The Waterline

26 February 2021

BY BILL WALKER, MARKETING HUMBER CHAIR

Marketing Humber is an SME, like many in the region. We have a big influence, but we are a small team in a small office, with limited resources. Like every business we have a long-standing carbon footprint which is embedded into our day-to-day operations. This needs to change.

 

But where to start?

On launching the fabulous Waterline Campaign to highlight regional needs and opportunities in low carbon we started to look at our own carbon footprint; how we could make immediate changes to ‘walk the talk’; how we could help others take the first steps, no matter how small, to make a difference.

Encouraging others would be hollow if we did not pursue remedial action ourselves. We knew we wanted to reduce our carbon footprint, to recycle and repurpose where we could and to offset operations we could not make a substantial impact on directly. The first step for us was to produce our own sustainability statement – a framework and a commitment for us to follow in everything we do.

How did we do it?

The team sat down and outlined four key aims:

  • Lead by example and encourage others to take similar steps
  • Prevent pollution and minimise waste,
  • Improve our energy efficiency
  • Consider the environmental impacts of our supply chain

Our journey

To begin with we reviewed our day-to-day activities, looking at what we could measure such as energy, waste and fuel, identifying the ‘quick wins’ to make a difference. These include moving to a 100% renewable energy provider, introducing recycling bins, using less plastic, turning off appliances, minimising travel; small, simple, but hugely impactful, changes.

The COVID-19 pandemic, with more working from home and greater use of digital communications, highlighted how readily many more changes were possible than we initially considered.

As a result, we looked at changing some of our operations for the long term: embracing digital solutions for team working and marketing/event management, using only recycled materials, building a sustainable and local supply chain, and retaining remote and agile working.

We will also encourage our supply chain to work sustainably in all that they do.

Carbon we can’t remove

However, there are some things we can’t practicably remove altogether from our carbon output, such as travel for event speakers and business travel for the team. In such cases we will lessen their impact by specifically offsetting the carbon we can’t remove..

Living our sustainability statement

Of course, operating sustainably isn’t just about writing a document. It is about constantly evolving as a way of doing business. Marketing Humber will seek out opportunities and top tips to keep ourselves and our business friends on the sustainability journey, sharing knowledge from our networks and working with experts in the field.

Most importantly, we will keep learning from others, taking small, incremental steps when the giant ones need more time, and encouraging others to embark on their own sustainability journeys.

Our sustainability statement is a public document, including signposts to some tools we will use to lessen our impact on the environment. You can read it here.

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