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Enviral

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It’s not that often, that you’re able to confer with someone captivating as Joss Ford, founder of Enviral. With refreshing optimism, Joss provides his take on business growth and development, during and post-Covid. In the is interview we’re able to pick the brains of a CEO whose primary focus is that of the Planet and its stakeholders. We set out to find out how the genuine green innovators of the world are coping with lockdown-induced stress.

It’s not that often, that you’re able to confer with someone captivating as Joss Ford, founder of Enviral. With refreshing optimism, Joss provides his take on business growth and development, during and post-Covid. In the is interview we’re able to pick the brains of a CEO whose primary focus is that of the Planet and its stakeholders. We set out to find out how the genuine green innovators of the world are coping with lockdown-induced stress.

First of all, how are you and the guys coping at Enviral, have you made any changes?

Being a digital agency, and with team members dotted around The UK and beyond, we’re used to Skyping, Zooming and everything else in between. This has meant that making the transition to working from home, hasn’t had too much of an impact on our day to day business. We know that the last few months have been so hard for so many people, and for the rest of us, this will probably be the strangest time of our lives.

However, amongst the turbulence, we’ve also been given the opportunity to self reflect and get creative. We’ve used this time to regroup and re-think what we want from our future. As an agency, we’ve also evolved. Not just since lockdown but really over the past half a year. We’ve noticed a clear development in who we are and the importance of our specific expertise, and recent events have allowed us to pause, reflect and package up our next step. We’ve recently had a slight re-structure to our business in that we’ve split it into two sections – Engage and Envolve.

This means through Evolve, we’re helping to evolve organisations sustainability strategies through consultancy, and with Engage we’re going to continue to engage customers, fans and employees through impactful communications.

What made you decide to go into this business, and especially from the angle of sustainability?

I’ve always been an environmentalist. From a young age, I had a fascination with nature. I graduated from The School of Earth and Environment at Leeds University and CISL (Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), and knew this was an area I wanted to continue working in. I saw scientists explaining the climate crisis, marketing agencies selling us products, but I started to see a way to bridge the two in order to help create a more sustainable world. I actually came up with the whole concept for Enviral in my lecture.

I was sitting in a lecture at university with a problem rattling through my mind – I knew there were companies who did great things, but where were they in the sea of fake greenwash claims? I wanted to get great environmental and social brands into the spotlight so that other eco-minded consumers could purchase from them. I wanted to help these businesses use their force for good, in order to evoke positive behaviour change and ultimately make whole industries better.

I’d love to know your opinion on this Lockdown in regards to the environment. Do you think it’s been a (somewhat) short-lived answer to our green prayers?

The world is in a super interesting place right now. People everywhere are stopping and thinking about the impact they are having on the planet. We’ve seen a surge in demand for many of our sustainable clients as people see just how much impact we have if we all work together. We think the future for genuinely sustainable brands is hugely exciting. Now more than ever they have the opportunity to educate and inspire audiences and help use their power for good.

In fact, at Enviral, our vision is that one day we’ll live in a world where all brands will prioritise people and the planet… and we’re feeling pretty optimistic about this.

We’re lucky to work with some amazing clients who are at the forefront in the fight for our planet and who are calling for its health to be put at the heart of all recovery business decisions. We’ve felt pretty inspired seeing purpose-driven businesses demanding a green recovery post COVID-19 and leading the charge for us to ‘build back better’ – we think this is hugely exciting.

What is your strategy going forward, what can we look forward to seeing from Enviral?

More of the same! We’re continually learning and growing and we’re super stoked about some of the projects we have coming up. We’re working with some real purpose-driven brands to help evoke positive change, and we can’t wait to continue doing this.

In terms of the agency, we’ve come a long way over the last few years and this new shift in the business structure is hopefully going to help us create some serious positive impact.

As a business owner, this level of uncertainty must be incredibly taxing. In light of mental health awareness week having just passed, how has the lockdown impacted you personally, and what, if any, are your coping mechanisms?

No doubt there’s a lot of pressure that can sit on CEOs shoulders, pandemic or not. The turbulence that’s happening in the world, which gets amplified by media means that it can be really hard to find optimism, which in my opinion, along with a true purpose is the best tool in business. Personally I’ve had times since I started this journey where I’ve been close to burning out, working multiple 18+ hour days per week in a row – but that work pays off and that feeling, that can be shared with my team is so worth it when it leads to positive change.

Personally, my recipe for coping is running, eating plant-based (this is massive), the Headspace app and most importantly talking about things (which is harder than it sounds). We have taken a group mental health awareness class as a team and have steps in place for the team to be fully mental health first aid trained.

We’re also proud of our close-knit team, so whether that’s Friday vegan pasta-making or a weekly quiz, the energy and enthusiasm from the team is amazing for morale.

In this you are undoubtedly also managing the anxieties of you clients as well, how have you dealt with this?

Anxieties of clients are certainly felt when you’re such a close extension of their business, like we are with all our clients. It is certainly amplified when you’re marketing upon platforms which you can’t ultimately fully control (like Facebook / Instagram paid advertisement). Sticking to a long-term vision, making sure that strategy doesn’t waver for short term pressures and getting regular calls each week to share in complete transparency what’s happening (both client and agency sides) is the way we’ve developed such great relationships with our clients.

Onwards and upwards, what advice would you give to the small business owners of today?

If you’re looking to consider your environmental impact or communicate your purpose to your audience then make sure it’s genuine. A disingenuous purpose or ‘green-washing’ will only work to damage your brand, so if you’re going to talk the sustainability talk, then you’re festival better walk the walk.

We know sustainability can be confusing. In my opinion, it’s all about the community that you’re part of. Get talking about the climate crisis – have conversations (not arguments) with friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues – don’t judge others opinions but instead see how you can influence them to be more socially and environmentally focused.

Ethical Brand Marketing Agency

www.enviral.co.uk