Sustainable Production Talk Series: “Communities in Sustainable Production” with Carl Pratt

Sustainable Production Talk Series: “Communities in Sustainable Production” with Carl Pratt

Posted 16 March by Katie Kubrak

Following the positive response to our recap from “Sustainable Materials” talk series, we now transition to the synopsis of individual talks presented during “Sustainable Production” talk series, which features insights from Carl Pratt (FuturePlanet), Nick Gumery (LUSH) and Richard Kirkman (Veolia UK & Ireland).

This Monday, in these critical times, we revisit very relevant points raised by Carl Pratt in his talk titled “Communities in Sustainable Production”, in which he makes a key statement that “you can unlock change when you bring people from different environments together”.

Carl is the Founder of FuturePlanet a community of action, with a mission to accelerate our transition to an inclusive sustainable future. The FuturePlanet community act on this mission through convening community, supporting change makers, catalysing connections and fostering collaboration. He has delivered over 100 successful projects and partnerships, with brands such as Unilever, Virgin, General Mills, Vodafone, Sony and Diageo.

Future isn’t certain at the moment. Going forward we might engage in less travel and witness change of consumptive behaviours but ultimately as a society an element of production will always remain present. It’s form however might mutate taking a myriad of innovative platforms, shapes and sizes. In this unpredictable context, we cannot lose sight of our purpose, which is to find the most effective ways of accelerating our transition to an inclusive, sustainable future.

As part of this, we need to understand that only when we come together, we can create action at scale. With countries in lockdown, suspended travel, production slowing down and large communities being confined to household spaces, we can already see emissions dropping down at a surprising rate. One of the largest side effects of an on-going pandemic tragedy.

Until now, many sustainable material and production researches were done in either: enclosed setting, research studies and for small/limited edition projects. This cannot change the world, have a meaningful impact on the planet and certainly will not save us from running out of resources. As a professional community – whether designing for production, marketing manufactured goods, innovating through material propositions etc. – we need to do things at scale. To achieve that, we need to have a community working collaboratively in a methodical and thoughtful way.

When you consider an extent of businesses involved in making decisions that require material knowledge to make most sustainable choices there is a wide spectrum from banks, to grocery shops, food on the go delivery platforms, events, music festivals, fashion, product, automotive, transport, interiors, architecture, FMCG and more. These often zoom in by working in silos, but actually you can really unlock change when you bring people from different environments together to share with each other.

Each company has several key parts to the business, which usually includes: Innovation, Brand, Product, Sustainability and Marketing. These don’t often mix or connect. In a small business they might, but in the large business this isn’t often the case. So how do you energise and create point of contact across these within the organisations? If we do that at scale and bring the right solutions, this is what will affect and drive change through these organisations under an impact frame such as ‘climate change’, ‘water resources’, ‘circular materials’, ‘waste management’ and more..

To accomplish this, we need to work cross-sector, cross-silo, cross-role and across the whole mix of stakeholders within the supply chain. It is neither efficient nor environmentally productive to just design, to just produce, to just collect waste, to just sell, to just distribute etc. The reason being is that decisions being made within the design community will always affect other parties within the supply chain and the other way around. In conclusion, all parties need to be involved and cross-pollinate idea generation as well as decision making processes.

To bring it back into context – on the example of broadly discussed fashion industry – when designing a garment, the designer should be aware of the environmental and disposal credentials for all materials that are being considered. Such information base can be established through communication with material experts/CMF designers, producers, waste collectors and recyclers at the beginning of the creation process.

Above presented points prove that sustainability cannot be designed backwards, and this is a practice that we are trying to educate on. At Nirvana CPH, together with our partners and close collaborators, we are here to support your decisions that you make every day or collectively for your business.

Above all, we are here, working hard to share with you stories that inspire us to action.

To find out more about materials for sustainable future, please feel free to comment here or email us at If you would like to watch all the talks across “Sustainable Materials”, “Sustainable Production” and “Sustainable Innovation” please follow this link.


Opening of the video features and extract from “The 1975 ft. Greta Thunberg – 1975”: “All movements in their present form have failed, but Homo sapiens have not yet failed. (…) there is still time to turn everything around. We can fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.”

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