Let’s start with the truth on this subject – sustainability and doing it ‘right’ as a business is actually a really hard thing to navigate. We’re figuring it out ourselves and it’s the aim that improving our understanding remains a work in progress infinitely, because the work should never be done, we can always do better. To credit where we are now though, is to credit the team. We don’t struggle to galvanise them to get behind our sustainability goals, in fact it’s quite easy. That’s been part of our journey. A few years back, we grappled with the challenge of elevating our actions and with queries about where to start. Where we landed was beginning with our own internal team and we’ve taken a few fairly simple steps to ensure we’re all aligned internally on genuinely caring about the environmental impact of our business, how to help our clients do better, and how to make action happen.
There’s no better time to start than now, so here are our top four pieces of advice for building your sustainability culture internally.
Ditch the dull presentations with repetitive green backgrounds and cliché tree images.
To inspire change, the cause needs to be understandable and engaging. People cannot incite change if they don’t understand why they need to. Our internal sustainability team – Team Green, have hosted themed workshops on energy, water, and food as a starting point for providing valuable insights into the global impacts of climate change and our industry’s role. They have also invited brands and advocates such as Ocean Bottle and Morally Made to share tips and advice. Sustainability discussions can be daunting, but these sessions create an inclusive environment. Team Green have also introduced challenges which inject some fun, for example ‘Startober’ in the month of October saw each of the team take on a sustainable challenge of the month. Accessible and lively information sparks interest, motivation, and facilitates open dialogue. Armed with the tools and knowledge, our team can extend these conversations to external stakeholders and clients.
As of 2023, we proudly uphold our ISO 14001 and 20121 certifications after a thorough audit.
Many brands use ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘sustainably created’ labels, often engaging in greenwashing. At our core, we value official accreditations and certifications as crucial benchmarks that hold us accountable, foster continuous improvement, and enable us to get recommendations from experienced professionals. These endorsements provide goals for the team to work towards, whilst also validating that our business practices align with declared standards, also assuring clients that we not only align with their ESG goals but go the extra mile for our own efforts.
Every team member at Marble has sustainability-related targets as part of their KPIs to ensure we maintain our collective responsibility.
Once sustainability-related actions become embedded in everyone’s everyday roles, it doesn’t feel like an extra or stressful responsibility. Remove the obstacles that are likely to demotivate your team. We have Slack channels for sharing sustainable inspo and resources to help each other out. Again, making it fun and engaging.
Is any sustainability mission easy? No. But together, we can create an outcome greater than one created in silo.
Our internal sustainability team – Team Green, was set up by our Head of Sustainability – Emi Perez-Fragero for this exact reason. Bringing fresh perspectives, solutions and motivations by having members from every department come together to prioritise our sustainability progress.
At the start of 2023, we also prioritised collaboration with people outside of Marble, curating a number of carefully chosen partnerships, which looking back after a year, have been intrinsic in our development. For example, we are proud to be members of isla – an organisation driving the event industry to a more sustainable future. Isla has enabled us to take part in event industry training, speak at events, and to lean on the knowledge of other businesses in their network that share our values and goals.
In 2024, you’ll see us continuing with these four pillars. Excitingly, we’ve also submitted our application for B Corp and our Team Green have been shortlisted as Team of the Year in the Edie awards, a reflection of 2023 and our incredible progress. As with everything, our real strengths next year will lie in a robust sustainability strategy that moves us towards tangible goals – we look forward to sharing this transparently, and inviting you to learn with us on our journey.
We share all of our sustainability achievements and updates on LinkedIn, follow us here.