Interview- People, Planet, Pint brings green networking to Newcastle

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the Town Wall pub on match day, I attended an event seeking to bring together environmentally minded professionals over a Pint.

Whilst the event, People, Planet, Pint is relatively new to Newcastle, these events are hosted up and down the country, so over a pint, people can network to fight climate change and help businesses find net-zero solutions.

I decided to meet with the Newcastle’s Planet, People, Pint host, Anne-Marie Soulsby also known as Annie, the sustainable life coach, to find out more about her work and People, Planet, Pint.

Anne-Marie has had an impressive career geared towards fighting climate change. With an academic background in environmental science and conservation biology, Anne-Marie has gone on to win two awards at MIT’s Climate competition.

Since then, she has acted as a consultant for the World Bank, run her own NGO and worked for large telecoms companies, all of which has given her an important insight into the hurdles for net zero goals in business.

Anne-Marie now provides carbon literacy training and sustainability training to individuals, sole traders, freelancers, and entrepreneurs and SMEs with plans to bring training to marketing professionals soon.

After being featured in the Telegraph, Anne-Marie had plenty of people getting in touch to discuss opportunities, one of which pointed her in the direction of People, Planet, Pint’s founder Adam Bastock.

When I asked what People, Planet, Pint’s mission statement is, Anne-Marie said: “That’s the thing, it doesn’t have a mission. The concept behind it is that there is no agenda, there is nothing that has been set as a target or a mission or anything to come out of this.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come along and find out about sustainability, or see if there is somebody else that may be suitable for them to talk to for whatever the purpose, or just to have a big whinge about some of the terrible things that are happening.

“I know Adam is developing other flavours of People, Planet, Pint going forward. Perhaps having a board which says what people are looking for and what people can offer so that people can see that in the room, which is more akin to traditional networking. He is also thinking about having some people coming along to do talks or product testing, for example.”

I then asked if events like People, Planet, Pint have the ability to create a landscape for businesses where prioritising the environment doesn’t affect profits. Anne-Marie continued: “That’s a very interesting question, because prioritising the environment increases profits.

“For example, at the moment everybody’s minimising their energy consumption. That is very environmentally conscious, but it also is going to obviously save businesses money. Again, if you minimise your fuel expenditure, you’re also reducing your emissions but you’re also reducing your bottom line.”

People, Planet, Pint is facilitating business owners in finding new approaches to incorporating sustainable practices into their organisations. Anne-Marie sees a bright future for the North East as a green economy in spite of its industrial roots. She concluded: “We (Newcastle) have a very industrial background, but a lot of the industries here could be and are transforming.

“We’re seeing car battery plants opening, we’re seeing more wind turbines and we’ve got the electric cable that’s coming from Norway to provide renewable energy to the area with new recycling plants as well.”

Projects like People, Planet, Pint are an important step in building networks allowing small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors to become part of a greener economy and to play their part in the fight against climate change. People, Planet, Pint has only hosted two events in Newcastle so far with its third taking place on March 28.

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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