Back in November, our Senior Leadership Team gathered at Exeter Brewery to collaborate with the aim of producing a new mission statement for the company. As we celebrated our ten-year anniversary last year, as many of you know, we took the opportunity to rebrand our company to acknowledge the progress we’ve made and the future we’re striving for. Putting together our new mission statement was the final piece of this puzzle. After an afternoon of conversation, positive challenge and dialogue, we were proud to agree on this as the finished product and mission statement for The Outdoors Group:
To reconnect people, planet and purpose to create an awesome future.
We think this perfectly epitomises the ‘why’ that drives everything we do and what better day to delve into this a little more than on Earth Day!
A love of the outdoors and awareness of its importance in our lives is what underpins our pledge to do as much as humanely possible to play our part in stopping the climate crisis we find ourselves in. We take a two-fold approach in this, the first is through our ecological education and the second is through the way we practically run our company.
Inspiring the Future Generation
Every time a child or young person joins us in the woods, one of our priorities is to instill a love and respect of the outdoors within them. This is the case whether they are coming on a long term basis, over the course of months and years, or whether they are just popping in for a Holiday Club session or Birthday Party. By facilitating a connection with the natural world whilst they are young, our hope is that they will grow up wanting to protect it and stand up for it when they see it being threatened. Just by having positive, fulfilling experiences outside, we believe that these learners will associate these feelings with being outside and will be more empowered and motivated to care for the world around them, as they leave our woods and head off on their own journeys.
Walking the Walk
As a business that gets through a lot of consumable goods, we try to make sure we buy ethically where possible. We’ve signed up Good Club, an ethical wholesaler, for buying things like washing up liquid and hand sanitiser in bulk, we support independent, local (where possible) businesses as much as possible and are doing all we can to reduce the amount of waste created by our sessions. We’re encouraging people to work from home (where possible) in order to reduce the amount of car travel done in our name and are working on becoming a paperless company.
We also have some fantastically ambitious long term goals. We are hoping that by 2030 we will not only be carbon neutral but will be a carbon negative company. This should also contribute to our other goal, to become a Certified B Corporation company (a business that balances profit and purpose, working to use business as a force for good). We’re aware that we have a lot to do to get there but between us, we’ve got the will and motivation to make sure that it happens.
We are committed to managing our woodlands in a way that is sustainable and supports the habitats that it supports. We practice coppicing where possible, are continuing to replant areas with native, hardy trees after losing a large section to Ash Dieback and perform regular site inspections to make sure that we are having the least impact possible on the fauna and flora of our woodland homes. Additionally, our amazing Estates team use wood from the trees that we’ve had to fell as the timber in their building projects around our sites, thereby reducing the need to buy in ‘new’ as well as our carbon footprint with the transportation of said timber!
A Work in Progress
We know we’ve got a long way to go and by no means are claiming to have all the answers or be doing it perfectly but we’re trying really hard to make a difference and to reduce our impact on the natural world around us. This Earth Day, we’re all being called on to invest in the planet. The official site for today has a challenge for you…
This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.
For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.
Here at The Outdoors Group, we’re all in….are you?