Monthly Archives: February 2020

Marketing for an eco-future

Businesses that are paying more than lip service to environmental issues should be shouting about their efforts.

That’s the advice to firms in Cumbria from the team that’s leading the way in advice and help for a sustainable business future.

Now the ERDF-funded Eco-Innovation programme in Cumbria is to stage a free workshop to show just how eco-values can be communicated to customers, and the wider business community.

“Environmentally aware consumers are increasingly influenced by the effects that their purchase decisions have on the environment,” says Eco-Innovation Cumbria project manager Glyn Griffiths.

“This, in turn, is driving businesses to consider their own products, services and behaviour from an environmental as well as a sustainability perspective.

“Effective marketing is core to the future success of any company’s eco-strategy. Our workshop will show you how to apply the marketing principles to the challenges of developing successful marketing campaigns for sustainable products and businesses.”

To be staged at the North Lakes Hotel on Thursday March 26, the interactive session will provide delegates with new networks as well as new understanding of the challenges and modern marketing best practice in a sustainable economy.

The workshop is being delivered by Gillian Brown and Alister Minty from Entrepreneur Business School (EBS). EBS is a network of successful business leaders, each of whom has started and grown one or more new technology businesses, raised equity investment or venture capital and led their company through a significant corporate event.

They are all still active in their own companies, across diverse industries and global markets and use their experience, knowledge and expertise to bring competitive advantage to projects and companies.

For further details and how to sign up, see





Monster plan to save the Lakes’ environment

A nature trail to encourage children to care for the environment has been launched – with the help of a mythical Windermere monster.

Bownessie will be leading youngsters and their families along the lakeside trail pointing out areas of eco-concern and natural history.

The project has been developed by a Windermere businesswoman assisted by two conservation interns attached to the University of Cumbria.

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“We want to engage with children so we can nurture passionate environmentalists and encourage them to influence the people around them,” said Ffion Beavis, a marine conservation undergraduate at the University’s Ambleside campus.

She and Louise Mercer, who has a Masters degree in environmental science from Utah in the USA, are working with Naz Craig, who created the Bownessie toy and children’s brand. Families can download trail details, a quiz, and a rainy-day pack from the website, with the chance for children to win virtual badges with their suggestions of ways to protect the lake environment.

Said Louise: “Children are naturally curious about the world around them. As we’ve seen with the Greta Thunberg environmental movement, children a have huge impact on vital messages and actions.

“We don’t want to burden them. They should enjoy the lakes, mountains, woodlands and wetlands as we did, but learning through initiatives like Bownessie, which includes activity and information packs, there’s a lot of fun to be had too.”

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The scheme is part of the ambitious £2.3 million European Regional Development Fund’s Eco-Innovation project in Cumbria, which aims to help small and medium sized businesses reduce CO2. It provides fully financed internships to eligible companies through student researchers and graduates, supporting a wide range of projects, including waste reduction and improving efficiency.

The myth of Bownessie started 15 years ago with reported “sightings” of a large creature in the northern waters of Windermere. Scientists have found no evidence, but the legend grew following the televising in Canada and the USA of an hour-long documentary about the Windermere monster.

Naz Craig developed a cuddly toy and other items in her Bownessie brand – tee shirts, key rings, colouring books – and is seeking financial backing to develop the range further. She is delighted her brainchild is being used to such a good planet-saving effect. “It’s a chance to give every child a vital insight into how small actions can make a massive difference. This way, there’s a fun element, as well as the educational impact.”

Louise, an international fell-runner who hails from the Scottish borders, grew up with stories of the world-famous Loch Ness monster and admits nobody knows for sure what lurks beneath Windermere’s deep, dark water. “What I do know is that millions of visitors come here each year. If we can reach them and show the benefits of making slight tweaks to everyday lives, there’s real potential to create a sustainable future.”

Ffion, originally from Gloucestershire, said: “Adults hear the news, know we have to cut CO2 emissions, but remain disconnected. This way, with children looking out for items along the trail, there’s a chance for whole families to become involved.”

Both Ffion and Louise hope to make careers in education and promoting sustainable behaviour change.

Find out more on:

Help fund the project here 

Eco-Innovation Cumbria is led by University of Cumbria in partnership with Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire.