Last year, Claire and Pete hosted an event as part of Leeds Digital Festival that helped to raise awareness of how protecting the rainforests can combat climate change. From that single session, we’ve generated numerous new sponsorship partners for Rainforest Trust UK, generated new business for ourselves through a shared passion for sustainability and helped all involved to increase revenue and profitability.
In this session, we want to show you that it pays to have a passion and talk you through how we harnessed the power of our network to protect the environment. We’ll give you our tips on talking about sustainability and finding other businesses that are aligned to your mission.
Claire Daniels (CEO) of Trio Media a Leeds based Digital Agency and Pete Mills (Co-Director & investor) of Crysp – the property compliance platform – Slingshot Simulations and Just Access are holding an event at this years Leeds Digital Festival to showcase their work in sustainability and inspire others to join them.
Long time friends Claire and Pete have been working with the Rainforest Trust, an international conservation charity working hard to protect tropical forests and the species contained within. Last summer the duo became conservation circle members of the Rainforest Trust and began helping the UK team advocate for new members to join in on raising funds for the protection of Rainforest. As it stands they have raised funds that supported the protection of over 5,500 acres of pristine rainforest in key conservation projects in Peru, Brazil and Indonesia.
“I have always been motivated by sustainability and doing my bit for the planet but I wanted to find a way of developing it for my own business so that I could inspire my team members and clients to do the same. The problem with the sustainability agenda is that at first it all seems a massive challenge because the language used in the press and wider media is genuinely frightening around sustainability and climate change. For most people it then becomes overwhelming which leads to a paralysis of action – that is for the individual it becomes an issue of why bother because I can’t make difference.”
Indeed, you don’t have to look very far to read articles about the impending doom we all face. This is not to knock the science at all – there is absolutely no doubt climate change is happening because of human activity which only in the last week saw the UN release a report that says the world is on for a 2.7 degree rise in global temperatures.
“Back in 2018 when the pictures of the Amazon fires were everywhere I felt a sense of both outrage and helplessness. I knew then that I wanted to make sustainability and climate action a positive part of my life but it was through meeting the team at Rainforest Trust that inspired me to get involved. There is no wasted effort – literally every £1 supports the protection of a piece of rainforest so for me, the challenge becomes knowable and achievable without crushing you with climate anxieties. Deforestation of rainforests account for some 15% of global emissions – so why don’t we stop cutting them down and protecting them?”
After some initial success in fundraising Claire and Pete decided that they would start introducing their friends who ran businesses in the region to get involved which has also seen an unforeseen benefit – business networking. Fast growing businesses like Bobble digital, Eco-Vibe and Slingshot Simulations are just some of the companies to have signed up in support and are also seeing benefits of networking with like minded businesses and owners.
Dr David Mckee founder of Slingshot comments “Pete introduced us to the Rainforest Trust and the whole experience has had a galvanising impact on our companies mission putting sustainability at the heart of what we do. We quickly realised that we could actually offer more than just financial support to the Trust and so we have on a pro bono basis, provided our data simulation software to the data science team over in the US which they are now trialing to support species protection. That in itself gives me goosebumps about our collective potential to start solving the biggest problems.”