26 September 2023
Eco Paving: our journey to sustainability with Planet Mark
What does Planet Mark do?
Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification which recognises continuous progress, encourages action, and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals who make a world of difference. We have been working closely with them to ensure our eco-paving is the most sustainable it can be.
How does Planet Mark work?
Organisations become Planet Mark members as soon as they sign up and commit to reporting their carbon footprint and engaging their stakeholders. Once organisations have submitted the data required and Planet Mark has assessed their carbon footprint, they become Planet Mark Certified and start their journey to continually reduce their emissions.
Planet Mark members follow a robust three-step process:
- Measuring their impact
- Engaging everyone in the business
- Communicating their progress
Members must reduce their carbon footprint by at least 2.5% every year but targeting a 5% annual reduction in carbon emissions is recommended and on average, certified businesses make a 14% carbon saving per employee per year.
Holders of Planet Mark Certification deliver results that go beyond compliance, reaching new levels of sustainability and engaging their people in the process. By becoming a member of the Planet Mark, organisations are also contributing to the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Why has Westminster Stone become a Certified Member?
We are a family-owned business, and as a manufacturer and retailer for nearly 40 years, we are proud of the unique products we make and our British heritage.
Like any business, we must always look towards the future. We have national distribution but have always strived to acquire materials as locally as possible and create minimal waste through our manufacturing. We have a clear sustainability strategy but are mindful that we can do better to create eco-paving for every space.
Manufacturing our Stonecast paving and flooring in the UK is a more sustainable solution than quarrying new stone and flying it thousands of miles from abroad, so a large part of our Strategy is to encourage homeowners to buy local, buy British. It is one of the reasons that the National Trust and the Eden Project have chosen to work with us.
But manufacturing of any kind releases carbon into the environment and we are endeavouring to reduce this impact for the future of our planet to create a sustainable eco-paving for future generations.
We are extremely careful with our retail procurement, ensuring that we source from sustainable quarries that follow the Ethical Trading Initiative, and increasing our investment in Europe rather than Asia to reduce our carbon footprint on long-haul imports.
To meet our annual goals set out by Planet Mark we are looking at initiatives that include ways to eradicate our use of single-use plastic, renewable energy sources for our offices and manufacturing plant, concrete substitutes and moving our fleet to electric vehicles.
Planet Mark supports educational sustainability programmes throughout the globe and we are proud to have been awarded our first Certificate with them.
What our partners say about our eco-paving journey
The National Trust
"The National Trust has a diverse range of products for your home, garden & lifestyle. Made by experts in their industry, we are proud to recommend these products that have been inspired by the special places, spaces and collections in our care. We partnered with Westminster Stone to create a range of paving and garden artefacts, because they offer wholly British manufacturing, are renowned for their authentic reproduction and can offer superb quality at affordable prices." Phillippa Green, Brand Licensing Manager, National Trust
The Eden Project
“We try to source as locally as we can for the Biomes. Whilst looking for new flooring for the Mediterranean Biome we discovered Westminster Stone and liked the fact it is a family business, that it is local and we could have a direct relationship. We wanted an authentic Mediterranean product but needed to find a more sustainable solution than flying terracotta in from Italy or Spain, that’s when we looked at Westminster Stone and realised we could get a reproduction of a terracotta tile but made in the UK, which reduces the footprint and helps with sustainability of the whole project. We like to work with businesses who are on a sustainability journey like us because there is no right or wrong answer, it’s what is the correct product and correct method for the environment” Tracey Smith, Commercial Manager, Eden Project
Planet Mark FAQ's
Who is the founder of Planet Mark?
The founder of Planet Mark is Steve Malkin. A passionate advocate for sustainability and has worked in the field for over 20 years. Steve launched Planet Mark in 2013 with the goal of creating a more sustainable future for businesses. He believes that businesses have a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact and to contribute to a more just and equitable society.
Planet Mark is now an internationally recognized sustainability certification that helps businesses to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon footprint. The certification is also aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Steve is a regular speaker on sustainability and has been featured in publications such as The Guardian, The Independent, and Forbes. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Sustainable Development.
How much does Planet Mark Cost?
The cost of Planet Mark certification depends on the size of your organization and the level of support you require. However, you can expect to pay around £1,500 for the initial certification fee.
In addition to the initial certification fee, there is also an annual membership fee. The annual membership fee is calculated based on the size of your organization and the level of support you require. Planet Mark also offers a range of additional services, such as carbon footprinting, energy audits, and sustainability training. These services are charged for on a case-by-case basis.
What is the Planet Mark status?
To become Planet Mark certified, businesses must first measure their carbon footprint and engage their stakeholders. Once they have done this, they can submit their data to Planet Mark for assessment. If their carbon footprint is below a certain threshold, they will be awarded Planet Mark certification.
Businesses must then renew their certification annually by demonstrating that they have made a reduction in their carbon footprint. The Planet Mark status is a symbol of a business's commitment to sustainability. It shows that the business is taking action to reduce its environmental impact and to contribute to a more sustainable future.
About the Author
'Sian has been working with us at Westminster Stone for over 5 years and has developed expertise in garden design and landscaping. Her passion for nature extends to tending her own garden, teaching yoga and hiking during her free time.'