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Ready, set and start living a more sustainable lifestyle

31 brands come together for 31 days to kick start sustainable living in May

London, UK. - 30 Apr 2013: The countdown has begun to a more sustainable future. Start, the UK initiative inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales is launching ‘Be the Start’ campaign this May, a month long celebration and demonstration of how living sustainably is rewarding and meaningful. For 31 days, 31 businesses and organisations, many of which are household names, will join the campaign to support and inspire people in their journey towards a sustainable lifestyle.

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From the month of May, people will be able to visit www.bethestart.org campaign hub to find out the different, simple ways they can live a more sustainable life and get inspired to Be the Start of a more sustainable future. From advice on how to start up / join a green project in your area, tips on how to travel smarter or join a sharing scheme, through to advice on how to save energy and water; the campaign aims to arm every single person in the UK with practical advice on how each individual can make their unique contribution to a sustainable Britain.

The campaign encourages people to Be a Starter – kick-starting sustainability for their family and friends too. And Starters will be rewarded for it. People can share details on how they are playing their part in Be the Start via Facebook and Twitter, using #BetheStart to encourage those around them to make their unique contribution too. Their Be the Start actions will be tracked on the campaign website throughout May and individuals will be rewarded with a free membership to ethical shopping site Choose Green.

There will be a whole host of other rewards for getting friends and family involved, with the grand prize being an ethical holiday, courtesy of Green Traveller. People are also invited to sign up to the campaign’s Smarter Travel challenge, where journeys made by bike, foot, or public transport will be tracked throughout May and a brand new bike will be won by one lucky participant.

Now in its fourth year, Be the Start campaign has big ambitions. This is the first year that Start has run such a bold campaign across a whole month, with previous years running for just 1 day. Our big ambition is that one day soon, there will be someone, somewhere starting a sustainable action not just during May, but every day of the year.

The campaign will have five themed weeks including; Happier & Healthier Nation, More Resourceful Living, More Vibrant Communities, Smarter Travel and A Nation that Shares[i]. Over 40 well-known names are supporting the campaign including Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, IBM, Eurostar, Virgin Money and B&Q. For every day in May, each organisation will showcase how they are making it easier for people in the UK to live more sustainably, and outline their business contribution to a sustainable future. 

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Joey Tabone, Director at Start says: “Most of us know that there are things we can stop doing to make changes to the world we live in. The Start message is different. It’s about inspiring people to take positive action and start doing things. Whether it is joining a car-sharing scheme, setting up a Streetclub sharing circle for the road you live on, or helping your children find a closer connection to nature; throughout May, Be the Start will inform and showcase the many ways we can all start living a more sustainable lifestyle, and how we can encourage our friends and families to do the same.”

Alan Knight, Sustainability Director at Business in the Community says: “We know that collective action can make a real difference to our communities, workplaces and homes. This year, we have over 40 companies working in partnership with Be the Start. Our ambition is that all 850 companies who are members of BITC will join this movement, within the next five years.”

For more information about Be the Start campaign visit www.BetheStart.org, or to join in the conversations about sustainable living use #BeTheStart, follow @Start_UK and like www.facebook.com/start_uk.

About Start

Start is part of the Responsible Business charity Business in the Community. It is an initiative inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales to promote and celebrate sustainable lifestyles. Start’s mission is to inspire, encourage and inform the UK public so that sustainable living is relevant, appealing and has a positive impact for everyone.

The ‘Be the Start’ campaign was created with help from The Marketing Society, MRM Meterorite, Business in the Community, UMV and Weber Shandwick.

Organisations taking part in Be the Start

Action for Happiness, Anywhere Working, ASDA, B&Q, Business in the Community, BlaBla Car, Calor Gas, Carbon Heroes, CTC, CyclesScheme, Ecomodo, The Eden Project, Eurostar, Freegle, GiveMeTap, goCarShare, Green Traveller, Greener Journeys, Healthy Planet, IBM, Innocent Drinks, Liftshare, Love your local market, Marks & Spencer, Ohyo, please cycle, Project Dirt, Smooth Radio, Solar Schools (10:10), Streetclub, Sustrans, tapwater.org, The Big Lunch, The DoNation, Thames Water, The People Who Share (Global Sharing Day), Visit England, Virgin Money, Waitrose.

With support from Smooth Radio, CBS Outdoor and Sustainable Brands.

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) stands for responsible business. A unique business movement of 850 member companies – the largest business-led charity of its kind – committed to building resilient communities, diverse workplaces and a more sustainable future. BITC works locally, nationally and internationally with members to transform businesses and transform communities. BITC believes that responsible leadership is the ability to balance both.

Business in the Community is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which the Prince of Wales is President. www.bitc.org.uk

Contact(s) information

Josie Whittle
Weber Shandwick
0207 067 0645
JWhittle@webershandwick.com

Lucy Chapman
UK External Relations
07920 823429
lucychapman@uk.ibm.com

Vicky Gashe
Head of Media, Business in the Community
07714 411539
Vicky.Gashe@bitc.org.uk

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