as quality face to face conversations, but FaceTime, Zoom, Skype (the list goes on) can really help elevate conversations just by being able to see and read the other person. We must make room for others.
  • Honesty is, and always has been, the best policy. To take care of one another best we also need to take good care of ourselves and have regular self-checks. Times like these can be lonely for some, they can cause great stress and create radical changes in how we live our lives. Let’s all try and be honest to ourselves and to others.
  • Say hello, crack a joke and let people know you are thankful. An elderly gentleman gave me a cheery hello (from across the street) this morning and it honestly made my day. Those little moments can seem like nothing to one person but can make the world of difference to others. Lift your head up, look out for those around you and be available to the communities that live, work and play around you.
Rowlinson Knitwear Recognised for Transforming the Lives of Its Overseas Workers

Rowlinson Knitwear Recognised for Transforming the Lives of Its Overseas Workers

An independent survey by social impact company 60 Decibels has revealed Rowlinson Knitwear’s positive impact on workers’ health and wellbeing, economic status, workplace safety, worker satisfaction and quality of life.

Commissioned by the UK Department for International Development and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), 60 Decibels conducted telephone interviews with workers at New Horizon Bangladesh, the largest supplier to employee owned Rowlinson. The results confirm the positive impact of the school wear manufacturer’s ethical practices on workers’ health and wellbeing, economic status, workplace safety, worker satisfaction and quality of life.

Ken Edgar, Overseas Director at Rowlinson, commented: “We’re really proud that our ethical approach is helping to make life better for the skilled people who make our garments. We want all workers in our supply chain to be safe, well paid and healthy, because it’s right to demonstrate care for customers, colleagues, suppliers and factory workers alike. Being kind and doing good is in our DNA, as we strive to shape a more caring and environmentally-conscious economy for everyone.”

Rowlinson Knitwear Impact Survey Results:

Water Filter Initiative: Rowlinson has gifted over 730 large domestic water filters safeguarding the health of workers, their families and friends who might otherwise be at risk from drinking contaminated water. As a result, sickness is 47% lower, workers spend 46% less on medical costs and absenteeism is 39% lower. An ongoing initiative, qualifying employees also receive an annual replacement water filter kit to maintain their health and wellbeing.

 A Safe Workplace: Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a recognised gauge of satisfaction and loyalty, with a score above 50 considered excellent. The NPS among all workers at New Horizon is 58. The NPS among female workers at New Horizon is an outstanding 81. By contrast, 10% of female garment factory workers in Bangladesh are subjected to sexual harassment, molestation and assault in the workplace*

 Quality of Life: 90% of workers say working at New Horizon has improved or much improved their quality of life. They attribute this to better health, feeling safe, being paid more, being supported in the workplace, and not having to work overtime.

Rowlinson Knitwear achieved certification to The Planet Mark in 2018 and in doing so committed to reducing its carbon footprint, engaging its employees and communicating its results. 

The Planet Mark, founded in 2013 with the iconic Eden Project is a sustainability certification which recognises continuous improvements, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals.

 

A message from our CEO, Steve: Let’s keep positive; we are in this together.

A message from our CEO, Steve: Let’s keep positive; we are in this together.

Whenever there is a crisis, I am always awe struck by those that go out of their way to help others. Recently, I’ve seen neighbours sharing groceries, businesses offering helpful services, and communities singing together to keep spirits up. Likewise, we want to do everything we can to ensure we are helping you throughout these uncertain times.

We’re keeping a close eye on government advice and taking actions to keep our community and staff healthy. We have therefore decided to postpone our events, workshops and presentations for the time being. In the coming days, we will let you know about the fantastic digital solutions we will use to continue presentations online, run engaging workshops and manage an online community to share best practice. Our certification team is working non-stop to turn around The Planet Mark certificates and our communications team are producing content to keep your staff connected, motivated and positive. In our bi-weekly sustainability news roundup, we will share your positive stories. From virtual team drinks to the unique services you are offering your customers, so please let us know how your business is helping your staff and wider community.

We all share the same vision to create a thriving planet. The climate crisis remains a global challenge we must address, along with the current social and health crisis. We at The Planet Mark will continue to bring out the best in people, technology and nature to tackle both these issues. Our goal is to help you become more resilient and sustainable to our changing world. We will all be affected by the coronavirus in some way, be it personally or in business, so please let us know how The Planet Mark can help you. Together we are a collective force for good.

With best wishes and love,  

Steve  

Breakthrough Funding tackles own business impacts with The Planet Mark™

Breakthrough Funding tackles own business impacts with The Planet Mark™

Social impact business Breakthrough Funding has committed to tackling its own sustainability impacts year-on-year, by becoming a holder of The Planet Mark™.

Breakthrough Finance achieves The Planet Mark™

Breakthrough Funding is a ‘profit for purpose’ social enterprise. It helps innovators claim back their R&D tax and then puts half of the profits it earns from that activity into social impact projects.

The company has been awarded The Planet Mark™ for calculating the carbon footprint of its office in Ashford, Kent, for the year ending December 2017, and for committing to reduce its carbon emissions by 5% annually.

This year’s footprint includes emissions from electricity use in the building and fuel used by the fleet. It has also measured emissions from waste disposal, air and rail travel, water supply and treatment and from the production of paper used in the office.

The relative carbon footprint in year ending December 2017 was 0.90 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per employee and the total carbon footprint was 15.4 tCO2e.

Electricity emissions accounted for 36% of total emissions for the reporting period, followed by diesel from fleet vehicles which accounted for 29%.

On being presented with The Planet Mark™ Certificate(see picture), Breakthrough Funding said: “We were reasonably committed to The Planet Mark and looked at ways in which we can be a better corporate citizen not just for our staff and the local community, but in a wider environmental sense too. That’s why we signed up. But when Steve came to present our award and gave a really compelling presentation on investing in the Eden Project, protecting endangered rain forest and just what is happening to our planet everyone was totally hooked. We’re re-doubling our efforts for next year!”

Presenting the award, founder of The Planet Mark™ Steve Malkin, said: “I was overwhelmed by the positive ideas and actions from the team at the Breakthrough Funding. They already have team breakfasts, free staff fruit bowls and Friday drinks in place so there is a great company culture, but there is a real willingness to do more, from cut back on their paper usage to finding ways to reduce their energy consumption. It seems no stone will be left unturned and I can’t wait to see how their next certification goes.”

The Planet Mark™ Certificate recognises Breakthrough Funding’s good practice in sustainability, including: measuring carbon emissions from electricity, water, paper and travel investing in the Eden Project to support education on climate change storing 260 tCO2e by protecting one acre of endangered rainforest through the charity Cool Earth committing to engage employees and suppliers to drive improvements.

The Planet Mark™ was founded in 2013 with the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, and is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions.

Since it launched, The Planet Mark™ has certified over 100 organisations and helped holders of The Planet Mark™ cut their average carbon emissions per employee by 10% per annum.

Holders of The Planet Mark™ have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year.

The Planet Mark Awards 2018 Video

The Planet Mark Awards 2018 Video

Five years ago we took the bold step to launch a new sustainability brand – The Planet Mark. We wanted to do our bit to accelerate sustainability by making it easier for organisations to have more positive impacts on society and the environment.

Our five year anniversary awards showcased the outstanding achievements in sustainability from our diverse and growing community of holders. After a remarkable number of entries, 38 shortlisted finalists were whittled down by our esteemed panel of judges to 12 separate winners across four categories – Engage, Measure, Communicate and Overall.

 

Commercial, achieves certification to The Planet Mark by showing good practice in sustainability

Commercial, achieves certification to The Planet Mark by showing good practice in sustainability

The Planet Mark certification augments an impressive sustainability agenda held by Commercial, underpinned by The Queen’s Award for Enterprise, recognising outstanding achievements in social and environmental sustainability.

Commercial, headquartered in Cheltenham UK, is a leader in the procurement and distribution of office products, interiors, pre-printed material and computer consumables. They currently employee over 300 staff in various locations, including Leeds, London and their headquarters in Cheltenham

Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark, congratulated Commercial on their sustainability commitment: “Commercial is a company that is relentless in their pursuit of delivering their services as sustainably as possible, even before carbon and plastics were on the radar for most organisations. If you are not working with them and you want to make a difference, you should be considering switching your office supplies and equipment to Commercial.”

This is Commercial’s first year of business carbon footprint reporting with The Planet Mark. It calculated the emissions of its Cheltenham and London office operations for the year ending January 2018 and set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually. First year certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders.

“We are delighted to receive the Planet Mark certificate,” said Simone Hindmarch, Commercial’s Managing Director. “It recognises our continuous improvement in sustainability, and our commitment to taking ongoing, meaningful action. It’s an accreditation that reflects our commitment to sustainability in its broadest sense: environmental, social and economic. The Planet Mark also puts the same emphasis on an employee-led approach to continuous improvement that we do through our Change Champions initiative.”

This year’s report includes emissions from energy use in the building (natural gas, gas oil and purchased electricity), waste disposal, water supply and treatment, paper use in the office and travel.

To assist Commercial in achieving its sustainability goals, The Planet Mark team has made several recommendations, such as a company-wide energy audit and sustainability-focussed workshops for employees.

About Commercial

Commercial has an annualised turnover of £67 million, and is one of the UK’s largest independently owned business services groups. There are seven dedicated divisions: Office Supplies, Managed IT, Interiors, Print, MPS, Technology and Commercial Creative Systems, and the depth and breadth of expertise is a key factor in its ongoing success.

Responsible business practice is at the heart of Commercial’s ‘Commercial By Nature’ proposition. This is evident in the practical ways it helps clients boost efficiency and productivity. It is most apparent in the Group’s environmental, social and ethical credentials.

Commercial is also spearheading new ways to operate with purpose, delivering social value and enabling employees, suppliers and customers to become more socially aware and responsible.

Commercial is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, HP Gold Preferred Partner and VMWare VIP Enterprise Partner. It has ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and FSC Chain of Custody certifications and was the first company in its sector to be CarbonNeutral®, Zero Waste and a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative.

The Planet Mark

The Planet Mark is an internationally recognised and trusted sustainability certification programme, recognising commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Partnered with the Eden Project, The Planet Mark contributes 5% of all certification fees to the award-winning visitor attraction. Each certification also comes with 12 free tickets to Eden Project, encouraging organisations to learn more about climate change and the importance of biodiversity. The first-year certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders. In subsequent years, holders of The Planet Mark have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year. The average absolute carbon reduction achieved by holders is 4% per annum and 12% per employee per annum.