Sustainable Innovation

The word eco comes from the Greek word oikos – meaning home. And we use it in economy and ecology because you can’t make a profit on a dead planet.

Plastigeddon! Packaging hell! CSR to CSV. Suddenly doing good is the new cool. This generation (tale end of Millenials and start of Gen Z) want more from you. Want you to care more, use less resources, pollute less, but still sell them things at the same price. I welcome this new-found zeal for sustainability, even though the science is sometimes missing (not all plastic is bad, it’s what we do with it that makes it bad – or good). Having a purpose, giving a damn, building companies that care for more than profit is fast becoming normal as the old way of doing business, The Apprentice way of doing business, is dying with the dinosaurs that bought it in. Built-in not bolted-on is now normal. The circular economy is the only economy. I’m good at sustainability. I should be. I’ve been doing it for years. I see economy and ecology as one thing. At the last count I had saved my clients over £125,000,000 from the environmental work I’ve done with them (that’s an annual figure).

I tried to introduce Plan A in 2000 when working for Asda. Too revolutionary, too early. I set up the UK’s first green business club in 1992, ran the UK’s first supply-chain environmental programme in 1996, delivered a project that linked quality and environment that received plaudits from HRH Prince Charles, was an early player in the Ethical Trading Initiative, and am an alumni of the University of Cambridge Programme for Industry.  I have worked with Amazon, John Lewis, Samsung, Unilever, P&G, Thorntons, Innocent, Kyocera, Orangebox and the RSA on sustainability projects.

With galloping population growth, the “bourgeoisification” of the world population and the strategic challenges of resource supply we have to change what we do and how we do it. This isn’t about austerity. It’s about getting more value with less input. This is good for business. This is good for us.

I build effective sustainability strategies that uses sustainability as a stimulus for innovation rather than a brake. One of the team at John Lewis said of my sustainability training: “Mark ran a series of workshops for John Lewis that one partner described as ‘the best two hours of my John Lewis career’. Need I say more? His boundless energy and enthusiasm left a lasting affect on our directorate. If you are looking for someone who will shake up perspectives and change mindsets then Mark is your man! “

RS Components

The word eco comes from the Greek word Oikos. This means home. Eco is shared with economy and ecology. Both mean keeping your house in order. They are the same thing. Our work with RS Components demonstrates this beautifully. We have identified over £3 million of savings and reduced waste and carbon impact massively. The produce we worked on saw sales increases of 18,000%. We’ve even won awards for this work. RS like us, their main man says "I have worked with Mark in a variety of companies for 10 years now...Mark has proved himself in all fields...proved himself to be a first class mentor. His work with us has gone on to win a number of awards". Working with RS we have saved over £3.6 million.

The Great Recovery

Mark is one of the lead facilitator on this RSA and Innovate UK funded project that promotes the benefits of the circular economy in terms of resource use, skills and ethics. The programme links designers to waste and the end-of-life impacts of their decisions. It also links academics, scientists, marketing and brand, innovators, and users. The circular economy is more than just a trinket in the jewellery box of modern business language. It is the only way to do business. Mark develops new products, services and business models around circular design principle. Mark has worked with clients including Samsung, P&G, the BRC and Novatech to make the circular economy a reality. He has developed a simple circular business model tool with We All Design and runs workshops and delivers support on new business model development. The work we did for Samsung on this project was really well received "Mark facilitated a great workshop for us ....we're now into the implementation phase...Mark added a lot to our ability to move things forward".

Mark’s Infrequent Newsletter

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