Last week, we attended the Blue Earth Summit – an inspiring event bringing together sustainably minded businesses to collaborate and take action on climate. We enjoyed listening to several panels, attending workshops, and speaking to likeminded people at our stand too.

Here are some of the panels and workshops that inspired us over the three-day event.

Is regenerative business possible?

Panel: Juliet Davenport (Founder of Good Energy), Andres Roberts (Bio Leadership Project), Kresse Wesling (Elvis and Kresse), John Elkington (Bestselling author)

This panel of entrepreneurs discussed the steps businesses must take to be truly regenerative. Lessons drawn from personal experience included taking risks, being motivated by how much good they can do and moving quickly on environmental issues in areas where the Government are lagging behind.

Kresse Wesling shared how she bought a delapidated farm to house the headquarters of her reclaimed-waste lifestyle accessory business, Elvis and Kresse, with the aim of bringing it back to health; and becoming a net regenerative business.

For Good Energy Founder, Juliet Davenport, this involved crowdfunding to grow Good Energy – one of the first forms of public crowdfunding in the UK. Many are still investors in the company today.

And for Andres Roberts, it has involved founding the Bio Leadership Project – a consultancy that challenges businesses to be part of the solution to climate change, rather than sustaining the way things have always been done.

International collaboration for climate – this is the future

Panel: Nana Akua Busia, Isaac Ndyamuhaki, Makafui Awuku, Emmanuel Ameyaw, Ben Hewitt

This panel brought together people taking on-the-ground action to tackle the environmental and health challenges within their communities.

Isaac Ndyamuhaki shared how his social enterprise, Asili Kwanza Uganda, is tackling indoor air pollution and reducing wood usage, by providing low-cost, smoke-free briquettes for cooking, created from waste materials.

Nana Akua Afriyie Busia discussed how Ghana’s NAAB foundation is improving climate literacy in schools, and supporting young people to advocate for climate justice. And Emmanuel Ameyaw talked about setting up The Climate Insight, which reports on climate and environmental initiatives in Ghana and provides training in climate reporting and communications.

Driving immersive, impactful and inclusive campaigns

Panel: Joss Ford & Emmanuella Blake-Morsi (Enviral), Daniel Webb (Big Plastic Count), Poku Pipum Osei FRSA (Babbasa)  

This panel discussed how campaigns and messages are most powerful when they find creative and authentic ways to involve their audiences.  

To illustrate their point, the panel shared the success of the Big Plastic Count – a Greenpeace-backed campaign encouraging people to count the plastic they use over a week. This creative, inclusive and authentic launch video led to over 97,000 households taking part in the campaign, highlighting the true scale of our plastic problem.  

In a similar workshop, Daniel Salzer from Enviral shared examples of companies being on the right side of greenwashing in their marketing – and on the wrong side.

Wake up and smell the pollution

Panel: Hugo Tagholm (Oceana UK) and Danielle Mulder (Group Director of Sustainability, BBC)

This interview discussed the increasingly strong role the BBC takes in engaging audiences on climate issues.

Earlier this year the BBC launched the journalism climate commitment – a pledge to share the whole story of climate change, citing the latest nature and climate science and holding people in power to account.

Danielle proudly shared the success of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2, which aired in 2017. The marine-documentary mixed beautiful filmography with powerful storytelling, and generated long lasting interest and action on plastic reduction in the UK.  

Apathy kills: so let’s do something about it

Workshop led by Dominic Winter, Protect our Winters UK

Protect our Winters UK is on a mission to empower people that love outdoor pursuits to be effective climate advocates. Group discussion focused on the biggest barriers to sustainability within our organisations, and how to organise and mobilise people for imperfect yet effective climate advocacy.

Dominic also encouraged us to join Protect our Winters’ latest campaign by sending a virtual postcard to the Secretary of State for Net Zero, urging them to get the UK on track. You can take part here.

What will the future business paradigm look like?

Panel: Fran Woodward (Good Energy), Jayn Sterland (Weleda), Saffia Minney MBE (Fashion Declares), Oswald Anonadaga (FloodGates Limited)

Leaders from energy, tech, fashion and wellbeing showed that responding to the climate emergency looks different depending on the context of your sector. Common themes included long-term thinking and decisions based on the company’s founding purpose, and a commitment to supporting sustainable development rather than rapid growth. 

The panel also discussed how embedding inclusion and accessibility is also essential – for example providing living wages and skilled dignified work for garment workers; and designing sustainable solutions that work in local contexts.

Can we decentre humans from the boardroom?

Panel: Tim Smit (Eden Project), Brontie Maria Ansell (Lawyers for Nature), Kai Njeri (Regenerative systems thinker), Simeon Rose (Faith in Nature)  

This thought-provoking talk explored boundary-pushing possibilities for giving nature a voice within business. Brontie Maria Ansell and Simeon Rose discussed how Faith in Nature has legally included ‘nature’ as a stakeholder in its business, with a voice and vote on the board.

Kai Njeri and Brontie Maria Ansell raised the need for a shift in mindset from seeing nature as a resource, to relearning to see ourselves as part of nature. Our actions for nature must be authentic and included in how we live and work – not just used for PR, marketing or to drive profit. 

Attending the event has only strengthened our commitment to help businesses to cut carbon from their energy usage – and push towards net zero together.

If you want to power your business with renewable power, build your own generation assets, or earn more from your generation assets – please get in touch.