Though he’s always been interested in both natural and social sciences, David Buckley, Founder of The Summit Path, remembers being bitten by the sustainability bug while studying human ecology at university. Along with a host of entrepreneurs, David recently attended The Planet Mark Start! and Yena workshop, where he completed a sustainability plan and received free certification to the programme.
“Sustainability is fundamentally built into my character, and subsequently into The Summit Path as a business, he says. Nowadays, Start-ups have the opportunity to create a new business model, one that starts with a vision of sustainability at the core and captures an ecosystem of customers along the way that shows that a ‘sustainable business model’ isn’t an unprofitable one”
David has always been fascinated to learn about the ways in which the natural environment not only contributed to humanity’s existence but also by how these systems might be optimally harnessed to fuel performance in the realms of business, sport and the arts.
“If you make a strong business case for something, there is a real opportunity for change. As a result, I thought I would embark on starting my own organisation, experimenting with these practices, both to serve clients and to set an example. “
Perhaps there’s no greater testament to David’s conviction than his business, The Summit Path- a cutting-edge provider of coaching for peak mental performance.
“One of the reasons I established The Summit Path was to help with the interactions and relationships between individuals, other people and the environment, “whether that’s working with an athlete to enhance control and focus, or to help a business devise strategies to help staff working under sales pressures. “
“The majority of our work is revolved around working with and dealing with performance based and subsequently high-pressure environments and building the capacity of our clients, so they are in tune with their thinking and know how to be their best at the times that are important to them.”
Separating business growth from resource consumption, he explains, necessitates innovation and helps dislocate deeply- entrenched consumer behaviours.
“The biggest thing I learnt when I started was the importance of challenging perceptions from the outset. For that reason, we donate 5% of clients purchases to supporting grassroots social and environmental causes. This means our clients are directly investing in themselves, others and our environment every time they use our services. The Summit Path had a unique opportunity to do this because of the nature of our work. The expectation is that when clients come and see us there will be a therapy room or meeting room, but this is not the case, we encourage people to take a walk, a lot of our work is outside, we don’t want to waste resources on energy or anything like that.”
The search for competitive advantage is an ongoing quest for all businesses, and one that the younger generation have embraced, David explains.
“In other young entrepreneurs I see a thirst to want to do things differently, I can understand that incorporating sustainable practices may challenge short term gain and I can see why isn’t always as high on people’s agendas as it should be. But that is where start-ups have a unique opportunity. It is disproportionately difficult to make fundamental changes once a business has been established, so if you can sit down, see your impacts and address them from the outset, take the opportunity.”
David was one of many start- up owners that attended The Planet Mark Start! and Yena sustainability event on the 3rd September, a workshop designed to provide free sustainability planning, marketing and certification for their business.
“Networking events such as these are so important, there is a room full of like-minded individuals sharing ideas and best practices, and it provides a unique opportunity to trade thoughts with other young entrepreneurs.”