Updated: Dec 23, 2020

EPISODE 7 - Amell from Maintenant Sustaining Now

I came across Maintenant. Sustaining Now last year when the won the Best Green Business Award at the Business Bromley Awards.

I was kind of cheering for Greener and Cleaner Bromley and Beyond, (sorry guys, I didn't know about you then), but hey guys you won! And well deserved too.

It has been an adventure for me to discover your journey and stand corrected and realise that the fight we are fighting is for us now.

Not just for the future generations but for us now.

You were so right to mention yesterday, that Covid-19 is the current sign of the imbalance we have created as humans. And that we have the power NOW, to make that change, together, by educating ourselves and the younger generations to start moving that Sustainable Machine.

And we can do it. It is so inspiring to see people making small changes, raising awareness of what we can achieve together.

Educating each other in facts numbers and ways whereby we can turn those facts around for the earth, for us, for our children and for everyone.

Top Tip from Amell to approach 2020 Christmas, and to make it more sustainable , is to watch our food. Maybe change the recipes, reduce red meat consumption and try to avoid waste. Don't buy too much, Christmas is about being together.

But I leave you here Amell, in her own words.

Amell in her own words.

When I set up the social enterprise MAINTENANT, my mission was to empower members of the community to adapt their lifestyles now for a happy future. This mission has never changed: it is in our DNA and the backbone of our company.

The name MAINTENANT – which means “now” in French – was a natural fit for this new endeavour. The origin of the word, which also translates as “maintain” or “sustain”, is the idea of holding something in your hand. I want people to recognise that the future is very much in our hands and how we choose to act (or not) will have far-reaching consequences.

I have had a long-standing interest in sustainable development which, coupled with a scientific background and a naturally curious mind, has led me to create this organisation, which produces content, workshops and games centred on sustainability science. It was, for me, an unexpected step into an area outside of my expertise. However, with hindsight, it is clear it was a logical and natural path for me to follow, as well as being a journey I felt compelled to take.

A focus on impact

The endeavour began when I started studying sustainable development more deeply, which led to the dire realisation of the critical situation we are in in terms of levels of damage to the Earth’s atmosphere and biodiversity. It was enough to compel me to take action, to drop the work I was doing with IT companies and use my acquired skills and expertise with more impact.

I spent the first six months researching and networking to find out how I could contribute and make a difference. What I discovered during that time was a parallel world of astonishing people working very hard and dedicating their time and money to tackling the unprecedented challenges we are facing. There were also many people like me, especially from the field of finance, who had left their previous positions to try to find a way to help.

A pivotal moment came when I discovered that climate change debate was being cut from the British national curriculum. As a parent, I strongly felt the injustice of not only jeopardising our children’s future but also preventing them from learning exactly what was happening to our planet and why. I felt driven to act and to do so immediately.

No procrastination, just action.

I started by working with a local school, leading children in scientific activities and discussions about the planet and our relationship with it. In truth, I learned as much from them as they learned from me. These children, aged between 4 and 5 years old, completely got it. They were full of imagination and creativity. By giving them the scientific facts, in a non-patronising and non-dramatic way, they were able to fully engage with the topic. I did not need to tell them what to do. I just had to give them the why.