Ed Hopkins from Dark Green PR visited College to speak to Travel and Tourism students
“The Henley College gave me a lot of opportunities.”
Fresh from 8 days at COP 26 in Glasgow, former Henley student Ed, spoke about how proud he is to have studied here. He was delighted to return to talk to 1st and 2nd year students about his career and how passionate he is about tackling climate change.
Dark Green PR was founded in 2020 during the first lockdown and has gone from strength to strength representing brands such as Beauty Kitchen, whose products are sustainable and focus on the circular economy, and solar company Solivus. Ed has created an allocation of work experiences places at Dark Green PR for Henley students.
Speaking about his career Ed stressed how important it is to him to work with brands who are genuinely and actively trying to create change in the face of the climate crisis, and warned against believing high profile, and high polluting brands, who use “greenwashing” in their advertising campaigns to create the illusion of being more environmentally friendly than they actually are.
Sustainable and responsible tourism is an element of the students' course and Ed explained that if, for example, they were designing a resort, it is more effective to incorporate sustainability from the start rather than having to retroactively reshape an existing business model to reach Net Zero by 2050, under the Paris Agreement.
Fuel and energy are major concerns regarding the climate, but Ed also highlighted the importance of focusing on the food we eat (and food is a significant aspect of tourism). He explained how, as consumers, the single biggest way to reduce our carbon footprint is to limit the amount of animal products we consume, and Ed stressed that there will be more focus on food and food production going forwards.
Ed went on to speak about the importance of gaining work experience in the students’ chosen fields, and told them to have the confidence to just simply ask the companies they were interested in for placements. He also explained more about his own business and how he employs a young team, and how working with young people inspires him.
Speaking about the students’ future he said, “don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do because you’re young and don’t let anyone tell you who you can and can’t be in the workplace. Don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable about who you are; dress how you want; use the pronouns you want to use; be who you want to be.”
Find out more about studying Travel and Tourism Extended Diploma Level 3 HERE