In this week’s Member in Focus, we talk to Lisa Burton, the Founder and Director of Venture Entertainment, about what they do and their journey to becoming a more sustainable business.
To get us started, why don’t you tell us a bit about Venture, how you got started and what you do?
Venture is a wholesaler and online seller of mainly disc-based media, so CDs, DVDs, Games and Blu-ray, although recently we have branched out into other products.
The company was started 19 years ago from what was then my home in Scotland, with one employee…me. It has now grown to 15 employees with a warehouse and distribution centre in Oxfordshire. We supply products to companies all over the world including Europe, America and Australia.
Is sustainability something that’s important to you personally?
When you see the effects that climate change is already having, and what is predicted for the near future, it is imperative that we all do whatever we can to slow, prevent and eventually reverse climate change. The alternative is ultimately an uninhabitable earth.
Change needs to happen now as any more delays will mean that there is no turning back.
What made you choose a Climate Positive Workforce for Venture?
The Climate Positive Workforce is a fantastic way for us to involve our colleagues with Venture’s sustainability agenda. It’s a great employee perk and helps us not only attract new employees, but also to retain them. The weekly tips, which they all receive, also allow them to be better informed and make sustainable choices on affordable products.
It also allows us to promote our involvement across our emails and social channels, which shows companies we work with that we have a commitment to sustainability and the environment.
How have your staff found the experience so far?
It’s had an incredibly positive reaction and it’s really become quite a talking point every Friday when the tip comes in. It’s been very interesting listening to conversations about Insect Crisps!
We also really push to them the message that they have a balanced carbon footprint, which certainly makes them feel that they are part of the climate solution.
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You also completed the 1000 Tree Challenge recently in Earth Month. Why did you choose to take part?
We decided to take part as it was another way to get our colleagues involved and make a further positive impact on the environment. We discussed what we could do and eventually settled on an eBay auction of some of our stock.
We were delighted to complete the challenge and ended up planting 1,380. It’s certainly something we will be doing again as it’s a great way of raising awareness.
What would you say to other businesses who haven’t begun taking steps to reduce their footprint?
It’s simply too important NOT to do anything.
You choose to support Mind as your chosen good cause. Is mental health something you’re particularly passionate about?
Mental health care is hugely underfunded in the UK and Mind does an amazing job in supporting so many people. I’m sure all of us, especially in recent years, know people that have been affected by a mental illness and hopefully our donation via Play It Green to Mind will help them continue their work.
What does the future hold for Venture?
We’ll continue to expand our range of products and have recently started to investigate sustainable products. We feel that this will be an ever-increasing market and the more there is out there, the easier it is for people to buy this type of product.
We are also looking at all areas within our business in order to reduce waste and continue on our sustainable journey.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have to say that Play It Green have been a pleasure to deal with and their ethos makes them stand out above many other ‘green’ companies. Time is precious in all businesses, and it’s fantastic to find a company that makes sustainability “easy” and constantly engaging.
Nothing is more precious than the planet on which we live, and often, it’s all too easy to put off doing something because the task seems so enormous, but if we all take small steps, together, we can make a huge difference.
As a Play it Green business member, Venture is reducing their footprint with weekly tips and through our Net Zero Framework, planting trees to balance the carbon emissions of its entire workforce, and regiving 10% to their chosen charity, Mind, to raise awareness of and support those struggling with their mental health.
You can visit the Venture Entertainment Forest Garden here; they have planted over 3000 trees in just 8 months!
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