Can you briefly intro Planet Mark and what your mission is?
Planet Mark is a sustainability certification for every type of organisation, for real estate and for products. Our certification recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals who make a world of difference. We believe we must all work together to embrace sustainability. We work passionately with organisations to empower their people, to halt the climate crisis and improve society in everything they do. And by working this way we will build a sustainable brighter future for us and our planet.
Please tell us about the background story of Planet Mark?
Planet Mark CEO and Founder, Steve Malkin, and Co-Founder of Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit KBE, began Planet Mark as a truly effective, people-driven sustainability certification for any organization of any size, in any sector, anywhere in the world. Their shared belief in working together to embrace sustainability laid the groundwork for the Planet Mark’s mission. Since our launch in 2013, the Planet Mark community has grown exponentially but our mission has remained the same: to build a sustainable, brighter future for us and our planet. As a people-driven organization, we have continuously been improving and adapting our certification to meet our members’ needs. This includes measuring contributions to society and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
You have an amazing community of members across a range of industries – any you’d like to mention?
Yes, we do! Our members span across all industries, they are taking climate action, contributing to society, and encouraging others to do the same. We have some great organisations helping reduce plastic waste including:
- The Beeswax Wrap Co. create beeswax and vegan wax wraps as a plastic-free alternative to clingfilm. They also host plastic-free and low-impact driven video tutorials on their website to encourage customers to live a sustainable, packaging-free life beyond their own products.
- Thakeham have recently completed a plastic stream analysis to improve its process to tackle single-use plastic, move towards a more circular economy for plastic and minimise the climate impacts of plastic use in construction.
- Bywaters, a recycling company has been focusing efforts on combating plastic pollution by recycling 100% of the plastic it collects and partnering with organisations like Sky Ocean Rescue to educate people on ocean plastic.
- Solupak strive to reduce the amount of single-use plastic within the cleaning industry. Their ‘Bottle 4 Life’ initiative aims to expand the shelf life of its packaging, minimising the amount of waste along the chain.
What does the rest of this year have in store for Planet Mark?
We have a jammed packed rest of the year. Since our virtual launch in May, the Zero Carbon Tour has been taking the net zero message to the business community across the UK and globally, inspiring organisations to take collaborative and decisive action to shape a brighter future. We’ve already engaged over 500+ individuals through our Net Zero Essentials Workshops and Open Mic Sessions. In August, we will continue to build on the brilliant work already being done by businesses and spread the message even further! We’ll be gathering stories and examples of innovation that we will take to COP26 in November.
We will also be hosting our annual Planet Mark Awards in November which shines a light on our member companies and individuals that have gone above and beyond to see great success. We look forward to celebrating the amazing work they are doing, as well as network and learn from other businesses in the community.
What are your Top recommendations for plastic-free alternatives ?
We always encourage our team to find new habits and solutions to the plastic revolution. We constantly ask ourselves questions like do we really need this? And if so, can we buy it in an alternative way? With more plastic-free alternatives than ever, living a sustainable lifestyle has become accessible. From our kitchens to our regimes, members of our team have already made small, easy swaps to live more sustainably. This includes refusing plastic straws when dining out, carrying reusable water bottles, using bamboo toothbrushes and reusable shopping bags. We try to shop at our local zero waste shop, making the plastic-free shopping experience a lot easier. These are becoming more popular with over 200+ zero waste shops across the UK with the goal of encouraging shoppers to fill up their own containers and jars with produce. Here are some other plastic-free recommendations:
- Shampoo bars – the UK throw away 520 million shampoo bottles annually. Shampoo bars are a great alternative and work just as well.
- Purchasing organic produce – each year supermarkets use 17.7bn wrappers for fruit, vegetables and salads. Farmer markets or organic stores often use less plastic packaging. There has also been significant progress in refill stations.
- We’re continuing the conversation and broadening our impact by inviting others to choose to refuse single-use plastic. You can find more ways your business can reduce their plastic waste here.
Any other sustainable tips you’d like to share?
Doing your bit for our planet doesn’t have to be complicated. Understanding your impact is critical to guiding your strategy to reduce it. Big transformations begin with the smallest changes, so take a ‘little by little’ approach, where every small action contributes to the greater good. Part of this is continual and shared learning to drive progress and improvement. For lots more tips on reducing plastic and general waste, we recommend watching the below webinars: