Environmental Sustainability Policy
Our direct impact on the environment primarily relates to:
- travel by staff;
- our procurement and use of goods and services;
- the hosting of events
We can also indirectly impact the environment by:
- encouraging and supporting our network of charity partners to act in an environmentally responsible way;
- encouraging staff members to take responsibility for their own impact on the environment while working from home.
Carers Worldwide is committed to supporting a just transition to net zero and reducing the environmental impact of our operations and service delivery. We commit to monitoring our carbon emissions and resource usage, starting by establishing our baseline impact by November 2023. This includes our contribution to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will enable us to set meaningful reduction targets.
We will address this commitment through the following areas of work:
- Staff engagement:
We will promote responsibility for the environment and communicate and implement this policy across the organisation. All employees should think about and be familiar with the environmental requirements relevant to their role and responsibilities, including exploring the carbon footprint and impact of specific areas of work. They will take responsibility for thinking about their own impact on the environment while working from home or
Discussed by Trustees 13thJuly 2023 Next review due July 2024
participating in work related activities in other settings. They will be proactive in sharing ideas on how to reduce personal impact. This policy will be shared with staff during induction, as part of regular policy presentations at staff meetings, and used when shaping new projects or initiatives. We encourage staff to think about their knowledge of environmental impact when considering their learning and development needs.
- Ways of working and operations
As an organisation, we commit to taking practical steps to reduce our resource usage and carbon emissions, as well as finding innovative solutions to operational challenges. This may include decisions between the most cost-effective and the most sustainable options, which will require budget consideration. We commit to:
- going digital and working towards paperless working environments;
- providing our Annual and Impact reports, Strategic Plans and other materials as digital-only by default and when printing is necessary, always using recyclable materials e.g. uncoated paper, recyclable bindings;
- reducing our travel and the travel of others participating in our activities by promoting wherever feasible remote access to meetings and events;
- where travel is necessary, reduce our impact by choosing the most environmentally sustainable means of transport where practical and safe, and by taking concrete steps to reduce carbon emissions (e.g. choosing direct flights in favour of flights with stop-overs, combining several purposes in one trip)
- offsetting the carbon impacts of staff international travel by August 2023oreducing our impact through events by prioritising digital, encouraging lower carbon travel options, printing fewer materials, opting for meat-free options and avoiding plastic packaging
- minimising our energy and water usage;
- taking full advantage of recycling facilities and reducing the use of single-use plastic wherever possible;
- working with corporate partners to reduce the volume of non-recyclable packaging we receive;
- using ethical consumables including Fairtrade tea, coffee, and sugar; FSC certified paper; and responsibly sourced materials and other goods where possible;
- communicating with our charity partners and the communities we work with about climate breakdown and encouraging them to take all practical steps to reduce their own impact on the environment
- sharing and learning alongside our sector peers, donors and supporters to be confident in acting on environmental and sustainability issues.
We will work towards using the most sustainable providers feasible, including asking questions of current and prospective suppliers regarding their own practices and approach to their environmental footprint. Before procuring any supporter gifts and merchandise, the charity will always consider whether these need to be bought at all or if more sustainable alternatives are available. If a decision to procure gifts or merchandise is made, the charity commits to sourcing all gifts and merchandise whenever possible from sustainable and/or social enterprise suppliers.
Practical actions for staff members
We encourage staff to:
- turn off non-essential electronics and lights at the end of each day;
- make environmentally-minded decisions, with guidance, including:
Discussed by Trustees 13th July 2023 Next review due July 2024
- necessary travel – could it be achieved virtually?
- travel options: car-share, combine meetings, use public transport
- think before printing
- minimise the use of lifts for those that can
- recycle and reuse resources wherever possible
The trustees have overall responsibility for the charity and its strategy. They will commit to regularly reviewing and exploring the impact climate change will have or is having on the communities and supply chains we work with. This work is delegated to the Leadership Team, in particular the Development Director. It should include, but is not limited to:
- Discussing annually with the Board how our purpose and values intersect with environmental issues. This discussion should include how our beneficiaries will be affected; where there is opportunity to collaborate and support wider action; and how to embed climate actions in our strategy, business planning and organisational goals;
- Providing a short statement in our annual report each year outlining the discussions had and any action we have taken, alongside our aims for the following year;
- Making time to discuss practical strategic actions including:
- whether to include the climate breakdown on our risk register, any risk it poses to finances, reputation and service delivery, and any mitigating actions;
- recognising where operational budgets need to accommodate more
- reviewing our pension fund and understanding options for employees to invest in greener funds if they wish to, in line with our values.
This policy will be reviewed annually.