We’re taking a deep dive into the Enviral team to learn about their inspirations, motivations and their epic adventures.
This week, meet Joss…
Tell us about your background, how did your journey with Enviral begin/when did your journey with Enviral begin?
I’ve always been an environmentalist. From a young age, I had a fascination with nature. I graduated from The School of Earth and Environment at Leeds University and CISL (Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership), and knew this was an area I wanted to continue working in. I saw scientists explaining the climate crisis, marketing agencies selling us products, but I started to see a way to bridge the two in order to help create a more sustainable world. I actually came up with the whole concept for Enviral in my lecture.
I was sitting in a lecture at university with a problem rattling through my mind – I knew there were companies who did great things, but where were they in the sea of fake greenwash claims? I wanted to get great environmental and social brands into the spotlight so that other eco-minded consumers could purchase from them. I wanted to help these businesses use their force for good, in order to evoke positive behaviour change and ultimately make whole industries better.
At the end of that lecture I had brainstormed Enviral (turning brands environmental messages viral was the thinking), bought the web domain name and started sketching logos *which is pretty similar to the one we have today. The rest is history
Why is sustainability important to you?
It’s just the right thing to do. From a business perspective, I’ve only been brought up with books like ‘Let my people go surfing’, a business book which breaks all traditional mindsets of profit first. Why should it be like that when we have environmental collapse on our doorsteps (it’s not even an out of sight out of mind thing now) and social inequality at an all-time problematic place? Business has a crucial role in positive behaviour change (movements from individuals although massively effective can’t always leverage the immediate momentum needed for a complete u-turn in how our system works, and even if governments had the best branded, worded and policy-focused approach, there will always be people who go against the grain due to stubbornness and media pressure). Another factor for me is a fair society. We operate in the marketing and media world, which currently is disproportionately a middle-classed white industry in the UK. This is the same as most (well paid) industries. This isn’t fair and I believe I have a place as an entrepreneur to look at this to create a fair world for our grandchildren’s children to inhabit.
From a nature perspective, I love our natural planet too much. Whether that is seeing wildlife directly harmed by our human behaviours, or mountains where I feel so at home not looking like they do anymore because of our atmosphere heating up – that bums me out. How many snow days have we had in the last 5 years? I’m not old but that’s dramatically reduced. Think about the kids missing their snow days off! How hot is it when people wear their £5 Primark Christmas jumpers in December… July worthy! What about the rapid fluctuations in our weather (often in our most extreme places on the planet). Things have gotta change!
Tell us more about your specialism and how you use it to support the business?
Chief thinker, the connector of dots and dog video lover. Although I’m the Founder and have set the vision, I work for my team and they are the true specialists. I’m a soundboard, creative thinker and from studying sustainability for over a decade now, with a deep knowledge of full-service marketing I align the full picture with the team across all clients.
Best moment with Enviral so far?
I honestly feel like these keep happening and are happening more and more regularly. There are days which we as a team are flying on another level, almost connected with an out of body energy. It may seem cheesy to say, but our advance from being a small agency with a vision to having exponential growth to being a national agency couldn’t have been done without this approach.
When you’re not at work where would you be and why?
Brecon Beacons or up a mountain in the Alps. If you don’t know why, you need to go to these locations immediately. If you still don’t know why after visiting both or either of those areas – I’ll take holiday time and show you the way…
Tell us about a brand you really admire and why/what are they doing?
OutsideIn. These guys are using business as a force for good by getting you to connect with our homelessness epidemic. Similar to the Toms 1:1 model, when you buy a piece of clothing they send you another piece of clothing to go and make a connection with someone who is homeless in your town or city, or they’ll donate to local shelters. They’re doing this with well made ethical clothes, in a cool style, reimagining ‘why’ they should exist as a business.
Tell us about your greatest adventure so far?
Outside of my adventure in setting up Enviral, my best micro-adventure was a moonlit ski touring a backcountry mountain at 4am for 3 hours to arrive at the summit for sunrise. Outside of that, it was a wet and wild camping trip pre lockdown in the Brecon Beacons where we lived for 4 days with what was on our backs, navigating our way around the Welsh hills in all elements.
What excites you most?
Us achieving our vision to live in a world where all brands prioritise people and the planet.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
In a book: Simon Sinek – “People don’t buy what you do, it’s why you do it.”
In life: Seen on a street lamp – “Without boring, exciting would be boring.”
In person: “If you can run 5k you can run a marathon”
What do you hope to learn in the future?
I want to learn more about social justice, continuing to learn more about inequality of less represented communities and how as a privileged white person, and what steps I can do to make society and business more fair.