Please see below the statements from some of the signatories of ACEVO’s sustainability and climate justice principles (some of the signatories link directly to their organisation’s website). This page will be updated regularly when new signatories join or send us updates about their work on the climate emergency.
At ACEVO we declared a climate crisis in 2019 and have since been working to make changes to our internal processes, events and communications to provide more information and drive stronger climate leadership across the charity sector. We are committed to continuing to review our current practices as well as beginning work in new areas to seek climate justice and a just transition across the sector to net zero. We are fully committed to the sustainability leadership principles as an organisation and pleased to host them on behalf of our member working group to enable leaders to share their work on the climate whatever stage of this journey they are at.
We have taken the following actions since 2019:
- Acknowledged a climate emergency, and taken steps internally to reduce our internal carbon emissions.
- Joined the Climate Action for Associations network, holding ourselves to account to ‘get our own house in order’ and to drive stronger climate leadership across the charity sector via our inspiring member network.
- Communicated more widely about this issue, using specific hashtags to track engagement and committing 10% of our communications space to climate-related content.
- Formed a staff working group to harness staff passion on this issue and drive change, and a member working group to encourage peer learning and scope the issues so that we can design solutions.
- Facilitated discussion of the issue via a minimum of three events per year focused on the climate crisis (including sessions at our 2019 conference and ACEVOFest 2020, member meetings, and webinars from corporate partners) and set up a climate crisis topic in our online community.
- Created a variety of resources for members including light-touch tools and templates.
- Hosted the sustainability leadership principles pledge to help members structure their thinking on this issue and encourage ambitious commitments.
We have taken a number of practical steps to reduce our carbon footprint, including:
- Stop printing except for essential finance and legal needs.
- Budgeted to offset some of our unavoidable emissions via Gold Standard Community Projects.
- Provided quarterly reports to our board on our work and progress in this area to keep the focus on this issue at strategic level.
- Given staff the opportunity to switch to an ethical pension fund.
- Created a digital events offering which reduces member transport and carbon footprint.
- Discussed ethical funding and how we manage suppliers, partners and funders at an ACEVO team away morning.
We know we still have much to do, and over 2021-22 we would like to begin the following work to continue demonstrating our commitment to these principles:
- Recalculate our carbon footprint, using the tools offered by CAFA and independent expertise if necessary. This should take into account the impacts of staff working from home and member engagement digitally, which we know will have changed our impact on the environment.
- Reframe our action plan to focus more clearly on climate justice and measuring our progress towards net zero specifically.
- Include climate justice as a key issue in our equity, diversity and inclusion work, and more publicly recognise that the climate crisis will disproportionately impact people living in the global south, people from marginalised communities, including people of colour, people living in poverty, and disabled people.
- Champion and centre the voice of our member working group to steer our events, speakers and content in this space.
- Create an ethical funding policy which considers how our funders, suppliers and partners take climate action and their approach to climate justice, and support ACEVO staff to demonstrate our organisational commitment to this issue by asking questions of and seeking discussion with everyone we work with
- Continue to seek high-quality corporate partnerships in this space, providing members with trusted suppliers and consultants to help them take their first steps towards net zero.
Groundwork is an organisation committed to supporting environmental action, but to be credible in that commitment we know we need to demonstrate leadership in terms of our own operations. At Groundwork UK we have a plan to identify opportunities for carbon reduction across all areas of our business, from travel and energy to financial investments. We’re also working with our network of Groundwork Trusts to drive a federation-wide approach and have pledged to generate an overall carbon footprint and action plan to achieve net zero. Our strategy contains a specific commitment to act as environmental exemplars and also identifies six of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which are most relevant for our work.
I Acknowledge that the climate crisis is the most serious threat to our ability as charities to create the future we want to see, and that the impact of this crisis disproportionately affects specific groups, including those from the global south, and from already marginalised groups such as people of colour, people living in poverty, and disabled people.
My Ambition is to lead the Stonegrove Community Trust to become an exemplar community organisation on environmental action, and whilst doing so embody the principles of generous leadership, reaching out to support others to achieve more impact collaboratively.
I believe in Actions over words, and I commit to:
- Measure the environmental impact of the Stonegrove Community Trust annually, and share that data publicly.
- Commit adequate resource and time to ensure that we move forwards with the practical elements of our environmental work, to meet our December 2022 net zero carbon commitment.
- Share completely openly our ambitions, plans and progress, and to openly and humbly listen to others who want to collaborate, support or to challenge.
- Increase my knowledge of environmental justice and the climate crisis, and work to develop our work in this area into something that is more sophisticated, fully strategically linked to our mission and vision, and which inspires locally based resident led action.
- Work to the principles of generous leadership, sharing what I learn with others openly and honestly, collaborating and partnering for maximum impact.
As an organisation whose purpose is to improve the experience of people as they move around London, arguably, most of our 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. But we’re going to start a conversation with our Board about whether we can add in a new criteria for how we choose our projects: that it makes a contribution to decarbonising transport in London.
We often don’t talk about the climate-friendly dimension of our work and that’s also something that we’re going to improve on in the coming year.
In terms of our operations, we’ve started a conversation about how to minimise our footprint:
- We’ve contacted the landlord of our building to ask if they will move to a renewable energy provider for our electricity. (they are looking into it)
- We’ll be doing a lightweight ‘sustainability audit’ to see if there are other areas where we can make changes e.g making sure that all of our printer paper is recycled; stopping the printing of Board papers and printed reports; looking into food waste collection in our area of London; buying plastic-free tea bags
- We’ve also contacted our pensions provider to find out if our pensions are invested in fossil fuels. And if they are, whether there is an option to opt out of doing so
At a recent staff meeting we also talked about whether we should have a vegetarian-only/sustainably sourced catering policy for events and away days. We already take part in the ‘cycle to work’ scheme but there was interest in exploring if other discounts might be available to staff, such as for car club membership.
We’ve got a long way to go on this issue but the important thing is to take the first step.
The climate and biodiversity crises are the single biggest challenges we face. They will affect every part of life, including civil society, and yet few organisations and institutions are taking the actions needed. The biggest impact will fall on marginalised communities, which have contributed the least to the crisis, but who will carry the largest burden. Reach Volunteering’s purpose is to help build a flourishing and just civil society, so the climate crisis is of central importance to our long-term mission.
Reach is a small charity, without a specific environmental remit. We are at the very start of our journey in addressing climate change. We do not have any particular expertise in this area, and we do not have stakeholders who are pushing us to take action. However, I strongly believe that climate justice is everyone’s responsibility. I therefore commit to starting Reach on the road to becoming a positive force in addressing climate justice. Our actions at this point are inevitably quite broad brush. By 2022 we will have specific and focused actions.
I commit to:
- continue learning and speaking about climate justice
- work with colleagues in ACEVO Climate Crisis working group to deepen my understanding, and to identify levers for change and practical actions. I will also undertake to work with other groups because the climate crisis requires us to work beyond our usual boundaries to find cross-sector solutions
- bring climate justice to Reach’s board agenda, to discuss its importance for Reach’s long term mission including the impact of climate change on civil society, and to set Reach’s vision and priorities for climate justice
- measure the carbon emissions from our digital service, and set reduction targets
- research the sustainability of our current pension provider and compare with alternative providers
- explore options for supporting other social purpose organisations to address climate justice through our service provision
The Church of England Pensions Board acknowledges the climate crisis as a strategic and systemic risk. Our ambition is that members should be able to retire well, confident that their pension funds are invested sustainably and in ways which are helping make a better world. The climate crisis is a regular area of focus in trustee meetings. Actions we are taking as part of our commitment to Net Zero are described in our Stewardship Report (available at www.churchofengland.org/cepb/). These include understanding our carbon footprint and what different climate scenarios mean for our work and impact, and taking steps across our operations including our property care programme and acting as a responsible investor.
The Orchard Project’s strategic response to Climate Crisis
I. The Role of Community Orchards in Addressing the Crisis
We are living in an age of climate crisis, facing a real and unchartered threat to our food security, biodiversity and social cohesion. In this context, the role of community orchards has become more pertinent than ever. Community orchards, especially in urban areas, are a tangible way to help people find positive and practical solutions to the complex problems that lie ahead.
An increased number of better-maintained orchards translates into more accessible fresh fruit and greater local control over food sovereignty, as well as reduced food waste. In addition, orchards create new or restored habitats for biodiversity, increased tree coverage (beneficial for shade, carbon sequestering and floodwater uptake) and public spaces that local people take pride in, unite in and utilise to improve their wellbeing. Our work is proof that orchards bring people together in an age of increasing social isolation and community breakdown. They are enchanting, cherished natural areas that give sustenance to both people and wildlife.
Since our inception, The Orchard Project has consistently viewed community orchards as contributing to climate solutions, particularly in urban areas. As the climate crisis worsens, we are striving to apply our expertise more than ever to this end. As the UK’s leading charity on community orchards, we see ourselves as guardians of these vital community assets; as climatic uncertainties deepen, we will support communities to best sustain and utilise them in the future.
II. Responding to Climate Crisis: Our Vision
- A well looked after and climate-resilient community orchard within walking distance of every urban community in the UK.
- Well-networked orchard communities that share their learning, support each other, and have an increased ability to respond cohesively to the challenges of climate emergency.
- More orchards accessible to people from BAMER communities, who are disproportionately more impacted by climate crisis
III. Climate Action Work through our activities
Our climate action work addresses the following four key issues:
- There has been a significant loss of orchards and associated wildlife over the last decades, with orchards having been cleared to make space for urban development.
- With this, there has been a loss of orchard skills and knowledge, impacting communities’ resilience to grow their own local food organically and sustainably and a loss of biodiversity in these orchards.
- The climate crisis is causing extreme weather which is putting orchards under significant pressure. Late frosts (impacting flowering and fruiting), more frequent, wetter and windier conditions, increased waterlogging and flooding, warmer winters causing early flowering, periods of extreme temperatures, droughts, storms (causing damage) and changes in the behaviour and distribution of pests and diseases – all threaten orchards.
- People from BAMER communities and those from areas of deprivation are experiencing the most climate injustice and so we concentrate our work on areas that will benefit people most from these communities
In response, we’ve planted new orchards, and improved the health of trees and their fruit-bearing capacity as a result of better care and management. Through our work, we’ve:
- Helped stop the decline of orchard habitats and associated wildlife by planting and restoring urban orchards.
- Given urban communities the skills, knowledge and confidence to care for their local orchards by providing outstanding training and support. This enables people to grow fruit locally, organically and sustainably, and helps build resilient food systems.
- Continuing to research and share our findings on the best ways to harvest and retain water in orchard systems, for example https://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/blog/water-blog-keeping-urban-trees-healthy-dry-spring/.
- Made orchards resilient to adverse growing conditions due to climate change. We have been climate-proofing orchards through practical orchard design and site management measures, e.g. by having care regimes for unpredictable weather, building healthy soil, capturing rain water, targeted/restorative pruning, introducing shelter planting and hedging plus ground cover to reduce erosion.
- Made orchards more wildlife-friendly (- they are particularly good habitats for bees, butterflies and beetles), e.g. by creating habitats, introducing small ponds, reptile hibernacula, insect hotels and planting nectar-rich flowers.
- Help reduce food waste through our community-powered cider enterprise, making juice and cider from surplus, waste apples.
- Raise people’s awareness of the impact of climate change through embedding it in our training workshops and consultancy.
IV. Climate action through orchards: Our approach
- Supports community-led climate action; it offers people practical and tangible action to take in the face of climate change.
- Addresses food sovereignty to improve community food security, diversify the means of sustainable food production, and reduce the carbon footprint of fruit production and distribution.
- Increases the amount of ‘nature-friendly’ fruit (i.e. organic and free from chemical treatments) being eaten to help support a transition to climate-friendly diets that contain more plants and less meat and dairy.
- Protects and increases wildlife and biodiversity. Orchards are unique and important habitats, providing shelter and food for a wide range of wildlife. They are often made up of a mosaic of elements, including fruit trees both young and old, long grass, scrub, hedgerows, ponds, and standing or fallen dead wood, all of which support diverse wildlife.
- Offers city-wide networking to share ideas and learning, and peer support to strengthen communities as they face the feelings arising from the climate crisis (such as disempowerment, anxiety and helplessness).
V. Organisational action
- We have an Ethical Sponsorship Policy to help ensure any funding we receive is ethical and meaningfully supportive of environmental issues.
We only work with for-profit companies, where they have a real and demonstrable commitment to environmental and social sustainability and our work together will help to bring them closer to their wider sustainability goals, rather than serving as a distraction from unsustainable practices elsewhere in the company. We will not work with any company whose core business is fundamentally damaging to society and/or the environment (e.g. arms, tobacco, fossil fuel extraction, car manufacturing, and those who actively finance them). We will also avoid sponsors who are seen to be working against the interests of the communities where we operate. This sometimes means turning away funding.
- We use ethical, local and sustainable providers wherever possible. We promote the pooling and re-use of equipment. We have no vehicles, and staff rely on cycling, public transport and occasional van hire.
- We use an ethical bank (Triodos) and all staff pensions are held in ethical funds.
Nicci Russell is Managing Director of UK environmental campaigning organisation Waterwise and a member of ACEVO’s Climate Emergency Members Group. Here she sets out her own Action Statement to support the launch of ACEVO’s sustainability leadership principles.
I recognise and acknowledge that the climate, extinction and biodiversity crises are systemic and advancing threats to the civil society sector’s ability to create the impact it seeks.
I acknowledge that the climate and nature crises have already affected and will continue to disproportionately affect certain groups, both in the UK and globally, with specific and significant impacts on people living in the global south and people from marginalised communities, including people of colour, people living in poverty, and disabled people.
I will champion the need for ambitious leadership within the voluntary sector specifically, in light of our commitment across a range of causes to improving outcomes for people, animals, and the natural world.
As leader of an environmental campaigning organisation, I will personally aim to drive acknowledgement and commitment across the voluntary sector both on the urgent need for water efficiency to protect the communities and service users ACEVO members represent, and more widely on the unequal impacts of the climate emergency. In 2021 I have begun this with my ACEVO Twitter takeover, my blog for ACEVO and my active membership of ACEVO’s Climate Emergency Members Group.
I will work towards a just transition to net zero emissions, strategising and acting now to support a transition which will help protect the communities and places we work with from further harm – in this work I will emphasise the importance of acting now to adapt, as well as that reducing water wastage also reduces energy bills and carbon emissions as less water is heated in homes and businesses, and pumped and treated. I will also emphasise the need to consider the climate emergency – tackling it and adapting to it – through an intersectional lens.
I will speak publicly and confidently about the climate, using personal and organisational communications platforms to support campaigns asking policymakers for change. Wherever possible, I will contribute to these campaigns with expertise from the communities we serve, to build an intersectional picture of the impact of climate breakdown.
I commit to sharing and learning alongside peers in the sector, taking time to review our actions and the changing situation and adapt collectively.
I will take practical steps within Waterwise and my networks to understand our emissions and how climate breakdown intersects with our vision and values.
As an environmental campaigning organisation, with the vision that water is used wisely every day, everywhere, at Waterwise we already explicitly recognise and campaign on the intersections between our vision and values and climate justice, and use this to inform the choices we make about our strategy, services, contracts, communications, policy and regulatory influencing and campaigns.
In terms of our own operations, at Waterwise we have an Environment Policy covering aims and behaviours around resource use and travel, including at our events, and we have a large number of internal sustainability initiatives led by team members, and staff sustainability pledges on our website. We also work from home. We are a small team of 7.
However, drawing on the ACEVO Sustainability Leadership Principles, Starter Questions, and Working From Home Checklist, this month I am committing to further action:
I will seek to monitor and measure the carbon, water and wider environmental footprint of Waterwise’s events, travel, internet use and work, as far as possible.
I will develop more detailed policies and targets on how we work, to include travel, printing, use of emails and the internet, requiring vegan food and tap water at our events, and procurement.
I will use my existing Board support for sustainability to embed climate justice across our work and operations, and update Board on this work on an agreed timescale.
As England’s largest new native broadleaf forest, the Heart of England Forest is an environmental charity committed to providing a significant national asset for public benefit to mitigate against climate change. We have an ambitious vision to create a 30,000 acre forest comprising more than 13 million trees, and a mosaic of habitats for the benefit of wildlife and people, all of which are important to lock up carbon. At 7,000 acres and growing all the time, we have already planted over 1.8 million trees in the centre of the country. Running up the Warwickshire / Worcestershire border from the north Cotswolds to south Birmingham, the Forest is providing a lung for the West Midlands and a breath of fresh air for the nation.
At the Heart of England Forest we recognise and acknowledge that the climate, extinction and biodiversity crises are significant and advancing threats, affecting the sector’s ability to create the impact it seeks.
Even with aspirations for largescale woodland creation, we are unable to effect enough change alone, and our efforts will be a drop in the ocean unless we can harness the support of every voluntary and community sector organisation to mobilise civil society. Although the current Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all, climate change still remains the biggest threat facing all of us in the sector and should be the highest on our risk registers, but without a concerted sea change it will continue to creep up on us, affecting the causes we champion and the beneficiaries we support. From social housing to mental health, and arts and culture to overseas aid, there is no area of civil society this does not touch … which means that the sector is in the best possible place to effect positive and meaningful change and engage civil society to take the lead.
As a sector leader, I am committed to championing the need for ambitious leadership within the voluntary sector, which includes speaking publicly and confidently about the climate emergency to engender support and effect change. As a member of ACEVO’s climate change working group, I am committed to sharing and learning alongside peers in the sector in order to work towards a just transition to net-zero emissions, acting now to support a transition that will help to protect the communities and places we work with from further harm.
One of the largest planter of trees in the country, the Heart of England Forest encourages community involvement and volunteer engagement, and has an active learning and skills programme – from Early Years Foundation Stage through the National Curriculum to the 16-19 Skills Plan and beyond, the charity has a ground breaking programme of learning outside the classroom, working with schools and other settings, clubs and individuals to deliver all core curriculum subjects outside in the Forest, alongside supporting schools to deliver their School Improvement Plan targets. Coupled with Mini Foresters (our family club), Young Foresters (developing youth volunteering) and WildTribe (our holiday club), we are investing in growing the future Forest Guardians, who will be around to continue our climate change work and care for this significant environmental legacy long after we are gone.
Whilst we are experienced at taking practical action in the natural environment to mitigate against the effects of climate change, we now need to work hard to understand and reduce our own carbon footprint as an organisation, implementing an action plan and considering realistic targets for a transition to net zero. We have formed an Environmental Champions group, with cross-organisational membership, and have commenced a baseline study, analysing the basics (waste, water and energy) to give us a measure of progress. We are also committed to taking further action, asking questions of our suppliers and partners in order to make clear our organisational priorities.
This approach has the full support of trustees, who have committed to a climate crisis declaration, and agreed to climate change as a standard Board agenda item, expecting to see this as a key part of our decision making.
CPRE the countryside charity is committed to acknowledgement ambition and action in all aspects of this issue and has already done a great deal of work to move this agenda forward. Our 2020-26 strategy has ‘tackling the climate crisis’ as its cross-cutting theme and one of the first things we did on launching the strategy last year was to launch a comprehensive report ‘Greener, Better, Faster’ on how the countryside is at risk from the climate crisis and, crucially, the significant role it and rural communities can play in tackling it.
Our lobbying and campaigning activity at both national and local level has tackling the climate emergency at its heart: https://www.cpre.org.uk/news/time-to-tackle-climate-emergency-head-on-says-cpre/
and we are about to embark on a £250k corporate-funded hedgerow planting programme, in partnership with our local network, as a practical demonstration of our commitment to tackling the climate crisis.
Internally we introduced a rigorous new ethical donations policy last year and are increasingly addressing the sustainability practices of our own operations and those of our partners, including through the setting up a of a staff-led green group.
I, the trustees, senior leadership, staff and volunteers at CPRE the countryside charity are committed to acknowledge, highlight and act on the climate crisis through every aspect of our work.
Birth Companions Environmental Policy
Birth Companions acknowledges the urgent threat the climate and biodiversity emergency presents to human life, and in particular to the generations of babies whose births we have supported, and will continue to support.
We acknowledge that the negative impacts of climate change and biodiversity decline are disproportionately borne by persons and communities already in disadvantageous situations owing to geography, poverty, gender, age, disability, cultural or ethnic background, amongst others; that have historically contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of the natural world.
We recognise we have a collective duty to act now to mitigate the impact of the climate and biodiversity emergency on future generations. This policy sets out Birth Companions’ practical response to the climate and biodiversity emergency, which will comprise the following actions:
- Where possible Birth Companions will support its staff and volunteers to change their behaviours to make choices that are recognised to have less impact on the environment.
- Birth Companions will observe environmental legislation as a minimum standard and seek to out-perform current legislative requirements where practical.
- The Director and the Board of Trustees will review current practice and policy within the organisation annually, and make changes as appropriate. This will include a qualitative summary of policy and communications work relating to the climate and biodiversity emergency.
- Birth Companions will seek to act as a leader in our field, sharing information, policy and best practice and encouraging other organisations to act with us.
Transport – Birth Companions transport policy
- Where possible staff will be encouraged to take public transport options.
- Where there is a cost implication for staff using public transport instead of their car, Birth Companions will consider offering financial support in order to facilitate the use of public transport – this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. We recognise that some staff may need to use their cars in order to carry out their role within Birth Companions.
- Birth Companions will not fund any staff travel that involves the use of air travel.
- We will participate in a two year Climate Perks pilot in which we offer staff up to two additional leave days a year to replace non-sustainable travel to and from holidays with sustainable modes of transport (see Climate Perks policy document).
Food – Birth Companions food policy
All staff and volunteer meetings where food is proved will be meat free and, where possible, vegan.
Consumption – Birth Companions purchasing policy
Birth Companions will follow a green purchasing policy that requires staff to judge any purchasing decisions on the basis of a green purchasing hierarchy:
- Reduce: Birth Companions will firstly question whether a purchase is strictly necessary and if it is, whether the amounts required could be reduced.
- Re-use: Secondly it will seek to buy re-used items in preference to new items where practical.
- Recycle: If new items have to be purchased, will seek whether there is a feasible option of buying products made locally, from recycled materials or a more energy efficient (see Appendix below)
Policy and Communications
When appropriate, Birth Companions will aim to provide leadership in the voluntary sector by sharing information, policy and best practice. This may include communicating the relationship between climate justice and social justice, including environment-related recommendations in policy documents and encouraging policy makers and commissioners to take action on environmental issues.
Good practice purchasing guide
How can I plan ahead to increase sustainability?
- Staff should include purchasing in their work and project planning, allowing plenty of time to source second-hand or more sustainable items and avoiding last minute purchases wherever possible.
Is the purchase necessary?
- If the item is not for a service user, or not essential to their role (e.g. printer ink, pens, food for meetings etc.) then staff should consider whether they could achieve their aim without purchasing the item.
Could the amount being purchased be reduced?
- If the item is necessary, staff should consider ways to reduce the number purchased, such as sharing items between staff or service users, or purchasing a reusable version of the item (e.g. refillable printer cartridges).
Can PramDepot or another source supply the item secondhand?
- If the item(s) needed are baby items (e.g. buggy, clothes, toys, nappies etc.), staff must check if PramDepot or another supplier can supply the item(s) before deciding to purchase.
Can the item be purchased second hand?
- If PramDepot or another supplier cannot supply the item, staff must see if the item can be purchased second-hand.
Can the item be purchased from a more sustainable supplier?
- If the item(s) must be purchased new, then staff should check if the item(s) can be purchased from a local supplier (preferably producing the item locally), or made out of recycled materials.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was recently awarded the Planet Mark certification, which measured our carbon footprint and provided us with some tangible goals for the next 12 months. These next steps are:
DATA COLLECTION & QUALITY
- Evidence pack: Collate all relevant invoices in an electronic evidence pack.
- Utilities: Take readings of all meters on the last day of the month. Investigate the installation of smart meters.
- Headcount: Ask HR for a table showing monthly full time equivalent headcount
- Fuel: Introduce fuel cards.
- Travel: Ask your travel suppliers to provide you with a report detailing mileage and mode of transport so you can accurately add data to your carbon footprint. For non centrally booked travel record mode of travel, destination/origin and distances travelled in expense claim forms.
- Energy efficiency: Regular ‘energy audits’ will help identify where most energy is being used and potential wastage from equipment, lights and heat loss. Investigate the installation of LED, T5 and sensor lighting and the upgrade of heating controls.
- Switch to 100% renewable energy suppliers
- Investigate measuring the carbon associated with digital activities
- Carry out a waste management audit to understand what waste you are producing, where it is coming from and what the best route for it would be. Provide plenty of bins for segregating waste correctly and encouraging recycling. Engage your waste management supplier to help you reduce landfill waste and instead increase the proportion that goes to recycling and to energy from waste.
- Check your meters at night, or when water is not in use, to monitor leakage.
- Introduce a water use awareness campaign in communal kitchen areas.
- Record all business travel and promote public transport options for business meetings.
- Arrange safe and fuel efficient driving training for all drivers. Plan driver routes to finish at their homes.
- When replacing fleet, choose fuel efficient vehicles. Electric or hybrid cars are exempt from various taxes, and subsidies are available for purchase costs and electric charge points.
Choosing the smallest vehicles for their purpose will reduce fuel consumption, and save money on road tax. Provide incentives for employees to opt for low carbon cars, and limit choices to those which meet sustainability criteria.
- Choose travel management companies, airlines, taxi companies, couriers and other providers with active sustainability programmes and look for clear progress on improving fuel efficiency and pursuing credible, sustainable solutions for travel.
- Buy paper from sustainable forests or recycled content. Ask for FSC or PEFC branded paper as a minimum ideally with the EU Eco label . Choosing recycled content paper, your carbon emissions from paper use are reduced by 30% but choosing sustainably sourced paper the benefits are more holistic as you support the demand for sustainably managed forests which may otherwise be cut down for a different land use such as agriculture.
- Organise annual sustainability workshops. Carry out a energy awareness and ‘switch off’ campaign.
- Explore your possibilities and choose consciously. Check the Planet Mark website for companies currently engaged on reducing their carbon footprint
CONSIDER CARBON OFFSETTING
- Our offsetting partner Offset My Life can help you purchase VCS or Gold Standard carbon offsets and also plants 1 tree for every 1 tCO 2 e offset,
The Children’s Trust
Commitment to ACEVO’s sustainability leadership principles (July 2021)
The Children’s Trust is the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury. Our mission is to give children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability the best future possible. We have a responsibility to the young people we support to provide services and support, and to look after the world that they will grow up in.
In the words of a young person we have supported: ‘The Children’s Trust is about children, and our future. It’s important that The Children’s Trust focuses on the problems that will impact the future for children, including protecting the world they will live in.’
As part of our five-year organisational strategy ‘Hope and Ambition’, we have committed to being a responsible organisation. Responsible to the children and families we support, and to the wider world. This is about improving our impact on the environment, on the people who work for and with us, and the communities in which we operate.
We have set ourselves ambitious targets and appointed a Sustainability Lead to co-ordinate this action across our organisation.
In this strategy, we set out the actions we are going to take to improve our impact. These include:
- Creating a long-term plan to achieve net carbon zero
- Reducing waste by focusing on resource efficiency and circularity
- Base investment decisions on long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability
- Protect and nurture the biodiversity of our 25-acre site
- Sharing our learning and supporting others on this journey
Theatres Trust recognises that we are in the midst of a climate emergency and as the national public advisory body for theatres is taking a leadership role in the theatre sector’s response.
As a socially engaged sector, the theatre industry has an obligation to do whatever it can to reduce the impact of its work on the environment. Theatres Trust has a vital role, ensuring that when we give guidance to any UK theatre or award grants, the environmental impact is a key consideration. We will challenge the need to develop where creative reuse or refurbishment are possible and encourage minimising of operational and embodied carbon.
Theatres Trust has signed up to the Culture Declares Emergency campaign and in March 2020 we made the following commitments to reshape our work and help to influence and improve the sector’s sustainability:
1.Considering the environmental impact in all our planning responses and advice provided
- Supporting projects that are low impact and regenerative through our grants programmes
- Working with partners to include environmental best practice in industry regulations
- Disseminating case studies and knowledge to the industry from exemplar projects
- Minimising the impact of Theatres Trust’s own operations
Further information about these principles can be found on our website http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/environment
A key part of Theatres Trust’s leadership role on sustainability has been spearheading the Theatre Green Book project, along with colleagues at the Association of British Theatre Technicians and Buro Happold. Theatre Green Book initiative pulls together existing guidance and creates a shared standard for environmentally responsible theatre across three volumes:
- Sustainable Productions – available now https://theatregreenbook.com/book-one-sustainable-productions/
- Sustainable Buildings – coming soon
- Sustainable Operations – coming soon
Sustainability is the theme for our annual conference with Conference 21: Making Theatre Sustainable exploring how we can make every aspect of the theatre sector more sustainable, from our productions to our buildings and how we run them. The event will provide a unique opportunity to hear from the team of sustainability and theatre specialists behind the Theatre Green Book and from theatres who are already applying it in practice in their productions, buildings and operations, alongside thought-provoking debates.
Following discussions with our board and staff, we are in the process of agreeing our next three-year business plan for 2022-2025 and sustainability will be a key priority within this, building upon our environmental principles.
ACEVO climate leadership principles
Statement from Jools Townsend, chief executive, Community Rail Network
I’m hugely supportive of ACEVO’s work supporting third sector leaders to take action on the climate emergency, and I think the sector has a crucial role to play in addressing this all-encompassing challenge. I’m very much behind the climate leadership principles and proud to say I’m continually challenging myself and my team to do as much as we can to put sustainability at the heart of what we do and show positive leadership.
I am acutely conscious of the growing urgency around the climate crisis, with just a few years left to turn the corner. But I also acknowledge how much we have to gain from forging a greener way forward, in terms of social justice, health and wellbeing, many of the issues the third sector is focused on. A few years ago I took a career break to undertake a Masters, in which I focused on how the third sector can contribute to sustainability. My research concluded that we face huge challenges in achieving social change, and local engagement and empowerment is vital to this: of course this is what our sector does best.
I’m bringing that to life in my role at Community Rail Network. Our members have long been championing and increasing access to rail, one of the greenest forms of transport. Increasingly, we’re helping them to put sustainability at the forefront, and address issues like walking, cycling and bus connections, and biodiversity at stations. You can get a flavour of what community rail is doing here: https://communityrail.org.uk/resources-ideas/reports-resources-tools/sustainability/. We also put this into practice ourselves, with our staff asked to travel sustainably, and policies and practices to minimise waste and use eco and ethical suppliers.
We’re also happy to advise or signpost third sector colleagues on sustainable travel, so let us know if you want to connect.