Sustainability is a core part of Stuart’s mission. We've committed to reducing our emissions while holistically addressing challenges facing all our core stakeholders—our communities, couriers, and clients. To begin with, we're focused on a long-term sustainability strategy to ensure we're innovating for the future of last-mile logistics. However, we also need to make sure that we're creating the space and providing the knowledge needed to take actions that will continuously improve Stuart’s sustainability initiatives.
We've taken some significant steps to embed sustainability within the Stuwie work environment. We're encouraging Stuwies to own objectives related to sustainability, and many have taken actions to improve sustainability as part of the Ambassador Programme. However, we knew we could do more to amplify the impact of such actions through some deeper engagement. Inspired by the global grassroots movement of Plastic-Free July which has educated people on the negative impacts of plastic usage and inspired real-life action to reduce plastic pollution, we decided to run a Sustainability Month—Sustainability July—at Stuart.
What did we do?
Planning our Sustainability Month was a real team effort! This was certainly needed, given that we were aiming to run a host of talks, activities, and initiatives while keeping up with day-to-day responsibilities. We decided to model the month across three key themes:
- Improving Stuart
- Educating Ourselves
- Taking Action
These themes would allow us to showcase some of our large-scale ambitions around sustainability and how they relate to all Stuwies. We could also celebrate the successes of the work done so far and build up a strong understanding of some sustainability-related topics, all in the spirit of encouraging further action.
1. Improving Stuart
Since 2019, Stuart has been on a journey to becoming an official B Corp, and we are now in the final stages of the process. The B Corp certification requires a company to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency across five core categories. A cross-departmental effort took place over several years to ensure we could gather all the relevant information and make improvements. During our Sustainability Month, we not only wanted to celebrate the work done on B Corp but lay the foundations for the work to come to further improve our score.
Several contributors gave a global presentation to the B Corp certification process. One of the sections focused on how Stuart has scored so far and zoomed in on the ‘workers’ category. Here, we showcased how some of the improvements Stuwies have benefited from across career development and wellness took encouragement from the B Corp framework. Importantly, we also showcased how becoming a certified B Corp brings benefits but also responsibilities to ourselves and the wider B Corp community. Even though we're awaiting our certification, we can start preparing for this now.
2. Educating Ourselves
Stuart first partnered with Climate Fresk in October 2021 to improve our knowledge of the causes and effects of climate change. The Climate Fresk is an interactive workshop led by our own Stuart Fresk Facilitators that received their training from Climate Fresk in 2021. The workshop uses 42 cards to map out the gradual causes and effects of climate change before then discussing what emotions were triggered by the experience and how we can take action. Whilst many Stuwies already took part in the Fresk, our Sustainability Month was an opportunity for people who hadn’t participated yet!
The Fresks took place in both our offices and remotely to ensure even Stuwies working from abroad over the summer could take part 🌴. Like many of our Fresks before, there were moments when participants felt very pessimistic about the reality of climate change. Yet the solutions brainstorming at the end showcased how many ideas people had around actions we could take at Stuart and home.
3. Taking Action
Given that our Sustainability Month was inspired by Plastic-Free July, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that we wanted to take action around reducing plastic pollution. Our incredible Workspace & Culture Managers had already taken steps to reduce plastic usage in our offices. However, they used Sustainability Month to improve this even further. For example, our Paris office introduced glass Tupperware to use at local restaurants and avoid disposable packaging. We also wanted to highlight the major environmental benefits of reuse versus recycling. In the London office, we were already partnering with Junee (a reuse-as-a-service provider) for our reusable lunch containers. They delivered a presentation on this exact topic, highlighting how a Junee bowl used 200 times saves 31x the plastic of a disposable container. It goes to show how a small-scale change in our habits notably improves our impact.
We also used the opportunity to celebrate the work done by our Stuart Sustainability Ambassadors. These are Stuwies who have gone beyond their daily responsibilities to launch sustainable initiatives. We focused on four, spanning from delivering a monthly emissions workshop to running a clothes swap and reducing new clothes purchases.
Following Sustainability Month, we're keeping things up by using this engagement from Stuwies to do even more. This will mean solidifying some of the work that people have done and go a layer deeper in other cases. For instance, all new Stuwies will now take part in a Climate Fresk. These monthly sessions will be run across our offices to make sure nobody misses out. More specific departmental-level training around how our day-to-day work can make an impact on sustainability is also being organised to further embed sustainability.
Fundamentally, Sustainability Month has shown us the importance of pausing and taking stock of what we've already achieved to drive further action. Whilst Stuart by no means has reached its full potential on its sustainability journey, there's so much momentum and drive to improve across all our teams. No doubt that next year, we’ll be celebrating even more impactful results!