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What can your organisation do for the climate?

By Emma Gibson, director at London TravelWatch and member of the ACEVO climate crisis working group.

A narrated version of this blog is available at the bottom of the page

In this huge year for the climate, like you, I’ve been pondering what my organisation can do to play our part in securing a good outcome when nations gather together for COP 26 in Glasgow at the end of the year.

As an organisation whose purpose is to improve the experience of people as they move around London, arguably, most of London Travelwatch’s work makes a contribution to decarbonising transport. Although we do represent the users of some of London’s roads, most of our work is about improving public transport and making it easier to get around on foot. So we’re ahead there. But we wanted to do more.

At our June board meeting, I proposed the idea of adding a new criterion to how we select and prioritise the projects that we work on: ‘Will working on this issue help to contribute to the decarbonisation of transport in London?’. And I was really pleased that our board agreed to it. This means that we now can more actively choose to work on projects that help solve climate change.

We’ve also decided to be more explicit in communicating the climate-friendly aspects of our work.

In terms of putting our own house in order, we’re also doing the following:

  • We’ve contacted the landlord of our building to ask if they will move to a renewable energy provider for our electricity, and they are looking into it
  • We’re doing a lightweight ‘sustainability audit’ to see if there are other areas where we can make changes e.g making sure that all our printer paper is recycled; reviewing the printing of board papers and printed reports; looking into the carbon intensity of our website and data storage; looking at whether we should have only vegetarian/sustainably sourced food at our events, and looking into food waste collection in our area of London
  • I contacted our pensions provider to find out if our pensions are invested in fossil fuels, and I’m satisfied that they are not
  • We also need to promote the fact that we take part in the Government’s cycle to work scheme

We’ll keep looking out for new ways to show our commitment to decarbonisation. It can seem a bit overwhelming to know where to start, but I think the important thing is to do one thing, and then build on it over time.

Narrated by a member of the ACEVO staff

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