The Kindling Trust's Environmental Policy
The Kindling Trust is an organisation, which is committed to reducing the ecological and subsequent social impact that our day-to-day working has both locally and globally.
We recognise that years of ecological damage has been caused through the activity and irresponsible attitude of many industries and businesses. We believe that it is crucial - both here and now and for future generations – that we make a positive and active contribution to undo this damage and to work towards a more sustainable world.
We commit to this by signing up to this policy, on the: 15/01/07, and by striving to carry out the practical actions in the accompanying ‘step-by-step guide to greening your organisation’ - engaging and informing all members, volunteers, visitors and partners.
Key Issue: Climate Change. It is estimated that concentrations of CO2 are 30 percent higher than before the industrial revolution. Studies estimate that the resultant increase in global temperature will wipe out between 15 and 37 per cent of terrestrial species by 2050. (‘Nature’ Magazine – 08/01/04).
It is therefore our policy to reduce our CO2 emissions by carrying out all stage one actions in the step-by-step guide (page 6), and in the following ways:
There are two strands to practical solutions for the global problems of energy use:
1.1 Sourcing all electricity from 100% renewable sources.
1.2 Conserving energy through efficient use and appropriate technology for:
• General electrical equipment.
2.0 Resource Use
Key Issue: All resources are finite. In the last century we have seen the destruction of the majority of the worlds primary rainforest with a disastrous impact on biodiversity, and the rapid disappearance of carbon sinks: ‘the lungs of the world’. Currently 78 million acres (31 million hectares) are destroyed every year: an area larger than Poland. (Rainforest Action Network - www.ran.org)
It is therefore our policy to minimise our use of resources, by carrying out all stage one actions in the step by step guide (page 9), and in the following ways.
2.1 Never use a disposable product where a reusable alternative is available.
2.2 Actively seek out and buy recycled alternatives (labelled 100% post consumer waste)
2.3 Actively seek out and buy alternatives to harmful plastics, especially PVC.
2.4 Only purchase refreshments that are local and/or organic, and where local is not possible they will be fairly traded.
2.5 Not replace computers where existing models can be effectively upgraded.
2.6 Actively seek out ‘eco-labelling’ on any new computers and electrical equipment needed
2.7 Strive to use reclaimed materials and products for any type of refurbishment/building work, and where it is not possible use products that are environmentally friendly and as locally sourced as possible e.g. Forest Stewardship Council certified (FSC) wood.
Key Issue: Landfill. In Greater Manchester we currently produce 1.4 million tonnes of household waste per year – only 7% of the total waste stream. There are schemes in the UK that have found it possible to recycle 90 % of that waste.
It is therefore our policy to reduce our wastage by carrying out all stage one actions in the step by step guide (pages13 & 14), and in the following ways, we will:
3.1 Reduce – reduction of waste through effective resource purchasing and avoidance of excessive packaging.
3.2 Reuse: - never buy disposable products when re-usable alternatives are available.
3.3 Recycling – Recycle all materials that it is possible to recycle locally.
What is “waste” and what is “a resource” is a matter of perception – the overlap between waste reduction and effective use of resources is a significant one. Therefore these two areas should be addressed together.
Key Issue: Unethical investment – exacerbates current global inequalities, fuels conflict (through the arms trade) and funds environmental destruction (petrol industry, mining, logging etc.).
It is therefore our policy to ensure that all finance that we generate or invest plays an ethical and environmentally positive role in the world economy, by carrying out a full review of our operations as laid out in the guide (pages 15 & 16), and in the following ways. Kindling will:
4.1 Ensure that our banking, investments, pensions, and insurance are all invested in environmentally positive and ethical ways.
4.2 Actively seek to purchase goods and services from other social enterprises
to support the development of the social sector and the local economy. For the same reason where possible we will favour small local businesses.
Key Issue: Pollution and Climate change. Carbon emissions from transportation are increasing more rapidly than from any other sector. Emissions from car usage in cities has long been recognised as having strong links with respiratory illnesses.
It is therefore our policy to reduce the environmental and health impact of transportation, by carrying out all stage one actions in the step by step guide (pages 17 & 18), and in the following ways:
5.1 Reduce carbon emissions associated with personal transport to, from and in work.
5.2 Actively seek to purchase locally sourced and produced goods – therefore reducing the impact of transporting the resources that we use.
Key Issue: The amount of water that we use has increased over 50% in the past 25 years. Combined with increasingly erratic rainfall patterns this is putting strains on the current supply chains. Of all the water used in the home (or office) only a tiny fraction, 5 % perhaps, escapes some form of chemical adulteration caused by detergents, bleaches, and scouring powders. Both the amount of water we use, and what we put into that water, is having a significant impact on wetland and river ecology.
It is therefore our policy to reduce our water usage and to stop our input of harmful pollutants into the water sources, by carrying out all stage one actions in the step by step guide (page 20).
This policy and guide are mainly focussed on office based activities, although various measures will also be relevant to wider working practices. Organisations also operating outside of the office should seek to add to the policy and to put further measures in place regarding the environmental impact of their activity outside the office.
Policy reviewed on: September 2013.
New Review: September 2014.