Products of change. News

My journey to sustainability

Tue 19 Jan 2021 | 09:31 am GMT
June Kirkwood | Products of Change Writer

June Kirkwood from Nutmeg Licensing

Products of Change ambassador for carbon footprint, June Kirkwood talks about her learnings last year and why she’s on board with Products of Change As well as being a time for making resolutions, January also offers an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s gone by. While 2020 will obviously be remembered for the COVID pandemic, for me it was the year when, finally, I drew a line in the sand and committed Nutmeg Licensing to focus on sustainability. Having learnt on the job through my work with the Eden Project, I felt the need to reinforce this through learning. I’d heard about the University of Cambridge’s Business Sustainability Management course and, with an enthusiastic recommendation from Helena Mansell-Stopher who had already completed this, decided to enrol. Supported by a tutor and with input from fellow students, the 8-week online course provided a practical approach to implementing sustainability in a corporate setting. It turned out my timing was perfect; when the country went into lockdown halfway through the course, it proved to be a welcome distraction. While the course itself was time consuming and exacting, I relished the opportunity to get back to learning and found it hugely energising. The icing on the cake was the chance to connect with a group of like-minded sustainability professionals, whose moral support during the course was invaluable and whose energy and enthusiasm after the course has spurred me on. While the course provided a solid foundation in sustainability, it became clear that this was just the tip of the iceberg. I joined numerous webinars, expanding my knowledge of getting to net zero, resilient supply chains, innovation and behavioural change. I joined a weekly session on the Circular Economy run by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation over 10 weeks, gaining more insight into what I had already been practicing through my work on the Eden Project’s licensing programme. It helped reinforce the need to focus on areas that were relevant to my work; circular economy and sustainable production and consumption, and their impact on carbon footprint. I also stepped up to the mark with the Products of Change group, agreeing to lead the Carbon Footprint initiative. With Helena’s endless energy and enthusiasm, Products of Change was really starting to make an impact within the licensing industry, highlighting the importance of sharing knowledge and understanding to help educate the industry about what it meant to be sustainable. For me, Products of Change offered the opportunity to meet with like-minded licensing executives who also had a passion for sustainability, sharing our knowledge and exploring how best to build this across the licensing industry. In the spirit of self-knowledge and development, I also took time to acknowledge where my skills were lacking and sought to improve these through coaching sessions, both in a group and individually. When working from home, it’s easy to become entrenched and these sessions helped me to grow in both confidence and approach, not least of all in online meetings, which I had found challenging. Throughout this period, I was in regular contact with my Cambridge cohort and, finding a group of like-minded consultants with a diverse set of skills, we formed the Sustaineers Consultants. With business expertise across a number of sectors, this alliance of sustainability consultants is working to demystify sustainability for companies, explaining the business case for becoming a sustainable business and using our specialist knowledge and experience to lead this process. Taking stock of the past 12 months, I’m so grateful for the journey I have been on, being able to dedicate time to learning about sustainability and building a wide network of similarly inspired business-people. So, while the COVID pandemic continues to impact heavily on all of our lives, I’m actually starting the year with a clearer understanding of what sustainability is all about, a desire to help the licensing industry embrace a sustainable future and feeling optimistic about the road ahead.
related articles
Sustainability in Licensing Conference coming up

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2021 (SILC21) will take place at The British Library, London as well as streamed online on Thursday June 24.

Read More

Tue 18 May 2021 | 11:35 am GMT

Why join Products of Change?

Products of Change (POC) is a global membership hub, which aims to help individuals and businesses to collectively drive prolonged and achievable change on the sustainable front.

Read More

Thu 25 Mar 2021 | 06:39 am GMT

Products of Change quarterly meeting

Join other Products of Change members on 4 March for the first quarterly meeting of 2021, where you can hear all the updates from the group and the plans for the future.

Read More

Tue 02 Mar 2021 | 07:51 am GMT

What is the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit?

Products of Change catches up with Anna Knight, director of BLE and now director of the new Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit to be held virtually over 9 - 11 June.

Read More

Thu 18 Mar 2021 | 02:42 pm GMT

Most read stories
What is net zero?

It seems not a day goes by without a news headline about net zero and greenhouse gas emissions. But what does it all really mean?

Read More

Wed 02 Jun 2021 | 06:40 pm GMT

Big changes on the horizon for kids’ ecosystem

Opportunities for brands and businesses will be created from all aspects of the kids’ ecosystem, says Kids Insights in its 2021 Future Forecast report

Read More

Thu 03 Dec 2020 | 02:34 pm GMT

Monopoly goes green

Hasbro releases Monopoly: Go Green edition board game made with 100% recycled paper, FSC wood and players investing in renewable energy and bike paths

Read More

Thu 10 Dec 2020 | 02:59 pm GMT

eBay launches certified refurbished hub

Latest lockdown trend from eBay UK reveals one refurbished item selling every 14 seconds on the online marketplace in the last year.

Read More

Tue 09 Mar 2021 | 11:41 am GMT

Laundry capsule made using recycled carbon emissions

Through a pioneering new process, Unilever is capturing waste CO2 from a factory – before it reaches the atmosphere – and turning it into a cleaning ingredient for its OMO…

Read More

Wed 23 Jun 2021 | 08:21 am GMT

Sales of refillables grows 9% at Waitrose

In response to growing customer demand for refillables, Waitrose is launching more new products as part of its pioneering Unpacked refillable concept, including loose tea for the first time.

Read More

Fri 25 Jun 2021 | 05:34 am GMT

SILC on demand

Missed out on the Sustainability in Licensing Conference? Don’t worry, you can buy an on-demand ticket to access all content until 1 August.

Read More

Tue 06 Jul 2021 | 11:19 am GMT

Register for the net zero meeting

Here are the upcoming meetings for Products of Change. All members are welcome to join in these meetings.

Read More

Tue 16 Feb 2021 | 08:35 am GMT