This is a significant publication as far as Defra’s third sector team is concerned as is brings sustainability issues into ALL third sector organisations (not just those who deal with sustainability and the environment) and it brings them in at a strategic level. It is aimed at directors of finance and looks at how and why charities of all types can act and report on their environmental and social sustainability. This is why CFDG produced it:
At CFDG we believe this [sustainability] is becoming a key issue for charities, and we also believe tackling this issue strategically can significantly benefit charities. It can improve accountability, efficiency and core charitable work, as well as boosting office morale. Our publication aims to make this as easy as possible for charities by defining the main issues and giving frameworks and suggestions for both management plans and reporting.
In his foreword to the publication Hilary Benn says:
Everyday acts of charity are the threads which help bind us together. But the simple truth is that we can’t help society in the long-term if we’re damaging the environment today. So we need to change the way we do things.
The government has two goals of creating a low carbon economy and maintaining a healthy environment. We all have a part to play in achieving this – governments and green groups cannot do it alone. We also need businesses, communities and charities to do their bit.
Charities are already doing a great deal – focusing more and more on the adverse impacts of environmental degradation, climate change and unsustainable resource use. Just as charities were at the forefront of the development of social welfare in the UK, so now they can be the champions of this new cause.
We must all put environmental concerns at the centre of what we do. This guide is a great, practical aid in doing exactly that. It shows how charities can take responsibility for the impact of their operations, take steps to reduce that impact and then report their progress in a transparent way. And in a testing economic climate, what organisation wouldn’t want to cut costs by using resources and energy more efficiently?
I am pleased to welcome this timely guide. The Charity Finance Directors’ Group has been at the forefront of helping and supporting charities for many years and I am delighted that you’re now leading the way in improving sustainability.
Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP