And we're off!... How we're becoming a sustainable and responsible business

By Alex Traska on 26th Sep

Approximately one year ago, the founder of pebble magazine, Georgina Wilson-Powell kicked off her project with us; to develop and launch a brand and platform that encourages people to engage with a sustainable lifestyle. Working alongside pebble over the last year has been an eye-opening experience; we've been exposed to fantastic businesses and entrepreneurs featured in pebble articles and, as pebble's creative team, we've found issues around sustainability have started to feature in our creative process and in business decisions.

We're now on a journey towards becoming a sustainable, ethical and environmentally responsible business. We set out to identify ways in which we could further reduce the impact of our business and, where allowed via design decisions in which we are in control, that of our client's. 

We've also been looking at how we can put something back into the community too; the team is excited about our plans for voluntary work with a Nottingham wildlife organisation, and plans to provide our services on a pro-bono basis for local and charities and organisations that need our support.

Engaging with sustainability from a business perspective is not just an exercise in PR, it helps you put something back into the local community, be part of a positive force for change and makes you and your team a great bunch of people to work with and for.

So, why are we doing this? 

Our lives as individuals have changed: buying organic tomatoes or furniture made from recycled products was, until recently, regarded by many as a premium purchase. Now, it seems more bizarre to buy heavily packaged tomatoes that were force-grown in greenhouses thousands of miles away. Sustainability and environmental issues have become a key factor in our unconscious decision making process when we decide what to buy and who from.

Having realised this, it seemed daft not to introduce the same thinking to the Makermet studio and our business operation. We set ourselves a challenge: "What changes we can make to our services, that guarantee the same level of service at a reduced environmental cost?"

Our new environmental policy and goals for sustainability are the outcome of those discussions.

Georgina now works directly with the team at Makermet in the role of sustainability consultant, assisting us during research and exploration phases of brand consultancy projects. Together we'll be helping our client's businesses reposition themselves in the marketplace as sustainable, ethical brands.

​Businesses with clear goals and policies relating to sustainability are better placed to win the trust of customers and employees. Being sustainable doesn't mean we have to stop doing what we love, or selling what we're good at, it simply means that we consider the cost of what we're doing beyond figures on a profit and loss sheet. We always aim to work with green or eco-friendly suppliers that help us on our journey to becoming a more responsible business and a better business.​

What we've done

  • Switched to 100% renewable energy with SSE
  • Encouraged use of local park and ride / tram services for employees 
  • Provided space to store bikes in the studio
  • Supported the cycle to work scheme
  • Use public transport to client meetings outside Nottingham where possible
  • Reduced paper waste 
  • Added more plants to the studio 
  • Shut down all computers and peripherals at the end of each day 
  • Bought a new duplex printer for double sided printing
  • Committed to carbon offsetting all print work with the World Land Trust

What we are doing 

  • Reviewing water supplier and steps to save water
  • Taking steps to buy a water filter to top up fliptop bottles
  • Promoting green hosting provider as preferred solution for all client projects
  • Moving Makermet and pebble to Kualo, a 100% wind powered server solution
  • Introducing a food waste point and organising composting with the local community gardening project
  • Sending print cartridges and toners to a specialist recycling point
  • Organising volunteering opportunities
  • Finding a sustainability focused print supplier
  • Using local, independent and fair trade suppliers where possible for consumables
  • Buying all our coffee from a local, trusted roaster
  • Always buying recycled printing paper

In 6 months

  • Bi-monthly hackathons for local charities or sustainability projects - solving any problems they have with pro-bono marketing, design and development services.

In 1 year

  • Running workshops to help other businesses. We plan to work with businesses to help them achieve small short term goals and long term ethical and sustainable initiatives. We intend to offer branding and marketing services in addition for those businesses wishing to transform their identity with these changes.

Check out pebble magazine for ethical and sustainable lifestyle content

We've committed to this journey with a list of promises in our Ethical & Environmental policy.

About the author


Alex Traska

Founder / Creative Director

Alex's works with clients as brand consultant and strategist, and with the in-house team and a large network of collaborators as creative director and art director.

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