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Reducing your environmental impact: practical resources

Sarah Mitchell. Heart of the City CEO, shares resources to support charities tackling the climate crisis.

One of the few positives of the lockdown was the dramatic drop in carbon emissions. Those of us in cities had the novel experience of clean air and clear roads, those in the countryside enjoyed quieter roads and skies. However, the return to work has brought with it a massive increase in environmental pollution as public transport gets ditched for private cars, and as re-usable items are abandoned in favour of single use cutlery, cups, gloves and masks. Overall C19 may signal a backward step for environmental action, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

While C19 will dominate our thoughts for the coming 12 to 24 months the threat from climate change is a longer-term threat with more far-reaching and permanent consequences. That’s why many organisations are looking beyond the current crisis and re-affirming their commitment to tackling the climate crisis.

For smaller organisations it isn’t always clear what we can do to reduce our environmental impact. Heart of the City specialises in working with small to mid-sized companies (up to 250 employees) and we are well aware that many of the challenges our members face are mirrored in small to mid-sized charities. That’s why we are keen to share with you some of the practical (low cost, low time!) resources we’re produced for free to help charities to do what they can to reduce their environmental impact.

Our environmental baseline survey is a great place to start. This will help you identify where your charity is now and the actions you can focus on taking. Our Sustainable Office Tips will help you with some early actions, these practical tips help reduce the carbon footprint of any office, even those of us who rent or share office space. For those of us planning a return to the office and to travel, our Developing a Green Transport Policy has practical ideas to substitute for carbon intensive journeys and deliveries.

We would also strongly recommend the Carbon Trust’s excellent online tool designed for small businesses (but also applicable to most charities) to help measure and tackle carbon emissions.

Tackling the climate crisis is an enormous challenge and it is something that not one company, organisation, government or even sector can do independently. We have to work together. Making some of these small changes may seem inconsequential but together they add up to a change in our culture and expectations that will drive a wider transformation of the way we live and work. Charities and businesses alike have a great opportunity now to embed this change in everything we do and ensure that after this crisis we really do manage to build back a better economy and a better society.

Read more blogs related to the climate crisis

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