Eden Project inspires drive for more sustainable businesses

The Planet Mark Start with Eden Project

YTKO, in partnership with Planet Mark were the lead partners for delivery of the Planet Mark Start programme in the local authority areas of Bristol, Bath and N.E. Somerset and South Gloucestershire. This EU-funded sustainability programme, backed by the Eden Project, helped coach businesses on sustainability, teaching SMEs and start-ups ways to reduce their carbon emissions, cut energy bills and become environmentally sustainable. The project’s ethos was that business sustainability is a global issue that must be tackled locally.

Rapid advancements in technology help to reduce inefficiencies, cutting both cost and environmental impact. Equally, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of how their purchasing decisions contribute to their carbon footprint and are seeking out businesses that support them in their goal to lead a less wasteful life.

Thank you for your engaging, exciting and informative workshop surpassing all expectations. I would recommend the course to anyone, rating it as a ‘must attend’ session. 

The workshop had lots of practical examples enabling me understand the true benefits of sustaining our planet.  I anticipate my sustainability strategy will grow, reaching into as many of the sustainable development goals as possible. 

Katrina McWhinnie, Founder – the McWhinnie Consultancy

Incorporating sustainability into business goals is set to become the rule rather than the exception. With a business’ reputation now relying more than ever on its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment, small businesses stand to see significant growth if they reduce their waste.
Reducing paper consumption is just one example, while remote working can also reduce a business’ carbon footprint. Also, by working with more ethical suppliers and seeking out ways to reduce packaging, SMEs can win over new customers and bolster their reputation.

Reducing paper consumption is just one example, while remote working can also reduce a business’ carbon footprint. Also, by working with more ethical suppliers and seeking out ways to reduce packaging, SMEs can win over new customers and bolster their reputation.

I found it very useful and a nice injection of motivation to keep pushing on with my sustainable business setup. 

Chiara – Founder & Creative Lead at Hyphae

YTKO worked with consortium partners to support over 700 SME businesses through a series of events, workshops and 1:2:1 support; this included the development and launch of a digital toolkit to specifically help SMEs understand their carbon footprint.

After taking local action to enhance their sustainability, businesses were awarded formal accreditation that demonstrated their commitment to taking global climate action to suppliers and customers.

Together the project made a real change to how SMEs engaged in the sustainability agenda and contributed to a reduction of approximately 550 tonnes of CO2. Planet Mark accredited organisations achieve outstanding results and cut their carbon emissions by 12% per employee per year on average.

One of The Planet Mark Start’s key success stories is the Young Entrepreneurs Network Association (YENA), a Bristol-based online platform and acceleration community for start-ups:

We believe that any business should care deeply about the impact it has on the world. We refuse to run a business that has a net-loss on the environment and the people within it. Becoming The Planet Mark Start! accredited was a natural choice for us. The ability to know, and show, that we are doing good as a by-product of the work we’re doing, helping with reforestation and lowering emissions by operating in a lean way, sets a standard not only for our future as a company and our peers, but also the hundreds of start-ups in our community at YENA.

Ash Phillips – YENA Founder