Bristol is home to approximately 20,000 businesses and organisations, or whom ~1000 are part of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership and many have taken steps to reduce emissions or to become more sustainable. Most are however hesitant to share the story of what they are doing, either because they think it is not enough, or they are concerned about greenwashing. Reducing emissions to Net Zero is difficult and the ambition of this initiative was to demonstrate what businesses are doing, and can do, even if they don't have the entire plan as to how they will get to Net Zero. The core message being plan for what you can achieve, deliver those changes that reduce emissions - and then plan your next steps. By telling these stories we hope to inspire more businesses to take the first, or next steps and to raise their ambition - to be net zero by 2030 support the city's ask and ambition.
This story is focused on Bristol marketing agency Proctor Stevenson. Starting with the managing director's switch to a hybrid then an electric vehicle, the installation of eV charing points at the company, and then solar PV on the rooftops to charge the company car. Proctor Stevenson have introduced a travel to work policy to encourage staff to travel via low carbon means. They have installed living walls to absorb CO2, and working with one of their clients have coasted their building walls with a revolutionary product called CristalACTiV to take pollutants out of the local atmosphere which then washes off in the rain, so creating a healthier environment for staff and the local community.
They are looking to do more, and are investigating a grey water system. They are vocal supporters of the city's One City plan and ambition to be Net Zero by 2030, admit the challenges of not having all of the answers, and describe themselves as and ordinary business trying to do the right thing, while also minimise costs. As a business they’re here to make a profit, but there are also different kinds of profit - not just financial.
This project tells the story of what Bristol businesses are actually doing to reduce emissions. Due to last minute decision making and time constraints we started with businesses we knew through personal connections. A more robust piece of business outreach, engagement would have given us a wider range of stories to choose from that would better match the diversity of the city.