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Environmental commitments

This page was last updated in February 2021. If you have any questions about ACEVO’s internal environmental targets please contact policy officer Maisie on

Office and working arrangements

As of February 2021, ACEVO is a remote team, working from home without a central office. When vacating our office we made sure that all furniture was collected for resale by Reyooz, rather than disposed of as rubbish. We also did a full paper clear out and we are cutting down our printing hugely as a remote team.

Not having an office means our staff travel footprint will have reduced in terms of commuting, which is positive. However, it is possible that our wider impact on the environment has increased via emissions associated with home working (e.g. household heating and electricity). Holding board meetings remotely via Zoom and all events via Zoom has also reduced the impact of many individuals travelling to one event, as well as increasing attendance and event accessibility.

When restrictions lift, we will begin exploring how the team will work longer-term, with the possibility of finding shared office space for meetings and occasional onsite working, as well as a combination of face-to-face and digital events. When this search begins environmental factors will be one of the categories against which we score any potential office spaces. As soon as we can travel again, we will endeavour to use trains instead of planes or cars as much as possible.

Carbon offsetting

Since 2019 ACEVO has offset one tonne of carbon per month via the Gold Standard Community Projects to cover some of our emissions. Although we are aware that offsetting isn’t the long-term answer to the climate emergency, we want to provide some support as we try and reduce our emissions and become more energy-efficient.

In 2021, we would like to carry out a review of our carbon footprint, including our digital activities (especially website, events and newsletters) and explore the best ways of offsetting our emissions. We are also exploring how to support staff to be environmentally friendly when working from home, and any guides for staff will be made available to members as templates for their own organisations.

Reduced paper

As part of moving to running digital events, we have stopped printing agendas, delegate lists and other event information. We are planning on delivering a combination of face-to-face and digital events, and when face-to-face events resume, we will send documents in advance digitally instead of printing them. We will now only be printing for essential finance and legal needs on recycled paper.

We originally committed to reducing our printing levels by 40-50% by January 2020, and staff significantly cut back on what was printed. This was obviously before we left the office, but we wanted to provide some figures for comparison.


Pages printed – Black

Pages printed – Colour

Pages printed – Total










didn’t meet our target of reducing printing while we were still in the office, but we did make a significant reduction which is positive. With all events now online and the team working entirely remotely, the only printing is for legal and finance needs. This has almost eliminated printing in other areas.

Digital events

At the start of the pandemic, we shifted our entire events calendar to digital provision. This meant that members were not travelling long distances to attend events, and despite the challenges of the pandemic engagement and attendance has improved. Although there are certain elements of face-to-face networking which we still think are very valuable, we have been able to replicate some of this by launching our online Community, where members can ask each other questions and share ideas or resources. If you haven’t yet joined the Community, you can do so here.

ACEVO will continue to provide a combination of digital and face-to-face services. We hope this will allow more of our members to attend events across the country, as well as restoring some of the contact between individuals which makes the ACEVO network so unique. Although this will also reduce the carbon footprint of our events, as fewer people will be travelling to them, we know that digital activities also make an impact, and we are planning on learning more about our digital carbon footprint. 


At some of our events, such as new member’s lunches, we would normally provide food. When events resume where catering is provided, we will trial meat-free options and ask caterers to avoid plastic packaging. We will seek member views on whether this works for them. In the office we had moved to Clipper teabags to ensure waste could be effectively composted; however, we know that since moving to home working, many staff members do not have composting facilities and cannot make the most of this. Our home working guide for staff will explore some of the issues around waste collection, recycling, energy efficiency and more; if you have ideas about specific areas to include that would help your teams, get in touch with

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