The Planet Mark Start! Half-Day Workshop

The Planet Mark Start! Half-Day Workshop

Our lives have dramatically changed in the last few months. As we begin to rebuild, we have an opportunity re-imagine a better future; one that balances our economic, environmental, and social impacts. How will your organisation fit into this new economy?

Through December 2020, we are offering our Planet Mark Start! Workshops free of charge to businesses of up to 5 people. We are doing this to support small businesses during this challenging time, and to help them accelerate out the other side of the pandemic with sustainability built into their business strategies.  

The Planet Mark Start! is a digital and interactive programme, delivered by sustainability experts, to help you build back better. Whether you are a sole-trader, or start-up, this course will give you a well-rounded approach to kickstart your sustainability journey.

You will be able to develop a sustainability plan for your business, create a strong and positive brand, and reap many practical business benefits, including profitability.  

Through the workshops, we aim to help businesses be more resilient – to the climate crisis, pandemics, and other uncertainties in our ever-changing world. We do this through reviewing the business case for sustainability and introducing you to the tools you need to reduce your environmental impact and increase your social value.

This aligns with our commitment to ‘build back better’, towards a regenerative economy that works for everyone.

Certification to The Planet Mark Start! will help you…

  • Identify the global issues affecting every business
  • Understand the business case for taking action on them
  • Create a bespoke sustainability vision and a plan to realise it
  • Learn how to engage your employees, suppliers, customers and communities
  • Discover how to effectively communicate your sustainability progress
Ecopreneurs who are changing the future towards sustainability

Ecopreneurs who are changing the future towards sustainability

Though he’s always been interested in both natural and social sciences, David Buckley, Founder of The Summit Path, remembers being bitten by the sustainability bug while studying human ecology at university. Along with a host of entrepreneurs, David recently attended The Planet Mark Start! and Yena workshop, where he completed a sustainability plan and received free certification to the programme.

“Sustainability is fundamentally built into my character, and subsequently into The Summit Path as a business, he says. Nowadays, Start-ups have the opportunity to create a new business model, one that starts with a vision of sustainability at the core and captures an ecosystem of customers along the way that shows that a ‘sustainable business model’ isn’t an unprofitable one”

David has always been fascinated to learn about the ways in which the natural environment not only contributed to humanity’s existence but also by how these systems might be optimally harnessed to fuel performance in the realms of business, sport and the arts.

“If you make a strong business case for something, there is a real opportunity for change. As a result, I thought I would embark on starting my own organisation, experimenting with these practices, both to serve clients and to set an example. “

Perhaps there’s no greater testament to David’s conviction than his business, The Summit Path- a cutting-edge provider of coaching for peak mental performance.

“One of the reasons I established The Summit Path was to help with the interactions and relationships between individuals, other people and the environment, “whether that’s working with an athlete to enhance control and focus, or to help a business devise strategies to help staff working under sales pressures. “

“The majority of our work is revolved around working with and dealing with performance-based and subsequently high-pressure environments and building the capacity of our clients, so they are in tune with their thinking and know-how to be their best at the times that are important to them.”

Separating business growth from resource consumption, he explains, necessitates innovation and helps dislocate deeply- entrenched consumer behaviours.

The biggest thing I learnt when I started was the importance of challenging perceptions from the outset. For that reason, we donate 5% of clients purchases to supporting grassroots social and environmental causes. This means our clients are directly investing in themselves, others and our environment every time they use our services. The Summit Path had a unique opportunity to do this because of the nature of our work. The expectation is that when clients come and see us there will be a therapy room or meeting room, but this is not the case, we encourage people to take a walk, a lot of our work is outside, we don’t want to waste resources on energy or anything like that.

The search for competitive advantage is an ongoing quest for all businesses, and one that the younger generation have embraced, David explains.

“In other young entrepreneurs I see a thirst to want to do things differently, I can understand that incorporating sustainable practices may challenge short term gain and I can see why isn’t always as high on people’s agendas as it should be. But that is where start-ups have a unique opportunity. It is disproportionately difficult to make fundamental changes once a business has been established, so if you can sit down, see your impacts and address them from the outset, take the opportunity.”

David was one of many start- up owners that attended The Planet Mark Start! and Yena sustainability event on the 3rd September, a workshop designed to provide free sustainability planning, marketing and certification for their business.

“Networking events such as these are so important, there is a room full of like-minded individuals sharing ideas and best practices, and it provides a unique opportunity to trade thoughts with other young entrepreneurs.”


Backed by ERDF funding, The Planet Mark and Bristol 24/7 have teamed up to host Better Business Bristol, a sustainability event for start-ups based in the south-west. The free workshops, events and training will help a business to build the ‘business case’ for sustainability. Incorporating elements of social, environmental and energy efficiency to create a green solution which works for them.


Date & Time

Thurs, October 24, 2019

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM BST

Add to Calendar


Origin Workspace.
40 Berkeley Square

Buckling under the heat or innovating to keep us cool: The need for entrepreneurs to tackle climate change

Buckling under the heat or innovating to keep us cool: The need for entrepreneurs to tackle climate change

We don’t do inertia at The Planet Mark™. Like other organisations in our field, we balance awareness of the big issues with practical steps to make a positive difference.  What we also add is a dose of urgency and a sprinkling of uplifting fun to help encourage us all to do more, faster.

For anyone with an eye on the future (be it loved ones, a love for the planet, self-preservation or simply wanting to do the right thing), 2018 is another rallying call to work harder and better at reducing carbon emissions.

The heatwaves this summer and their affects, from drought to wildfires, have reminded many that 2018 is on target to be the 4th hottest since records began.  2018 will make it 17 of the hottest years on record since 2000, with only outlier being 1998 when there was a record El Nino.

Global average surface temperature is increasing as we continue to emit carbon emissions and its effects are now being felt by all of us, around the world.  Whilst some business owners are buckling under the heat, many more are turning to us and asking how do we do our bit to tackle climate change?

The answer can be narrowed into three opportunities to make a difference:

  1. Make your business operations more efficient and lower carbon

Understanding the impacts of your business is the essential first step because you can then focus on where you can do better.  The Planet Mark Start! programme, which is free to many start-ups and small businesses in Bristol and the local area, helps you immediately identify your impacts and set actions and targets to improve them.  If possible, start measuring your carbon emissions (see our guide), and you can quantify and report your carbon savings and your contribution to tackling climate change.

  1. Choose suppliers who are committed to sustainability

Who you work with says much about your business and sustainability offers an opportunity to collaborate to create better products and services.  Ask your suppliers if they measure and reduce their carbon emissions and how they can help you do the same.  You are unlikely to be the first to ask and most suppliers are keen to help and make relationships stickier.  It can be a great way to reduce carbon in your value chain.

  1. Explore opportunities to innovate to reduce carbon emissions in your products and services

Perhaps the biggest ticket item is how you can innovate to reduce carbon in your products and services.  How can you make a product that is not only low carbon but can also deliver carbon saving for others?  Typically, this is best done once you have steps 1 and 2 underway, i.e. you understand your impacts and are engaging your supply chain as it can only be done in collaboration.  And this is where opportunity can exist and is especially exciting for environmental entrepreneurs.

Our trajectory is for a warming planet.  How warm depends upon us.  It is a time for the brave, who won’t buckle under the heat, who won’t give in to inertia but will work together to create a better way of living. But the question for many is, not what can we do, but how to start doing something positive?

World Weather Attribution (WWA) research revealed that our extreme summer weather has been made twice as likely as a result of man-made climate change.  “What was once regarded as unusually warm weather will become commonplace, and in some cases, it already has. This is something that society can and should prepare for,” said Friederike Otto, at the University of Oxford and part of the WWA consortium

Whilst this is true, at The Planet Mark™ and YENA we believe that we can do something to turn down the wick of our supper-heated summers and provide a balm to our scorched Earth.

We want to play our part in stimulating the Innovation and the power of our ingenuity to create positive change and solutions.

YENA and The Planet Mark Start!

YENA and The Planet Mark Start!

As part of the build up to our joint sustainability and networking event on the 3rd of September, we are running a series of thought pieces around sustainable development.

We are living in a period that is nothing short of a business revolution.  It is being driven by some of the most profound changes in the environment from climate change to plastic pollution.  And as each day goes by, more comes to light about our impact on the planet and innovation that is being developed to put it right.

Bristol leads the way

From long before it won Green Capital status and consistently since Bristol has led the way in sustainability in the UK.

It’s not by chance that YENA was founded in this great city and then rolled out nationwide.  And it is the initiative of Bristol City Council and its neighbours that The Planet Mark Start programme is being launched here.

Sustainability Networking event

YENA members will keep the innovation coming. The YENA Sustainability Networking event with The Planet Mark Start! is designed to help put sustainability at the centre of your business or proposition so that you, your business, wider society and ultimately our planet will benefit.

Look out for our sustainability news in the coming days and weeks and we look forward to seeing you on the 3rd of September at The Strawberry Thief, 26 Broad Street Bristol, BS12HG.