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ACEVO’s commitments

ACEVO announced an internal climate emergency in 2019. 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 webpage will be regularly updated with our member offers and internal practices through a climate-conscious lens. 

Our actions are driven by our values and strapline.

This plan is driven by our values:

Member-driven

We are proactive and responsive to what members tell us that they need. Our members have told us the climate crisis is important to them, so we will support them to change the sector for the better. 

Connected

Our network is our power. A connected community of like-minded people can support and encourage one another to take action as part of a bigger movement and achieve greater change. 

Ambitious

We are bold in our response to difficult issues. The climate crisis is scary but waiting for others to act is not ambitious. Together, we can take big steps to make a meaningful difference. 

Honest

The climate crisis is real, and it is advancing fast. Being honest about the severity of the situation is part of making progress, but sharing our mistakes, successes and learning along the way will help the sector to develop. 

Inclusive

Climate action becomes inclusive by embracing just transition and engaging a wide range of stakeholders, designing policies that are fair and accessible, and equitably distributing policy impacts.

Civil society leaders:

Imagine

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.

Inspire

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.

Improve

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.

Our updates

This page was last updated in February 2022. To see previous updates, please scroll down. 

We will update this webpage with any developments, and hope to provide independent measurements of our carbon footprint alongside clearer reduction planning in 2022.

Office and working arrangements

ACEVO has developed a hybrid way of working, with freedom for team members to choose whether to work from home or in our new office in Aldgate. This model has meant that we now only print for essential legal and financial needs, and the new office space has good provision for recycling. We are aware that with some of the team working remotely, the implications of heating homes and using electricity have not been fully measured. As we begin working in an office again, team members are also travelling more, increasing our outputs. We are seeking support from consultants to accurately assess our carbon footprint in early 2022, and will share more detailed targets and progress against them when this process is complete. We formed some environmental working from home tips which we regularly remind staff about.

Carbon footprint

ACEVO continues to offset one tonne of carbon per month via the Gold Standard Community Projects. However, we are aware that we need a more accurate measure of our footprint as well as reduction plans in place to ensure this figure is appropriate and that we are also changing our behaviours.

ACEVO is slowly transitioning back to face to face events following the Covid-19 pandemic. When we do so, we are determined to stick to our pre-pandemic goals of stopping printing agendas and delegate lists and trialling meat-free menus at events where food is provided. As part of our carbon footprint measurement, we intend to assess our digital carbon footprint, so that moving forward we can understand the implications of hybrid event delivery if some delegates will be travelling and some will not.

We have hugely increased our communications outputs, and committed to have 10% of our communications related to the climate crisis. 

In 2021, we:

Published 18 climate/environment-related blogs (12.7% of total blogs published in 2021)

Produced 1 climate/environment-related podcast episode (10% of total episodes produced in 2021)

 

 

Previous updates

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 Maisie.hulbert@acevo.org.uk.

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.

Period

Pages printed – Black

Pages printed – Colour

Pages printed – Total

3/12/18-1/03/19

9728

5196

14924

3/12/19-2/3/20

6347

4038

10385

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. 

Catering

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 Maisie.hulbert@acevo.org.uk.

Internally

  • 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.

Events

  • 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.

Communications

  • 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 space in a shared office, but since the pandemic started we have been 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.

Not an ACEVO member?

If you have any queries please email info@acevo.org.uk
or call 020 7014 4600.