So why is your website called Imperfect Sustainability and how does that relate to being a Chippenham Town Councillor?

Well my decision to run for council in 2021 was a fairly rapid one. As I was passionate about Sustainability and had the domain ‘Imperfect Sustainability’ I decided to reuse it to put up a website. As an independent candidate not affiliated to a party I needed some way of letting people know who I was.

In the past two years as a Chippenham Town councillor my sustainability views have broadened to be more centred around the Doughnut Economics principles of Social Foundation at the centre of the doughnut. If we can make the town a great place to be through art, culture, music, the circular economy, greening the town centre, and facilitating more active travel, well that’s a pretty good aim I think.

Since being elected the Town Council has made good progress on Climate and Environmental goals and I continue to champion the progress. For the last year I have been working closely with the small businesses in the newly formed Town Quarters. I’ve found them a very altruistic group of people, whose goal is to make the town a better place for all. From this i’ve been able to help a number of initiatives from the ground up, which i’m hopeful we’ll see come to life in 2024, from hanging baskets on New Road and highways improvements on Union Road, to market place improvements and paid performers.

Why Imperfect Sustainability?

Well it actually came from a book I published in 2021 based on our experiences of trying to make our business and personal lives as sustainable as possible.

I started writing it over two years ago when the IPCC 1.5 degree Climate change report hit me between the eyes. It seemed at the time that it had slipped under the radar and I felt an overwhelming need to act, to do something. 

I started to research the science behind Climate change and look deeper into sustainability so we could continue to evolve our business. I have to thank the Future Learn platform and in particular the University of Exeter, Bath, Leicester, Bergen, Cape Town and University College London for their excellent online short courses that gave the foundations for our decision making.

Often the decisions weren’t clear cut, particularly when it came to plastic packaging. But doing nothing wasn’t an option, so we made decisions based on the best available information and a certain amount of gut instinct. I started to write notes, case studies and blog posts on our website and over two years these formed the basis of my book.

The original natty title was ‘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 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!

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 my wife coined the phrase – become ‘Imperfectly sustainable’.

And that’s the gist of my 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.

By the way i’m not here to sell you my book, but if you are curious you can find out more and buy the book here.