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Cut carbon, not trees: A seminar


The Monarch Partnership is an associate partner of The Planet Mark, a sustainability certification and programme that helps organisations demonstrate their commitment to the environment and society. Founded in 2012 by Steve Malkin, The Planet Mark partnered with the Eden Project to create a people-driven sustainability programme for SMEs. One thing which sets The Planet Mark apart from other sustainability certifications is that it focuses primarily on a commitment to sustainable operations, rather than on meeting targets in order to first gain the certification. For each year after having achieved The Planet Mark certification, the organisation in question must reduce their emissions by a minimum of 2.5% to qualify again for the following year. This places the onus on ongoing behavioural changes and company-wide engagement in order to reach carbon reduction targets.

Last night, The Planet Mark hosted an evening of talks and networking, designed to allow people interested in sustainability to make contacts in the industry, and to discuss different ways of achieving carbon reduction in individual organisations. Steve Malkin educated the room on carbon emissions, revealing a terrifying statistic: 1,100 tonnes of carbon are emitted globally every second. Shortly afterwards, Ben Gray of Cool Earth, a charity which works to mitigate the impacts of deforestation, told the room that 17% of manmade emissions come from deforestation. The increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is creating an ever-warming environment. Oceans absorb 90% of heat on the planet, leading to an increase in sea temperatures. This in turn causes ice caps to melt, triggering negative impacts on marine life.


What does the Planet Mark achieve?

  • Total carbon reduction per business of 4%
  • Total carbon reduction per employee of 12%
  • Total retention rate for certification holders of 90%

One key takeaway from the evening was that, in order to promote carbon reduction effectively, people need to start holding their suppliers accountable. An example is investment management company, BlackRock, only investing in companies who can prove their sustainable credentials. This acts as an incentive and makes BlackRock’s views surrounding sustainable operations clear. It wants to lead the financial sector in a change towards becoming greener, and it’s initiatives like these which will pave the way for other large companies.


Why do more people not cut carbon?

  • Ignorance
  • Perceived costs
  • It’s not tangible – plastics are easy to see and measure
  • Too big to manage, leading to people feeling overwhelmed
  • A need for someone to take ownership

People have already chosen – and continue – to act on their plastic use, introducing changes to their lifestyles to minimise the impact on the environment. This proves that the awareness can be spread and that changes can be implemented. Now we just need to extend this action to carbon reduction.


“We’re just joining a movement” – Steve Malkin


At Monarch, we can certify our customers with The Planet Mark certification. We’ll conduct an audit of your premises and overall operations, and set you up with a programme which saves businesses anywhere from £50-150 per employee. Head over to our sustainability page to read more about how gaining The Planet Mark certification will benefit your company and the environment.


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We are sustainability simplifiers

Kate Green

Author Kate Green

More posts by Kate Green

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