His name is roaring across the world. His name makes us feel anger and anguish; and rightly so. People are losing their lives and live in fear. His murder represents hundreds of years of oppression, trauma and injustice Black and Brown people have dealt with on a daily basis; and not just in the US. In the UK, Grenfell victims are still struggling, the Windrush generation still needs support, and symbols of slavery still need to be torn down. Racism has no borders.
At The Planet Mark, the murder of George Floyd has made us examine ourselves. We have constantly said that our purpose is to empower all people to create a thriving planet; and together we are a collective force for good. To achieve our purpose, we have focused our attention on ending the climate crisis and broadly creating social value. Today we recognise that it is not enough. It has been in our DNA to treat everyone with respect and compassion, but not being racist is not enough. As we learn, we grow, and we change.
Today we commit to being positively anti-racist. When Covid-19 hit, we, like every business, had to evolve quickly, and the murder of George Floyd is having the same impact. We will not be bystanders. Over the last couple of weeks, we started educating ourselves, we had open conversations about racism and discrimination as a team, and we have started putting processes in place to get our house in order and help our members do the same.
We also commit to being positively anti-discriminatory. Within our team we shared experiences of discrimination because of age, disability, gender, pregnancy, maternity, height, race, immigration, accents, socio-economic backgrounds, sex, and sexual orientation. This was an eye-opener for us all. These stories came from a 20–person team, so imagine the issues faced by everyone in the world.
It is self-evident that discrimination is not segmented. When discriminations intersect in one person, the trauma multiplies, and we must recognise that Black and Brown people often experience the most discrimination in our world. For example, climate racism exists because those affected the most are people in countries with primarily Black and Brown populations. Moreover, black women are most affected overall.
It is clear that now is the time for action. As with all things, we will act in line with The Planet Mark Values: We are transformative, ambitious, optimistic, collaborative, and robust. We are at the start of our journey, and we will do more, but for now, here are our immediate plans:
We are putting the force in “Force for good”
As we work to solve some of the world’s biggest problems and create a thriving planet, we will take a stronger stance on all matters; including racism. We will use our reach and influence to urgently change people’s hearts and minds, therefore you will see a change in our tone of voice while staying positive at all times. The death of George Floyd has lit a fire under us, as we hope it has others.
We will transform ourselves
Our goal is to create a happy and healthy culture, where people can bring their whole selves to work.
- We will learn by listening to our team, educating ourselves, and bring in experts to help us improve quickly.
- We will be empathetic: We will let ourselves feel the emotions associated with injustice so we will be empowered to take serious action. We know that a connection with nature makes people take climate action, so feelings are just as important as knowledge.
- We will be ambitious: We will set targets that lead to serious action. From our hiring processes to procurement, we want to go beyond best practice so that we can move the dial quickly.
We will collaborate with our members
Our goal is to help our members to positively transform their businesses.
- We will listen and learn from our members while providing information, education and forums on anti-racism, anti-discrimination and inclusion and equality.
- We will examine our services and communications through a lens of social value and social justice just as we have through an environmental lens. This means exploring how we can add diversity and inclusion as part of our measurement of sustainability.
- We will work to address more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a business and support our clients where we can.
We will work to dismantle systems of racism and discrimination
Our goal is to help fix systems that lead to racism and social injustice. This will take serious education on our part before we act, but we are committing to make a start. Part of this work will be to broaden the impact and deeply understand all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainability is inter-linked and co-dependent.
We will bring about change through direct action and helping our members to do the same. For example, we need to understand how people of colour access our profession and work backwards. We will ask questions like “Why are we not receiving job applications from more people of colour?”, “What are the socio-economic factors preventing them from gaining the education and experience we need”, and “What can we do to help younger generations find opportunities to learn the skills we need”.
Positive systemic change will directly benefit our clients too. For example, they will be able to access great talent from a wider pool of people, innovate consistently as a diverse team breeds diverse thought, future-proof their business against social crises, and build a positive reputation as they contribute to a thriving planet.
None of this is enough, but this is a start. We are committing to learn, feel and do more. We want to hear from our members and the wider world on what we can do to make positive change, so please get in touch with us.
We are in the business of positively changing the world. Today we recognise we must broaden the scope of our work internally, with our members, and around the world. Together, we will make a world of difference.