Ollie James joins the panel at the Sustainability & Brand Performance event

November 1, 2018

Last week we saw Proctors’ Business Development Director, Ollie James, team up with Robert Half Creative and The Planet Mark Start to host a panel talk on sustainability in business at the The Floating Harbour in Bristol.

Aimed at inspiring local marketing professionals, brand representatives and creatives alike were welcomed aboard to examine the industry in today’s world and discuss how we as businesses can successfully promote a brand through sustainability.

It’s no surprise that the fastest growing environmental issue is sustainable businesses. Due to increased global concerns about climate change and the shocking impact caused by non-sustainable working practices, we’re more aware than ever of the consequences our climate faces if we don’t act now.

CEO of Planet First and founder of The Planet Mark™, inspirational speaker and leading light in the sustainability sector, Steve Malkin, was the compere/MC for the evening. Joining Ollie on the panel were guest speakers Livvy Drake, Sustainability Consultant from Sustainable Sidekicks, Nathan Williams, Associate Director at Coutts Banking, and Andrew Redman, Managing Director of Realise Design.

The event was an amazing opportunity for creatives from all realms to come together, examine the industry and discuss how digital marketers – who are so closely connected to brands – can effectively encourage change.  

So, what is a sales guy from a B2B marketing and communications agency doing at a sustainability event I hear you ask?

Ollie had this to say (in just three minutes by the way!);

“I believe that in order to make positive change with your clients and colleagues, you need to have a sustainable business yourself.

“In terms of running your business, you look at your profitability, the people and the planet – in that order…

“Now, that might be a controversial thing to say. But when I’m talking about profitability, I’m essentially talking about sustainability and longevity for your business. If you have a sustainable business, you give yourself a platform from which to launch powerful programmes that can start to affect change!

“Proctors has been an established business for over 40 years in Bristol. And we know there’s no point in reaching out to clients about sustainability without making sure that these ethics are being carried out within our own business.

“As a sustainable business, Proctors has been able to put projects in motion. For example: our new office renovation.

“We have a carbon-neutral building, powered by solar panels and an electric car company policy. We’re also one of the first companies in the UK to use a coating called CristalACTiV on the side of our building which sucks in CO2. I’m not just saying this to blow our own trumpet. I’m saying this because all of these things have allowed us to align ourselves as a sustainable business.

“With a focus on sustainability, we’ve been able to attract other businesses who have and believe in the same ethics. And without this, we wouldn’t have been able to work with the clients we have.

“So, in closing, you can use your sustainability drive to align yourself with clients and ultimately win new business. But also, it’s important to us here at Proctors to use creativity and positive messaging to align your brand with potential customers and win new business by being green.”

The talks were rounded off by a panel discussion with Ollie, Livvy, Sean and Nathan answering questions from the audience which inevitably led to lively but healthy (there were no chairs thrown) debate about how to market better, not greener.

Livvy Drake from Sustainable Sidekicks also said:

“Behaviour change is a particular interest of mine when looking at sustainability. At Shambala I ran a number of behaviour-change campaigns, including a coffee cup latte levy, and have since studied an MA module in Behaviour Change at UWE to really understand how and why humans do and don’t engage with sustainability issues.”

And on that note, we’ll leave you with Ollie’s words of wisdom…

“Be the change you want to BE” – he definitely meant ‘see’. But it was a lovely closing sentiment either way.

To finish off the night, we had the opportunity to sign up to the sustainable certification programme and network with representatives from a range of sectors.

Kate Gardner, Creative & Marketing specialist from Robert Half and organiser of this wonderful event said:

“The event enabled the audience to examine the effects that actions have on the environment, where our planet could be in the coming years and the changes we can make to protect the environment for generations to come. All in all, the event drew a good-sized crowd who all took away a deeper understanding of using brand to make greener change.”

If you’d like to hear about upcoming events that Ollie James will be participating in, just send us an email at marketing@proctors.co.uk.