Environmentally responsible design company is in demand
The successful application of environmentally responsible
practises within top quality design and creative services
has earned Leap Media a healthy business growth during its
first three years.
In fact Managing Director Matt Hocking recently went on to
establish a second company – Go Jute – ethically
sourcing natural, biodegradable jute bags from partners in
India. This sister company for Leap Media complements their
original products and ethos.
St Austell-based Leap Media has received Objective One investment
via three different projects - initially via Cornwall Pure
Business (which supports businesses relocating to Cornwall)
and actnow (broadband) and latterly via Unlocking
Cornish Potential (a project that places graduates with businesses).
Matt, who is Cornish born, is a keen promoter of sustainable
practice and his enthusiasm has helped to make Leap Media
what it is today. He had earlier worked with clients including
Sky, AOL and Lego and spent three years heading the graphics
team at the Eden Project. As a result of his contribution
all of Eden's internal design projects were sourced
from recyclable materials whilst he was there.
He founded Leap in October 2004 as he left the Eden Project
to move to Wiltshire but he and partner Clare Gardner decided
to move the company back to Cornwall. "I decided
working in an inspirational and supportive environment was
going to be key to making the business a success. Cornwall
is the perfect location for our business as we have access
to an infinite resource of people, partners and places that
complement the work we undertake," he said.
Leap Media specialises in award winning sustainable design,
marketing and print. The company aim is to provide a design
service that will not only make money for the customers but
is as environmentally sustainable as possible. For instance
signs are made from recyclable paper or card, take away food
containers made from bamboo, exhibitions from recycled card,
awards from recycled plastics and signage made from yogurt
pots to list just a few. And don't think these are mundane
designs; they are sexy and innovative, eco-design being creatively
pushed all the way.
"It is also about telling the story," explained
Matt. "We create dynamic designs and products that
work at an economic, environmental and social level for our
clients and the environment. And it is not just about using
recycled paper it is about going beyond, creating conversations
and distinction and telling people the stories about how things
are done – for instance reserved table signs made from
locally sourced wood from Heligan Gardens."
With no marketing the company has expanded from sole trader
status to having six employees and a client base increase
of 400% with more than 180 accounts. Clients include Microsoft,
Universal Music Jazz, Good Energy (national and leading 100%
renewable electricity provider) The National Trust, Devon
and Cornwall County Councils, Shreddybed (a growing Bodmin
based company that recycles materials for animal bedding),
Botanical Gardener (a landscaping company with bases in Cornwall
and London) Wrigley, Cornwall Real Nappy Project, Re:source,
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and many more.
Leap Media is also a designated specialist for honey2cornwall,
another Objective One project that offers expert advice and
investment to hotels and guest houses.
The employees include Claire England who started work for
Leap Media in early 2007 under the Unlocking Cornish Potential
Scheme (UCP). UCP is a Combined Universities in Cornwall project
run by Cornwall College that places graduates with businesses
and provides support, including an expert mentor, for up to
"Unlocking Cornish Potential means we can have a
member of staff who is appreciated for their talent and worth
and another brilliant thing is the mentor so the graduate
receives on job training," said Matt. "Having
taken on Claire I estimate we could double our turnover and
are now able to take on much bigger projects as we can increase
our workload and I can get out more to meet new clients."
Claire, who was brought up in St Austell, graduated in Graphic
Design from Bath Spa University. Before that she completed
an art foundation course at Falmouth School of Art (now University
College Falmouth - a partner in the Combined Universities
in Cornwall). After graduating she worked in London but wanted
to return to her Cornish home.
"The UCP scheme meant I could earn enough to be
able to work in my home town," she said. "We
also have project plans under the scheme which help me to
achieve my goals."
One of her first projects at Leap was helping to set up Go
Jute, designing the website, branding and clients' requirements
for designs on the jute bags that are produced.
Go Jute started relationships with an ethical family business
based in Kolkata, India, and Matt and business partner Gary
Warren are working towards Fairtrade status for the company.
Annual turnover has already risen from zero to six figures.
Leap Media ensures it leads by example, as it is a CarbonZero
company, reducing Leap's carbon output and offsetting any
CO2 residue. Leap also only banks ethically with Triodos and
the Cooperative, and uses 100% renewable electricity from
Good Energy to fuel its studio. As well as having shares in
various wind farms Leap has recently been buying locked carbon
in endangered areas of the Amazon through Collearth to help
offset client projects. Leap is presently working towards
BS8555 environmental accreditation awarded by environmental
business support consultancy Envision.
For further information please contact Clare Morgan, Media
Relations Manager for the Objective One Partnership. Tel:
01872 223439 /07973 813647. Email: email@example.com.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the actnow project through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cornwall
Pure Business project through the European Regional Development
Fund (ERDF) and the Combined Universities in Cornwall Unlocking
Cornish Potential project through the European Social Fund
Plans to audit themselves on a carbon unit per hour basis
will enable Leap Media to assess environmental impacts and
also to promote savings for the company and clients. It is
hoped that results will then be used as a benchmark across
the industry. This is a self initiated audit assessing three
years of Leap, to establish whether a company that acts as
responsibly and creatively as Leap, actually makes a difference.
Matt explained: "The information we hope to get
following the 5 week audit (completed by 28/9/07) will tell
us the level of impact Leap has on the environment and by
using recycled paper/materials what have we saved in terms
of trees, landfill, water, energy and CO2. We are also aiming
to work out how much CO2 is used per creative hour and then
use this in future estimates showing both design fee and CO2
level. We will then offer various offset schemes that don't
involve tree planting, rather renewable projects and carbon
locking. It's an exciting time, for all we know we don't
make a difference."
This audit is being done by a second year Renewable Energy
student from the University of Exeter's Tremough Campus
under the guidance of Envision for a fee set by Leap.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439