Blue Earth Summit 2023: A Gathering for Environmental Action
The Blue Earth Summit, an annual event that celebrates the power of the great outdoors and its potential to unite individuals in the pursuit of a more sustainable future, took place last week in my vibrant hometown of Bristol. Over the course of three days, this unique gathering brought together over 5,000 decision makers, industry pioneers, sustainability advocates, thought leaders, and innovative start-ups. The summit was a hub of exploration, collaboration, learning, and, most importantly, action.
One of the central themes of the Summit was the urgent need to address threats to our planet. I had the privilege of listening to a range of experts who shed light on critical environmental issues. Discussions included the looming threat of new offshore oil and gas exploration, the devastating impact of bottom trawling in Marine Protected Areas, the continued discharge of sewage into our waters, and the pervasive problem of plastic pollution. Notable speakers Aline Carrier, Canadian Fisheries Specialist, Oceanographer and Free diver, Alyx Elliott, Campaigns Director, Oceana UK, Giles Bristow, CEO, Surfers Against Sewage, and Gail Gallie, Co-Founder, Project Everyone emphasised the importance of protecting our oceans and the urgency of the "Save The Sea – Protecting 30% by 2030" initiative by Finisterre. Find out more about Save The Sea here.
While the environmental challenges discussed were concerning, the Summit also provided a platform for inspiring stories of leadership in the face of the climate crisis. Speakers such as Andres Roberts and Javier Gras at the Bioleadership Project, Hannah Temple at TealCo, and Kainyu (Kai) Njeri, Regenerative Systems Thinker and Designer shared their experiences and insights into how businesses and individuals can lead the way in environmental stewardship. The Summit showcased numerous purpose-driven companies and initiatives that are taking real steps towards a more sustainable future.
Day two of the Blue Earth Summit began with Marvin Rees discussing the importance of inclusivity in the environmental movement. He addressed the pressures of climate displacement and the role Bristol plays in addressing these issues. The discussion highlighted the significance of involving diverse voices and perspectives in the fight against climate change.
One of the standout sessions was the 'The Big Plastic Count' campaign by Greenpeace, featuring Joss Ford, Emma Blake Morsi from Enviral, Poku Pipim Osei FRSA from Babbasa, and Daniel Webb from Everyday Plastic. This discussion underscored that no effort is too small when it comes to making a difference. It also emphasised the vital role of considering marketing goals and involving the right stakeholders for impactful campaigns.
I was also fortunate enough to attend the ‘The Future of Fashion: When will fashion take a real step forward?’ talk with Adam Gardiner from Rapha, Catarina Midby from ASOS.com, Eva Kruse from PANGAIA, and Simon Platts, a Fashion and Textiles Consultant. They addressed the pressing environmental problems facing the fashion industry, emphasising the need for earth-positive solutions and the transition to circular business models, such as second-hand, rental, and repair, to create a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.
Blue Earth Summit 2023 was a gathering of passionate individuals and organisations committed to taking meaningful steps towards a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future. It served as a reminder that by harnessing the power of collective action and innovation, we can address the environmental challenges we face and create a positive impact on our planet. The Summit's vibrant discussions and inspirational stories left me with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to protect the Earth for future generations.