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Climate action plan

Last updated: 8 December 2020

ACEVO announced an internal climate emergency in 2019, alongside some internal organisational targets. However, this is about more than ACEVO’s carbon footprint. To halt the climate crisis and ensure the world is sustainable for future generations, the charity sector needs to make some changes.

We help civil society leaders to have the greatest possible impact, but we need to find ways of doing that without adversely impacting the natural world we live in.

This plan communicates how ACEVO will develop new offers that support our members to take ownership of this issue across the sector. 

Civil society leaders:


Civil society leaders imagine a better world for the people they support. We want the sector to imagine that world without the threat of climate breakdown and reflect that goal in their services.


Our dynamic network can inspire people to see themselves as changemakers, both within organisations and within communities. We want to connect system shapers to drive that change.


Good leaders learn. We know this is a journey, and we don’t have all the answers, so we are committed to sharing everything we learn – from immediate changes to reduce our carbon emissions, to the challenging issues of funding and partnerships.

This plan is driven by our values:

We have considered the best ways to support our members, change our own practice, and inspire action across civil society. We will take action in three areas:

  • Develop questionnaires to start assessing the sustainability credentials of our partners, suppliers and funders, and make clear and public our preference to work with companies that share our values and position on the climate crisis wherever possible.
  • Work as a virtual team in a shared office space, and produce guidelines for how our team can be climate-conscious while working from home.
  • Provide a short-written report to trustees at every board meeting outlining our progress in this area.
  • Become paper-free as far as possible, except for essential events and finance department needs.
  • Make the climate crisis the focus of a minimum of three events per year. These events will be run digitally to keep the carbon footprint of this workstream as low as possible.
  • At our face to face events, we will no longer print agendas or delegate lists and we will only serve vegetarian food.
  • Convene a member working group from across our membership to act as a sounding board for new member offers in this area, including training, tools, and resources.
  • Create a combined face-to-face and digital events offer, to ensure the necessity for travel is reduced and our events are accessible to a wider audience.
  • Engage a partner to support the delivery of carbon reduction and offsetting programmes to our members.
  • Commit a minimum of 10% of all communications to the climate crisis, monitored in our quarterly communications metrics reports.
  • Share our space by inviting climate activists to speak at our events and contribute to our content.
  • Highlight the sector’s role in climate action through one of our Leadership Worth Sharing podcasts per year.
  • Openly share our learning by creating tools and templates for our members, informed by our experiences from implementing this plan.

What we have started:

  • Our first member meeting on the climate crisis in June 2020 has directed our first actions, including shared sector messaging and forming a member working group.
  • We have begun searching for new shared office space and started working primarily as a remote team.
  • We have considered our funders, suppliers, and partner guidelines, and are committing to sharing our discussion of this challenging issue with members in 2021.
  • As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we started using digital platforms for our events. As we start to resume face-to-face services, we are committed to retaining digital engagement, to increase access to events and reduce our carbon footprint.

Get in touch

If you want to ask us anything about the content of this plan or how we are getting on, please email our policy officer Maisie on We will regularly update our webpage with our progress and learning.

Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email
or call 020 7014 4600.