Thomas Panton is an experienced speaker in the environment sector, spending his time educating, inspiring, and engaging different audiences to begin their journey to become more sustainable. He also talks about mental health in high pressure roles, and advises other founders on wellbeing and making tough decisions.
When Thomas was 13 he was scouted by City of Oxford Swimming Club to join their regional development squad. He spent the next 5 years of his teenage life competing on the international stage representing the county, region, and nation in international competitions. Despite the widely assumed success, Thomas was suffering from severe depression and anxiety during these years, and was subject to bullying and abuse within the competitive environment. In 2013, he was diagnosed with a Borderline Personality Disorder; it changed his life.
These challenges remoulded Thomas’ outlook on life and when he left his swimming career at 18 he embarked on a new mission to understand global changes and relationships, the workings of international communities and organisations. He is particularly focussed on bringing sustainability and climate change to the conversation, and looking at the anxiety and stress that these issues raise for many of the younger generation.
As former outreach and face-to-face team at international NGO Greenpeace UK, he has worked with the organisation to bring climate action to the forefront of conversation in various sectors around the UK and EU – specifically focussed on how private industry and government can work proactively to reduce emissions and waste by looking into energy consumption and product manufacturing. Greenpeace is the largest independent environmental non-governmental organisation in the world and has been one of the leading voices in global changes since 1971.
Thomas then went on to found the UK’s first company to be specifically contracted to collect and upcycle leftover festival tents, Festovers. Despite Festovers’ work being cut short by the 2020 Covid pandemic, Thomas managed to build a company that would change the way festivals dealt with consumer waste at scale. He featured as one of IQ Magazine’s 2019 Green Guardians, spoke regularly on BBC Radio Oxford to discuss the event industry’s waste issues, and has subsequently been regularly asked to speak on panels to discuss sustainability across both the events and consumer industry, including at Wild Paths Festival in the UK, and Robert Llewleyn’s Fully Charged Live event where he spoke on a panel discussing consumption.
Currently, as founder and CEO of Shop Greenr Ltd, Thomas is revolutionising the online retail industry by building the first multi-vendor marketplace that quantifies the impact of every product sold on the platform. By providing data and research on CO2e, water, and plastic saved on every purchase, Greenr is bringing educational content and accessible better impact products to consumers around the UK. Using his platform, he also works closely with the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce and the Norwich Business Improvement District to bring real solutions to businesses across the region to tackle the climate question, and regularly offers his services as a consultant to businesses to improve their sustainability mission.
Thomas also studies an MSc in Climate Change and International Development from the University of East Anglia alongside the world renowned Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and is writing a research paper on the impact of consumer products on the global emissions crisis.
A recent revert to Islam, he is very open to talking about his experience as a white man in the cultural west reverting to a religion which has been oppressed for decades by the mainstream media, politicians, and regional community. His relationship with Allah is a driving force behind his work and his commitment to help people around the world.
"We were really pleased to have Thomas involved with the Wild Paths panel on sustainability within the events sector, his insights and past experience were both refreshing and truly valuable for our young festival audience."
Ben Street, Wild Paths Festival Director
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