S2 #10 'Navigating the minefields of integrating Sustainability into your business', with Rebecca Kimber

Season 2 Episode 10

[00:00:00] James Gill:

[00:00:53] Hi there. Welcome to another episode of the EcoSend podcast. The EcoSend Podcast is a show each week where we are talking to inspiring leaders and people in the world of business marketing and in the charitable sector as well about how to make a more sustainable, greener future for the world.

[00:01:12] Each episode is about 30 minutes long, and I'm thrilled this week to be joined by Rebecca Kimber of Create. Now, Rebecca is an expert on websites and online Marketing. With over 20 years of experience in the digital industry she's passionate about having a positive impact on the planet, has been and has been making changes to create over the last few years to reduce its carbon footprint.

[00:01:37] So there's a lot, I'm sure we're gonna be learning from Rebecca today. A focus on enabling small business owners to design and manage their own websites, creates carbon neutral hosting and investments into energy efficient technologies. Means that you can have a website that's better for the planet and great for business too.

[00:01:56] So it feels like, Rebecca, you're doing a lot of stuff that's very, very aligned with what we're doing at EcoSend. I am so excited to be talking to you about this and many more things. How are you doing?

[00:02:08] Rebecca Kimber: Thank you. I'm good. Thank you. Thank you for that lovely intro. Yes. We are, but I thought I, can I just say something about that? We've talked a little bit about what we're gonna talk about, but this whole piece about being carbon neutral and how we describe ourselves and, you know, trying to do so without greenwashing or green hushing and feeling like we're being accurate....

[00:02:35] You know, general consumers, because a lot of our customers are small business owners and, you know, individuals as well; understand what it is that we are selling and what the benefits are. Because most of our hosting is renewable energy, but because we can't really say where their energy's really actually come from, we're also doing renewable energy projects that we're investing in to do carbon offsetting. Because we're just trying to do more, as much as we can do within the restrictions that we currently have with suppliers.

[00:03:08] And you probably have the same kinds of things where I learned recently that because we've been doing net zero kind of progress and journey since about 2019.

[00:03:21] So it's quite a long time, but it's been a sort of slow thing. And we were quite lucky when we looked at a lot of our suppliers that actually they were kind of on the journey as well.

[00:03:29] You know, like Google and CloudFlare and people like that, that we use. Some smaller suppliers too. That not much, but the majority of what we are, you know, working with is. But what I learned on this course recently, because obviously all this stuff's moving so quickly and I was looking at my sustainability page and I thought, 'oh dear, language is not right now'. You know what we wrote back, it's gone out today. It's not how you would now wanna talk about it. And when we were working out our carbon footprints and I was saying, well we're using all these suppliers, we're using renewable energy. And they said, but because the grid's only X percentage renewable energy, you can only say that actually.... and know that this portion of everything that everybody's doing. So unless Google are offgrid; all their, from their own renewable energy getting all this battery power, they can't say that it is net zero. And they, you know, they can't say it's really renewable energy because you can't guarantee that it is.

[00:04:30] And so that was kinda a bit... because I've been kind of like, 'we're going to net zero!' And it kinda light bulb moment for me that actually this is why all these enormous companies have got these kind of like big 20 year plans. Because actually our actual infrastructure, you know, globally has to, has to get us there because I can't, you know, as a digital company, and you know this, you know, you've gotta be up all the time.

[00:04:58] You've gotta have 99.9% reliability. Everybody wants their websites up. It's not the same like, 'You're living offgrid, oh, we haven't got a bit of energy tonight. Let's go play Cluedo in in torchlight.'

[00:05:11] James Gill: It's a, it's been a cloudy day today. Sorry. Websites are offline.

[00:05:15] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah. Sorry. My websites are being throttled and everything slow. And that's, you know, you might find a bit of downtime would be out of business.

[00:05:23] I kind of took a bit more appreciation of how, how we're on the longer journey and I kind of, you know, business owners, we were all like, 'yeah, let's, let's do this. Let's do that. Come on!'

[00:05:36] And actually it was like, 'okay, I can't actually get there'. And even switching supplies, I still can't actually get there. So it then becomes challenging as to, well, we will get there. I'm not saying we won't get there, we will get there, but at the moment I can't get there. And with things like the advertising standards authority, bringing out much tougher legislation around greenwashing and being able to back up your environmental claims. You know, and that's all great because there's loads of big organizations that are currently misleading the public.

[00:06:10] James Gill: Yeah!

[00:06:10] Rebecca Kimber: So things need to be, you know, they need to be fact checked.

[00:06:15] But at the same time, for smaller businesses, especially those that don't have huge budgets to make investments in certifications and spend the time granularly about every bit of carbon that they're using, it's really quite challenging to know how to talk about themselves and not kind of feel like someone's gonna poke a torch at you in a minute and go, come on now, what are you actually doing? You must feel this?

[00:06:42] James Gill: Absolutely, you know, yeah. There's so much to dig into on on all of the stuff you just spoke about there, Rebecca I think on the greenwashing or the, I know there's a few previous episodes of the podcast where we talked about green hushing as well, where people are so afraid to say the wrong thing that they say nothing, which on the whole is, is probably a worse thing because we need more people talking about the climate. We need more people talking about what they're trying to do. And being quiet about things doesn't really help a conversation. And I know for us, with the ecosystem we were initially when we were throwing around the initial ideas... we were just terrified of putting anything out there because we didn't know; we didn't know how much we didn't know! And I think we just ended up kind of saying to ourselves that we, we know that there's a bunch, we probably got wrong, but let's start. And it's led to all these conversations that you start having with people and, and, and then you'll find out that like no one has all the answers, really.

[00:07:42] Like no one is sort of I have, I know absolutely 100% of all the information, and I can tell you categorically what's right or wrong. Like there's a sliding scale and opinions and different levels of research in different facets and areas. And even within the whole concept of climate; people talk a lot about carbon removal and carbon offsetting, but then there's so many other aspects that like harder to measure as well, like biodiversity and, and things like this, which also have a huge impact, which are, you know, so far off the radar.

[00:08:17] It is just such a complex web of of things and I, I think just more people talking about it and more people putting one foot in front of the other is, is a good thing, rather than waiting for some magical point where you have 100% clear information. Because that day will never, never, ever come, I don't think.

[00:08:36] Rebecca Kimber: No!

[00:08:36] James Gill: I must ask, Rebecca, you've been running Create, it's a fantastic platform for building websites and you have clearly are passionate about the climate. So tell me about that journey. How did you get to where you are?

[00:08:52] Rebecca Kimber: Well, we'll be 22 years old this year!

[00:08:55] James Gill: That's some, that's some, that's some going.

[00:08:59] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah. And when we sort of started out originally which is another thing that's quite interesting about our journey is kind of coming back round to how we kind of optimize things. But when we started out our journey my husband built the first sort of version of Create back in 1999.

[00:09:17] James Gill: Wow.

[00:09:17] Rebecca Kimber: It was 56 colors.

[00:09:20] So things were pretty bright and...

[00:09:23] People used to build kind of like red websites with yellow text and you know, accessibility wasn't a thing. And it was really, you know, there were not that many shades of gray. Design has come a long way. But back then, you know, when you built a website and you kind of, you know, you thought about every pixel and you thought about every kilobyte that you were putting on the web because everybody was on dial up. And so it was all about creating this really fast and tight experience for people. Because didn't create this fast experience, they were gone. And over this 20 year period, we've kind of gone from that very optimized, you know, ' what do I need to have on there that's gonna get the job done so I can stick anything on there I like, and it won't matter because the infrastructure is there to support it.'

[00:10:08] And I think we now need to kind of turn a corner with websites where actually everybody's much more aware of, I do need to optimize these things, I should optimize these images. I shouldn't put them on huge.

[00:10:19] It isn't because we've got the huge infrastructure to cope with it, but it's because of the amount of energy that it's seeing that's driving huge amounts of investment in more servers and more equipment and, and more energy into the being taken from the grid for, for all of our internet usage. But it's not just the web.

[00:10:39] James Gill: It's such a fascinating area there, because I guess most businesses have a website, but for you, you're in this position where you have a website, but then you also impact the decisions that hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of, of businesses do with their website.

[00:10:57] So you have this incredible impact with the changes you make and the decisions you make, which I think is just so exciting about the, when you build, when you are yourselves building a platform.

[00:11:09] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah. And that's part of that, that piece that I was just talking to you about, about this getting to net zero and realizing I can't get to net zero, and I, I still want to kind of measure all of those bits and make sure that we have a really clear idea about what our carbon footprint is. But our own individual carbon footprint is actually quite small.

[00:11:27] So our, our influence and what I consider to be, you know, the bigger piece about what we do is talking to everybody else; how can you achieve this? How can we spread the word, how can we make people more aware that they need to think about these things? And not just website, like your social media.

[00:11:45] You know, everybody's making all this constant content all the time, which is video, which is probably worse than, you know, than most websites that you know, that you're visiting. And we're just chucking it away. You know, with a website, you're creating kind of an evergreen space. It stays there, you optimize it, you change it a little bit.

[00:12:05] But all of this social content that's being made, it's just, it's there for now and then it's gone and it's all been stored forever. A bit like, bit like, kind of like correspondence on emails and all those other things. We're just kind of creating this real problem for ourselves in the future.

[00:12:21] And that's, that's where. I've spent quite a lot of my time over the last few years as well, is just trying to get people more aware of that kind of digital world and what's behind the scenes of our laptops. We we're, there's a hundred million servers powering the internet at the moment, and they are using lots of land because they're enormous places.

[00:12:46] Like the Citadel that's in, in Reno, one of the biggest ones, and it's not on its own, it's 1.3 million square feet.

[00:12:55] It's taking up this land, but it's also in Reno, Nevada, which is an area of water shortage and they need so much... What people don't realize is they, coming back to your point about nature as well, is that it's this journey that we're all on isn't just about carbon, it's about the planet, And that involves nature and water and all the things that climate change are going to make, you know, really stressed.

[00:13:24] And so where, where a lot of these big places are built are where there are areas of, of big stresses of water.

[00:13:32] Places like the Mississippi, where they're taking the water out the rivers and using it to cool all these servers. And we are just, we are on a path to exponentially keep needing to build more of these facilities.

[00:13:45] And we need to keep thinking about how we optimize, how we delete, how we declutter. Because what we're using now is, I don't know, I don't have the numbers on the kind of population usage of the internet, but more and more people every day in the developing world are coming online and they are also wanting, and as they, you know, absolutely should have access to all this information, have access to what they need to see.

[00:14:12] Be able to use these tools for communication and everything else that we use them for every day and take for granted. And that is gonna continue to increase our needs for these data centers. And so we do need to start to think about how we're, how we are going to manage that. I don't know if you saw it or not, but and maybe we can drop a link in afterwards, but there's a really good panorama program on the BBC about The Cloud, which I think is a really good trainer that's worth watching for half an hour.

[00:14:41] James Gill: Yeah, we'll definitely put the link on on the show notes actually.

[00:14:45] Rebecca Kimber: About the scale of the amounts of water that they're using, but also the energy where they've got these data centre islands, they're using energy that's something equivalent to, you know, whole cities, a hundred thousand households, some data center, and all of that is coming out of the national grid as well .

[00:15:06] They just don't have those. Some, some data centers have got some investments in renewables, but a lot of them are just pulling from the national grid, and so we've got to build more capacity for the National Grid; build a green future, and keep powering more and more data centers, which, you know, it's unsustainable for the planet,

[00:15:27] James Gill: It is, it is, isn't it? And and I think so many people barely even really grok the idea of 'I type in a URL on a web browser and that's going to servers that sit in a big, big building somewhere'. And, and, and then I think it's almost unimaginable the scale that those data centers are operating at.

[00:15:49] Remember hearing, I think a talk from Amazon Web Services a while ago where they were saying, you know, you're dealing at this kind of scale where you are literally shipping in lorries of servers every day because just the failure rate of servers means that you know, if one in I don't know, a million goes wrong on any given day... because there's literally millions and millions of machines. A lorry turns up every day with new servers and a lorru leaves with servers that are no longer working trying to compute as a, a person is just so, it's just mind boggling. And you think all of those machines have to be made as well and have to be manufactured and shipped and then installed and then serviced and used and suck energy all the time, and then end of life what happens to them?

[00:16:35] It's like all of those things as well. And all I'm doing is typing a URL into a browser.

[00:16:41] Rebecca Kimber: I was quite surprised, actually. I can't remember what it is, but maybe we could add just to the notes afterwards. But I was quite surprised about how much carbon they now considered a Google search to be, because it was actually quite high. And obviously now they're adding into things like, you know, AI to help you to answer your queries and things.

[00:16:57] That's quite carbon intensive as well. But it's like, we've called it surfing the web and the cloud and all these nice things, and it's not that at all. You know, if it was pumping exhaust streams out of your laptop all the time.

[00:17:10] Get Wow! It's actually, you know, it's actually really intensive for us to, to do things.

[00:17:18] I shared post the other day, and, you know, TikTok videos, one minute of TikTok is 2.36 grams you know, they estimate.

[00:17:26] James Gill: That's the estimate? Wow.

[00:17:28] Rebecca Kimber: And so, you know, if you've watched that for 10 minutes, that's 20 grams of CO2 plus that you've, you know, that you've probably consumed, well, not really thinking about what you are actually watching or remember afterwards that you watched it.

[00:17:42] It, it's just being a bit more conscious of what we're all doing, I think, and maybe spending a bit more time in nature. That's one of the ways that we can you know, kind of reconnect with the problem a bit, is actually spending a bit more time away from our screens and doing things through our own eyes and getting out there and touching stuff and being present in the world.

[00:18:07] James Gill: I absolutely. Or, or we're all going to live in a virtual reality world where we experience nature through a digital lens. I don't know that's the, the worry, isn't it?

[00:18:19] So, yeah. I, I didn't know, Rebecca, if you wanted to share anything more about your... so you were saying you've been learning a lot more about this journey to, to net zero and, and how you are feeling that actually it's going to take a lot longer than you thought. What else has come from all of the stuff you've been learning there and that journey you've been on?

[00:18:39] Rebecca Kimber: So we've always been, you know, quite an eco kind of company. We chose our offices back in 2008 in a green-rated building and had it own wind turbine and it had underground heating. So it was, you know, it was part of things from quite a long time ago. But, we've always been doing recycling and thinking about what we are doing and trying to get rid of our old documents and stuff. And we don't create a lot of waste because we are digital. And so we've never had a lot to try to give away as much as stuff we don't need. So when Covid hit and we went full remote, pretty much threw or 10 years worth of stuff out of the

[00:19:18] James Gill: Wow. That must have been quite therapeutic.

[00:19:21] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah, it was, it was, well I mean we sold some stuff because we had some, you know, things that obviously we wanted to buy at the time, like chairs and things like that. And then there was just microwaves and plates and all sorts, all the things we kind of, we had used over the years and they, people who were starting new, new homes and things like that.

[00:19:38] And like you were talking about servers, we had big servers. All sat in a room for quite a long time. We'd kind of had our own kit and then taken it all away and gone kind of Google and Amazon kind of direction. And that went to our local college, still there in one of our local colleges students at all for, you know, messing about with and that's trying to just make sure that we're not throwing anything away as part of our kind of business as well.

[00:20:06] And everything. There's that whole piece, that green piece about repurposing and making sure things get as much life as they can. But back kind of that sort of time, 2019, 2010, I can't remember exactly when it was, when David Attenborough did those programs about nature and about, you know, how much of it is just going away.

[00:20:25] Because I think that's, you know, we all talk about net zero and we talk about C02, but people don't really understand what CO2 is. They can't, you know, it's very difficult to say, well what does this ton of CO2 look like? We can't see it.

[00:20:41] Having, I was having this conversation with my son the other day and he was like, 'whoa, it's nothing, it doesn't weigh anything.'

[00:20:46] And my other son who's a bit older and you know, knows a bit more, not knows a bit more, but likes to be kind of like, well, he's like, 'well of course it weighs something. It's everything has a weight'..

[00:20:58] James Gill: Definitely the scientist in the family.

[00:21:02] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah he definitely, you know, is really into that kind of stuff. And and then I sort of said to him, well Google this, you know, the, the big balloon because it is worth going and have a look at that if you don't have any kind of idea about it. So did some installations where they've had these big fun balloons that they've put around. I think there might be one in Trafalgar Square, kind of give people an idea about what a ton of CO2 is that we are making. But I think from the point of view of kind of connecting with people, What's more important and more tangible to people a lot of the time is that impact on people and on nature and animals.

[00:21:36] And you know, it's quite difficult to have this kind of like, 'I feel really connected to co2' because you don't. But you can feel very connected to deforestation and what is happening out in the world and the loss of bugs and all the bees this year. There were lots of them last year. I haven't seen hardly any honey beans bees so far in my garden this year at all. Third of them I was told have died over the winter because of the very wet winter. For me, you know, that's what's important isn't it, is how we continue to do business and do it consciously so that actually our impact on the environment and the places that we live and the world that we have is in a better place and quite difficult when it's digital because I don't, you know, I don't work with nature.

[00:22:24] You know, everything we do is sitting at a computer screen you never see of it. And, you know, we are, we are part of this problem. Websites are part of this problem, but on the alternative hand to that, you know, we don't want everybody to go back to sending brochures through the post and cutting down more and, you know, the postal service, it's, there's much more CO2 from that than from doing this or having this phone call instead of us getting on trains and or planes or whatever up driving our cars around to have a conversation.

[00:22:58] James Gill: The corporate jet to Brighton to see, yeah, yeah,

[00:23:01] Rebecca Kimber: Yes, exactly.

[00:23:03] And so, you know, trying to tie back what we are doing to nature and how we can kind of give back and how we can be a better business through what we're doing. So, alongside obviously helping people to be more aware of what the problem is so that we could be more conscious in our internet use.

[00:23:18] But we started planting trees because I think trees are one of the things that create better habitats for, for the planet. And we'd signed up to an organization called Ecologi to kind of start to think about how we were gonna offset our or reduce our footprints to start with, or just offsetting start with.

[00:23:40] Because I think even if you don't know how to measure, Ecologi is a really great way to just go and pay a monthly fee and they invest in carbon reduction for you that, you know is gonna be, you know, solidly checked over. They plant some trees for you. And you can do that for everyone with your team based on kind of like what they think, you know, how busy your team is, whether you go on lots of travel, you know, for business or not, and buy different kinds of plans from them.

[00:24:05] And it's like, I think we were on the middle plan, but I think the basic plan's like nine pounds per person per month and it just starts. You want that journey.

[00:24:13] James Gill: Hard to say no to, isn't it? Yeah.

[00:24:16] Rebecca Kimber: Exactly. And it started us kind of on that journey and then I thought to myself, well okay, I'm paying this much money per month per employee.

[00:24:28] What I'll do is I'll get a big spreadsheet. This comes back to that thing you were talking about, about that imperfect action. I'll get a big spreadsheet and I'll work out the best of my abilities, what I know about how many days everybody worked for us for the last 18 years, whatever it was at that particular point.

[00:24:44] And even down to contractors, my husband and I, maybe not so much cuz that was a bit difficult. Cause we've, you know, as a founder, you know, you work all whenever.

[00:24:53] James Gill: Yeah. Which of the 24 hours is it?

[00:24:57] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah, exactly. I didn't have kids back then either, so, you know, I had all the time in the world to just do internet things and what I wanted to do with the business, it was like, eat dinner, talk, do the washing up, talk.

[00:25:13] James Gill: Yeah, I'm not here to judge don't worry!

[00:25:16] Rebecca Kimber: It is definitely got a much nicer balance but I, you know, I do like doing what we do and so that always helps when you are, when you're doing something. But anyway, back to my point. I got this big spreadsheet. I wrote out everybody's names. I wrote their start and their finish dates of when they'd all worked for us.

[00:25:34] I worked out how many days that all was, and then basically, and so therefore how many months it was. And then basically I just went back to Ecologi and I basically said, right, okay, well if this is their measurement, that's based on I think Berners-Lee, you know, kind of like carbon footprint. I think they've increased it since then, but I sort of thought I'll just basically do what I think that is, and I'll stick some more on top just in. So I planted however many trees it was and however much carbon reduction it was on their monthly plan.

[00:26:03] So however many months in the past we'd had people working for us. And so I think, you know, that's not an exact science. It's not, you know, what people might say is properly measured, but it was. It is taking action and it's taking action in a kind of small, logical way that that other people can do. And we need to not only be looking at the future, but we need to be working out how we're gonna draw back down all the CO2 and put back the planet. And for those of us that can, it is about how can, what else can I do? What more can we do? How can I do more than I actually, you know, legally have to this thing?

[00:26:53] Because we all do have a footprint and we have all, you know, we have all created the problem. Yeah, it, it, it's a really good, I was gonna say, it's a really good point because I, I know one of the earlier episodes we did, we were talking about you know, people talk a lot about sustainability but actually we need to go beyond trying to do sustainable stuff, we need to make up for all the stuff we've already done!

[00:27:22] James Gill: And so you are thinking there of like, let's go back and try and retroactively sort out all of the stuff we've been doing as a business so far. I think it's just so, yeah, it's very inspiring actually, because we've got to make up for that stuff first and then get ourselves on a better, better place.

[00:27:39] But also, like, I love, I love that whole concept is just taking action. I think it applies in business as well, just generally, but like, if you wait till you've got some supposedly perfect calculation and plan, like you probably never do anything. And, and I think even the smartest, most scientific businesses trying to do this, I think there's still, there's such a margin of error for how you actually, cause you cannot get to like something that's perfectly accurate for these calculations.

[00:28:12] It's just totally impossible. Or the time to do that would take forever. So yeah, we, there's got to be some pragmatism I think in, in how we, how we do this.

[00:28:26] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah, it's like our carbon footprint when we did this, because I've just been, as I said a little bit earlier on, we've just been on this net zero course where obviously they were saying, you know, because you're using the grid you can't be net zero.

[00:28:40] And you know, they work it kind of out on financials of what you spent on certain things.

[00:28:45] If you dunno what those suppliers are. I could go back over the last 20 years and you know, retro work everything out. But there's a diminishing returns on the investment here because the amount it's actually gonna take... I think when we had our office, our carbon footprint, and obviously this is loose because I haven't finished the calculations, came out at something like 30 something tons.

[00:29:13] And so it's, it's not, it's, you know, it's 30 tons, but it's not, it's not really that big in the grand scheme of things. And I think we'd got down to maybe 23 tons. Now we're all remote and we are obviously doing a bit less that kind of thing. But in order to do the calculation fully and to go back all those times, the, the amounts of CO2 that I'm really actually measuring are really, really small.

[00:29:38] My kind of feeling is that I'm sweating the small stuff for the sake of, you know, absolutely say this is what it actually exactly is. And instead of that, I could spend my half hour talking to you on this podcast and have a bigger impact. And I could social post so, and, you know, talk to other people or learn some more things that help me on this journey to have a, hopefully have an impact and an influence that's bigger than myself that helps other people to be on this journey too.

[00:30:10] And for them to make those changes and for them to start to reduce their CO2.

[00:30:14] James Gill: Totally, totally agreed. Yeah, and I, I also think there's definitely that attitude side of things where yeah, you as an individual in his business, are keen to figure out like that estimate and, and probably do more than you need to, to offset and reduce it.

[00:30:32] Whereas I guess there's some businesses where you try and make that number as small as possible and do as little as you can to, to try and, and solve it. And I think it's probably an attitude thing now, which is really important and, and as to not take for granted that you, you are doing the right thing and trying to do the right thing as well as best you can.

[00:30:50] Not trying to do it as a tick box exercise and, and try to do the least possible.

[00:30:58] Rebecca Kimber: Yeah, and I, I think you know, there were, there were some people on the net zeo course where you could see that that measurement was really important. You know, going forwards there was a, a pet food producer where it was obviously really important to know what that product was costing to produce.

[00:31:15] And there were, they'd already done loads of things as well to, in regards to their building, but they were looking at more and they had more levers they could pull. You know, they had more control than I, they were, they, I don't know what the carbon footprint was, but I would assume it was bigger than mine.

[00:31:30] There are, you know, the sorts of things that I'm talking about in my business and trying to look pragmatically at it that shouldn't put other businesses off from doing the measurements that they really need to do. Because, you know, if you're selling a product, you do need to know what that CO2 is because hopefully in the future that product's gonna have a CO2, you know, marker on it.

[00:31:53] Like if it's food and consumers are gonna be able to see. And the Internet would've got to the point where I'll be able to do that too, because everybody else in my supply chain will be measuring as well. So it's all circular. But I guess my point is that for those of us that are small businesses or you know, they're tight on time and they are doing a lot, they shouldn't sweat the small staff as much. No, because you can do what you can do and you can only change and influence what you can change and influence.

[00:32:26] And if you change and influence your suppliers and talk to more people, that helps to just change and influence everybody. And that gets the job done faster. Because the situation we're in at the moment is that we've got a lot of fear mongering going on.

[00:32:43] You know, it's all like doom and gloom. There's so much, you know, people who've got climate anxiety. What are we gonna do? How are we gonna, how are we gonna fix this? And. All that kind of negative kind of talk that comes back to what can I change? What can I influence? And that's the attitude I've taken with my business.

[00:33:01] Who can I influence? You know, what's important? What can I talk about? How can I help people to come on this journey and see that it's a better future that we are creating? It's, well, come on, you've got to do this because you're burning, you're driving your car too much, or you're doing this, or you're doing that and you should stop sweating all this stuff.

[00:33:21] Everything should be done in a more kind of pragmatic, sensible kind of way. Because we can't all be beaten... people are starting to beat them with a stick. Come on, we've all gotta get here, be greener. It doesn't, anybody that's into Marketing knows that those kinds of things generally don't really work to get you to.

[00:33:44] James Gill: If anything, it pushes people the other way, doesn't it?

[00:33:46] Rebecca Kimber: And so I think that's where that whole nature piece comes back in, in connecting with nature and understanding how we, we all want that future, which is, you know, better for the world and we all get there in a sensible kind of way where it's all doing a bit and it's all making, you know, some small changes, but hopefully having the options to do that as well so we can make that choices.

[00:34:13] James Gill: Absolutely.

[00:34:14] Rebecca Kimber: I feel like it's coming.

[00:34:16] James Gill: Yeah. We're getting there, I think! Rebecca, we're basically out of time. I must I, I know there's other topics we could cover, but I didn't know if there was any final things you wanted to just chat about briefly. I know there's one other important thing you're involved with, which is the the Million Tree pledge. If you want to quickly just summarize what you're doing there , I'd love to hear more about that.

[00:34:42] Rebecca Kimber: So I mentioned earlier we were, planting trees and we kind of started to plant trees and we sort of planted 40,000 trees for those employees, you know, for the past. And we started to tie tree planting to what we were doing. And, and then we were introduced to some other people that were doing some tree planting and to someone that I would now consider to be, you know, a friend called Marcus Hemsley and he runs his own agency and he'd had Covid and he was having trouble breathing and he decided to himself it would be really fantastic, I want to plant a million trees and I want to find some other people to do that with us. So as you do! Ecologi connected us altogether. And there was about 20 of us on a call. You know, it was important. Do you want to plant a million trees? And I was like, 'oh we could, you know, probably do that'. We're sort of on that journey. I'll go back to the team and I'll, you know, and I'll ask everybody what they think and obviously the team are like, 'yeah, we'll do that'. Because I'm sure if you went asked your employees, they'd be like, ' yeah, let's do it!'

[00:35:45] James Gill: Yeah, that sounds good.

[00:35:48] Rebecca Kimber: And so we went back and said, 'yeah, we'll do it'. And it ended up being about 12 of us. I think that kind of became the 12 founding pledges. So it was 12 million trees pledged. And since then, we've now got 53 pledges and, you know...

[00:36:05] James Gill: Wow!

[00:36:07] Rebecca Kimber: ...trees in the ground that are planted or nearly planted, or at least paid for. And that's in two, two and a bit years.

[00:36:14] So that's when I'm talking about that influence. You can have, you know, we don't have any money. It's a pledge, you just agree you're gonna do it. We do it by, you know, the pledge is basically trying to get somebody else to also plant a million trees as well.

[00:36:27] And so it's just kind of grown from basically talking about it and spreading that message, that message of hope; 'look, we can do this!' You don't need to say you're going to do it in a year. Although one of the pledges did do it in a year, which was absolutely fantastic. We've now got two pledges that have actually planted a million trees each which is really awesome. And, you know, we, we are not doing it as part of that kind of carbon offsetting, we are doing it as part of, we need to fix the planet and we need to create people to for people and for plants and nature and safe space for them and nature corridors and all sorts of things.

[00:37:03] And so, yeah. So anyway, if anybody's up for planting trees, get involved!

[00:37:07] James Gill: Yeah. I I'm not sure I could do all of them today, but that is, that is incredible. No, thank you so much for sharing that. I know we are very keen to to become part of this as well. And hope that many people listening will go check it out and learn more and, and consider for themselves.

[00:37:24] What a fantastic thing and, and absolutely incredible to think that starts from just someone with, have an idea, wanting to do that, bringing people together and, and what a chain reaction of events can, can happen. That's incredible. What a, what a lovely note to finish on. I think Rebecca. I think that's fantastic.

[00:37:44] What a, what a fascinating show. Honestly, it's been a pleasure talking to you about, about so many of these topics here. I feel like it's so similar to what the way we are thinking about things that ecos send. And I hope, I hope people have been finding, jotting down lots of notes as they've been listening along to this.

[00:38:02] Thank you. If, if anyone wants to find out more about yourself or Create, where can they find you? Rebecca, I believe. I believe you've got a few places.

[00:38:12] Rebecca Kimber: They can look me up on LinkedIn. I'm Rebecca Kimber on LinkedIn. And our website is ww.create.net. And head over to our blog. There's a few posts there about, you know, making your website more sustainable and you know, making low carbon bits and pieces. And there's bits, pieces about Million Tree Pledge. And the Million Tree Pledge is at www.milliontreepledge.org as well.

[00:38:33] James Gill: Amazing.

[00:38:34] Great stuff. We will link to all of those in the show notes. And, and I also, I mentioned it to Rebecca, I must give the, the team at create, a big high five for the amazing Twitter handle we have, which is twitter.com/create, which shows the benefits of starting early in, in the online world.

[00:38:50] Rebecca Kimber: Yes. It does. It does. We're very lucky.

[00:38:55] James Gill: Rebecca, it has been a pleasure speaking to you. Congratulations as well on, on just building such a, a wonderful business. It's not often that you speak to someone who's been, is it 22 years?

[00:39:05] Rebecca Kimber: Yes in October. Yes.

[00:39:07] James Gill: That is absolutely astounding. That is incredible. We hope it would be lovely if more more people around businesses like, like you're doing.

[00:39:15] So thank you so much for, for being on the show today, and I hope those at home have been enjoying or wherever you might be. Wherever you're at home on the train, driving, I don't know, not driving, of course, not listening to the EcoSend podcast. But yeah, I hope you enjoyed the show. And if you enjoyed the show, please do leave a review or a rating or whatever player you are using because it really helps more people find find the show and hear wonderful stories like Rebecca's today.

[00:39:42] So thank you for listening and thank you Rebecca. And we'll catch you again very soon. Cheers.


Creators and Guests

Rebecca Kimber
Rebecca Kimber
Rebecca is the CEO of Create, the carbon neutral website builder for individuals and small business owners, and a founding partner of the Million Tree Pledge, a group of individuals and businesses who have pledged to plant one million trees by 2030.
S2 #10 'Navigating the minefields of integrating Sustainability into your business', with Rebecca Kimber
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