The Paperback edition of Matthew’s new book – How to be Imperfectly Sustainable.
You will be redirected to Amazon to complete the purchase.
Two years in the writing ‘How to be Imperfectly Sustainable’ provides a crash course in sustainability for small businesses using examples and case studies from our own journey since 2014. From Climate change and Ocean acidification to plastic pollution and economics, it’s not always possible to make the perfect decision in your business or personal life – but an Imperfect one may be good enough to take us one step closer to saving the planet.
This book was going to have the natty title ‘How to make your small business sustainable’. But as my wife and business partner Diana watched me over many months wrestle with making our small chocolate business sustainable, ranting at newspapers, going to sustainability conferences, and studying feverishly with various Universities, it became clear that being sustainable was no straightforward walk in the park!
At times I gained a glint in my eye and after one too many glasses of wine would corner a dinner party guest and lecture them on climate change as their eyes glazed over, waking the next day to recall my incoherent ramblings. I gained an obsession with compost and all things compostable for which there may be no cure.
Often what might appear to be the right thing to do from one perspective was the wrong thing to do from another. So all you can really do is take your best shot. Or as Diana coined the phrase – become ‘Imperfectly sustainable’.
And that’s the gist of this book – a guide on how to become imperfectly sustainable.
For if we all become Imperfectly sustainable, we might just make enough difference to shift our planet back on an even keel.
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate change.
If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
– Naturalist Sir David Attenborough speaking at the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland, 2018.
Climate change has me deeply worried. It seems that much of the prosperity and gains of the last 200 years since the industrial revolution has been made at a huge cost to the environment and biodiversity on our planet.
But what do we mean by a ‘sustainable business’?
I’ve spent several years trying to answer this question in a practical way. I’ve followed our chocolate supply chain from the cocoa farmers and chocolate makers in Madagascar and the Caribbean island of Grenada, studied sustainability with the University of Leicester and Climate change with Exeter University, attended sustainability conferences and questioned speakers. My intention was to piece together a template that can be applied to many small businesses based on our experience.
I’ll give an accelerated crash course in sustainability and share many of the practical decisions we’ve made as a small business and hope that they will prove useful for you too.
I don’t have all of the answers, but given we only have a small window of time to make a change before it’s too late, this is my best shot. I’ll share some of the truly inventive ways people are adapting their businesses based on new technology and biomimicry. I hope you’ll find it invaluable and inspiring and a route to new opportunities as well as saving the planet.
“If you want to build a flotilla of ships you don’t sit around and talk about carpentry. You set the saws ablaze with visions of exploring distant shores.”― Antione de Saint-Exupery