North East Connected

How can you and your business help our planet recover from the damage we have inflicted?

By Louise Palmer-Masterton, Stem & Glory

It’s quite likely you’ve seen David Attenborough’s latest documentary ‘A Life on our Planet’. If so, you will know that the film contains a plethora of compelling statistics that define the devastating problems we face if we do not stop destroying our planet.

It shows the numbers for the rapid increase in global population, the increase in carbon in the atmosphere, and the accompanying sharp decrease in unfarmed natural land and it’s a bleak message. By losing the biodiversity of our land, we are fast accelerating towards extinction as our planet struggles with the excess demands placed upon it. The earth has finite commodities, but we are acting like they are limitless.

However, the documentary does end with a sliver of hope. Attenborough lays out the steps we need to take to quickly redress the balance and allow the planet to recover.

And they are simpler than you might think:

  1. Stop eating meat.
  2. Using less land in more intelligent ways to produce more food, such as vertical and urban farming.
  3. End poverty and increase access to education for all people, which will naturally lead to population control.
  4. Rewild farmland and the rainforests to restore biodiversity.
  5. Choose renewable energy over fossil fuels.
  6. Stop Waste.

But what can business do? Surely most of this list is beyond the sphere of influence of an individual or an individual business, with international action and financial incentives needed for this to happen on a global scale?

Well, in fact, we can all instigate actions that make a difference. Some of these involve supporting non-profits in a financial sense, but many of the actions we can take are changes within our own supply chains which are not disruptive or costly. They simply involve making more ethical choices in our purchasing decisions.

And with consumers wanting brands to help them be more sustainable, it’s also a shrewd business decision to make positive changes within our own business.

Packaging Waste
There’s so much misinformation out there on this subject, especially with regards to single use. I watched a short film recently, called Our Planet, Our Business and one of the experts said, ‘there is no such thing as waste, it’s just a commodity in the wrong place at the wrong time’. That really struck me.

Packaging is a complicated subject that we’ve been immersed in researching for some time, and here is what we have learned:

Food Waste
More than one third of all food produced is wasted. And with regard to fruit and vegetables, it is almost half. In the developing world this waste is largely down to inefficient processing, poor storage, and insufficient infrastructure. In medium and high-income countries (that’s us) whilst supply chains can still be an issue, the behaviour of consumers plays a much greater part. We are simply buying it and not eating it. Much of this food waste could be avoided if it were managed better. The hard fact is, if we managed to reduce the amount of food waste down by just 25%, that would be enough food to feed the 870 million who currently do not have enough to eat.

Other Waste
We, at Stem & Glory, are currently fitting out a new site in Cambridge. The driver behind our decor is reuse and recycle as far as possible. It’s been great to see that there are so many new products on the market that are composed of recycled post-consumer waste. We predict that this will explode massively in the coming months and years. From table-tops to worktops, paint, flooring, concrete, lights, innovation is everywhere. And it looks completely fab! As part of this process we have also been able to get our entire team on board – from designers to contractors, all are now also committed to the reuse and recycle way of living.

And this is probably the best way we can win hearts and minds to tackling climate change. Never underestimate the contribution that an individual or individual business can play. By changing ourselves we generate spirals of positive influence – the R number of sustainability! The more you make changes and tell others, the more people you will influence for good.


Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory; hip and trendy but accessible plant-based restaurants, serving delicious gourmet vegan food from locally sourced ingredients, 100% made on site. Stem & Glory also offers click-and-collect and local delivery in London and Cambridge.

Social Media:


Twitter: @stemandglory
Instagram: @stemandglory

Linked in: /louisepalmer-masterton



David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet – is available on Netflix

Our Planet, Our Business:

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