By Alex Didcock

On the 15th October Tevi co-hosted this session with Cultivator’s Climate and Sustainability Hive (CLASH) to discuss the importance of writing Environmental and Gender & Equality statements for creative businesses. The session demonstrated how creative and cultural enterprises can improve sustainability planning by developing and implementing meaningful Environmental and Gender & Equality policy statements. The event provided sector-specific expertise and a business support network. Inspiration was also drawn from a talk by a Cornish creative enterprise that has undertaken effective sustainability planning, resulting in the creation of meaningful policy statements and subsequent increased business.

Environmental and Gender & Equality policy statements are essential tools for any business looking to become more sustainable, contribute to the circular economy and reduce their impacts on the environment. The statement documents are key to assessing a business’s current situation, identifying both successes and areas for improvement, generating sustainability commitments, measuring progress towards achieving said commitments and holding a business accountable for their actions.

Creative and cultural businesses face sector-specific challenges in achieving sustainability, so  benefit significantly from tailored advice, business support and peer-learning. The development of personal sustainability goals, progress measures and milestones of success increase the possibility of achieving positive change. Tevi offers support and assistance with the creation and reviewing of Environmental and Gender & Equality statements. If you are interested in finding out more, please click here to contact us.

The session began with Fiona Wotton from Cultivator, a business development programme that supports the creative sector across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, that has provided support to over 400 businesses. The programme is run by Creative Kernow, an organisation supporting the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall, and belongs to a partnership with University of Plymouth, Real Ideas Organisation, Cornwall College and Cornwall Development Company. Cultivator supports the development of sustainable industries – by providing mentoring, funding, and specialist expert advice. Click here if you are interested in contacting Cultivator for business support.

Fiona also introduced CLASH – Cornwall’s Climate and sustainability hive, hosted by Cultivator, that seeks to build a “collective creative mindset to address the climate emergency and support businesses in growing a circular economy”. CLASH aims to become a platform to facilitate the space and inspiration for discussion and debate to amplify voices pushing for positive change through a series of events, workshops and campaigns. Fiona stressed the importance of collaboration in identifying the challenges and success facing Cornwall to ensure that climate emergency and sustainability issues are at the forefront of future creative sector development in Cornwall.

Dr Ed Glücksman then outlined the work that Tevi has done in delivering business support to SMEs looking to transition to circular economy and promote environmental growth. Tevi’s work closely aligns with Cornwall Council’s Environmental Growth Strategy that states that economies cannot flourish without well-functioning society and the conservation of the environment. The strategy’s vision is that “In 2065, Cornwall’s environment will be naturally diverse, beautiful and healthy, supporting a thriving society, prosperous economy and abundance of wildlife”. Tevi has also created Lagas, an environmental hub that maps opportunities for the preservation, conservation and restoration of Cornwall’s natural assets. The mapping tools illustrate the abundant natural assets of the region, while the network of sensors and wildlife cameras allow users to monitor and protect the natural processes occurring within the environment.

We then heard from Tevi’s Dr Stephen Lowe, who presented the importance of developing sustainability policy and measures to generate meaningful change. The development of a business’s sustainability policy allows improvement, tracks development, demonstrates commitment, set the future direction and example to employees, customers and other groups and may also be a requirement from stakeholders or in accessing grant funding. Tevi has developed an approach, through working with >300 SMEs across many sectors, that involves one-to-one discussions to identify improvement measures and assist with the creation of bespoke policy statements.  Environmental Policies can cover a wide range of topics from materials, culture, energy, waste and water, ecology, logistic and strategy and performance. Within the policy statement a business must reflect on the current situation by surveying existing procedures or policy, identify areas for improvement and generate methods of measuring and monitoring improvement. Tevi also assists with the creation or review of Gender & Equality policies.

Sam Jackson from Boost Innovations Ltd highlighted the support provided by Tevi in reviewing their policy statements to develop more stringent and robust policies. Boost Innovations Ltd, a micro design company, produce unique breast forms for women who have undergone mastectomy to provide beautiful, breathable and comfortable products. As a result of our support, Boost has identified and implemented improvements in waste reduction, innovative recycling methods and alternative product lines and embedded sustainability into the core of the business.

Finally, Rose Goodship, Performing Arts Creative Business Advisor at Cultivator showcased the many sustainable changes that creative enterprises can make to increase their sustainability by reducing both their environmental impacts and reduce their costs. She also highlighted the need for constant monitoring to ensure continuous improvement.

Within the Q&A section of the event, many relevant topics were discussed including the impact of COVID on the creative sector, the importance of accessibility in reaching wider audiences, the hidden environmental effects of working online and the need for increased collaboration within the sector to face current challenges.

As always, a huge thanks you to our speakers for their time supporting this event, and to the audience for their enthusiasm engaging with the speakers through the event and with their questions.

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You can watch the full webinar here: