Why the environment matters to me…

The climate change agenda took something of a back seat, while the world battled against Covid-19. But that doesn’t mean the environment didn’t continue to matter a great deal, to many people. So, to celebrate all things sustainability, help share tips for smarter environmental thinking and remind each other just how much our carbon impact matters, we’re inviting colleagues and friends of the business to take part in our quickfire environmental Q&A.

Next up, it’s Paul Broadie – Managing Director at our video partner, Manto Films.

Where do you fit into the environmental sector? Tell us a little bit about your role at Manto Films.

I run Manto Films, and we work with a range of brands and charities helping them to communicate with their customers. Communication around sustainability and environmental issues has become a priority for more and more clients, and they’re always projects that we love being involved in. For us, there is no more important challenge for our society than tackling climate change, so any opportunity we get to help generate more ‘green’ conversations is a real privilege.

Complete the sentence – the UK is great at recycling…

…but we can be better! We’ve had the opportunity to film at some fantastic recycling projects, and it’s brilliant to see how much progress has been made in the UK on both an individual and a corporate level. But, looking at the incredible things achieved by countries like Germany and South Korea, should inspire us to go even further.

Which sector do you think could achieve significant environmental progress this year?

I’m not really an expert so I’m not sure I have an informed answer to this question! I’ve been impressed by the progress the big supermarkets have been making, but I would love to see them go even further.

What do you wish you’d known about the environment, as a child?

I think the biggest thing I wish I’d known was the environmental impact of meat farming. As an adult this is something I’ve learned a lot about and it has really shocked me.

What’s the single biggest threat to the environment, in your opinion?

My personal take on this is that meat production (in particular beef) is the biggest threat to our environment. Intensive meat farming produces massive levels of greenhouse gas – more than all global transportation combined! Beyond this, there are numerous knock-on environmental factors down the food chain, such as the huge amount of soy that is grown for animal feed, much of which is produced on deforested land.

Share 1 tip to help people be ‘greener’, at work or at home:

Eat less meat! OK, so I’m at risk of being a bit monomaniacal, so perhaps instead I’ll say buy second-hand! We are such a consumer-driven society, so buying pre-loved items more often can have a big impact.

Tell us an environmental statistic that you think people need to know:

The worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030 (via ipcc). This just shows how much of a priority it is to get on with tackling the issue, today.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever reused/upcycled?

I have a hobby making things out of reclaimed wood. I’ve made some really nice shelves out of recovered scaffolding planks!

If you were prime minister for the day, what’s the one thing you’d do to improve the UK’s sustainability agenda?

I would take steps to tackle food waste. Between 30 and 40% of supermarket food ends up as waste. I would put sanctions on this wastage so that they are forced to restructure their buying and tackle the problem at source. This will require a change in our buying habits and for us to accept less choice too, but it will be worth it for the positive environmental impact.

Complete the sentence – in 100 years’ time, I hope…

… man-made climate change is no longer a concern because we have learned to live within our resources – which means all decisions are made with consideration of the planet.

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