Sir Ed Davey, Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary, will focus his first speech as chairman of the Fit for the Future Network to confront the charity sector on their environmental performance.
He commented that the charity sector needs to take green issues more seriously if they want to reap the financial benefit for their core charitable work.
At the inaugural annual members event for the Network, which helps charities improve their environmental performance, Sir Ed will say that green issues have slipped down the agenda of many not for profit organisations, despite the opportunity this agenda offers to improve the sector’s financial sustainability.
Several years ago charities, with government and charity commission support, made commitments to reduce their environmental impact with initiatives such as the third sector declaration on climate change and the ‘Shaping Our Future’ task force.
Sir Ed said: “I’m thrilled to be chairing this amazing network of charities strongly committed to playing their part to green our society. My job is to convince more in the charity and not-for-profit sector to see the opportunities a green agenda offers – and that’s my challenge to every charity and not-for-profit organisation across the United Kingdom.
For too many third sector organisations, the environment has slipped off their radar. It’s time to wake up and realise that tackling sustainability challenges almost always makes good business sense.
“Fit for the Future is an action-based network – offering practical advice and training to the third sector, from the third sector. So our Network is the cheapest way for charities to go green and make savings on things like energy bills, and avoid paying for expensive external advisers.
“And by cutting waste, charities won’t just be going green, they will prove to the public that they can use donations more wisely.”
The Network Harvest event aims to inspire knowledge sharing amongst the sector and challenge organisations to take more action on sustainability and energy efficiency whilst showing how there is a strong business case attached to it. Contributors will include Guide Dogs for the Blind, RNLI and Oxfam.
Since it launched in 2013, collectively the Network has worked with over 1000 environmental practitioners on over 350 energy projects. The CO2 saved by members from generating energy using renewables is the same as 1766 trips around the world in a petrol car.