Share

Jewish charity adds climate change to its agenda

Jewish charity adds climate change to its agenda
News

Jewish charity adds climate change to its agenda

Governance | Tania Mason | 23 Nov 2009

Jewish poverty-reduction charity Tzedek has decided that the problems faced by its developing-world beneficiaries are so intertwined with climate change that it has adopted an ambitious environmental policy that will govern all its operations both here and overseas.

For the last 20 years, Tzedek has supported small-scale, self-help sustainable development projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America in order to help people beat poverty and hardship.  

Following a recent trustee board meeting the charity decided that poverty in its beneficiary regions was so tied up with climate change that it needed to add the problem to its agenda and take tangible action by adopting a policy to help tackle it.

The policy pledges adopted by the board include:
•    Reducing its carbon emissions by 10 per cent in 2010
•    Becoming a ‘zero waste’ organisation
•    Implementing a sustainable procurement policy that favours local suppliers
•    Promoting vegetarian food at Tzedek events

The charity has already undergone a carbon audit, in which an environmental consultant traced every journey made by the charity over the last two years.  It has also switched printers, and accepted slightly lower print quality in order to use vegetable inks.  Now it is examining whether the benefits of its volunteer programme, whereby it sends 15 volunteers to Ghana every year (pictured), genuinely outweigh the environmental costs.

Dan Berelowitz, executive director of Tzedek, told Civil Society: “As a charitable organisation with limited resources, the task of implementing these policies will not be easy, but this is an issue that is central to achieving our mission statement.”

Berelowitz said the charity was lucky in that one of its trustees worked for an environmental agency and had donated 40 hours of his time to helping the charity examine its practices and identify ways of reducing its impacts.  “I can appreciate the difficulty a small charity might have if it didn’t have this kind of help, but I’d like to think we would have done it anyway,” he said

Although Tzedek hopes the changes will reduce its overheads, Berelowitz admitted the “hard decisions” would come if the policy started to cost the charity money.  But even then, he said, as long as the charity stays true to its mission it shouldn’t face any insurmountable problems.

“No organisation can afford to ignore the environment,” he said. “And as a development organisation we have to lead the way.”

In the year to March 2009, Tzedek had income of £240,000.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Over £100m drawn down from Big Society Capital

26 Jan 2015

Cumulative figures from Big Society Capital have shown that since its inception in 2012 £104m has now...

NAO: Commission has improved but there is still more to do

22 Jan 2015

The Charity Commission has made a good start towards becoming a proactive regulator, but still has a long...

Social investment will be at the centre of UK's G8 agenda, says Wilson

22 Jan 2015

Social investment will be at the “heart” of the government’s agenda when world leaders meet for...

Big Lottery Fund awards £150m to local neighbourhood foundation

23 Jan 2015

The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £150m to a new community grantmaking foundation to help individuals...

NPC: Fundraising methods do not affect trust in charities

23 Jan 2015

How charities spend their money and what they do are more of a concern for the public than fundraising...

Marie Curie turns to television to recruit volunteers

22 Jan 2015

Marie Curie is hoping to attract more volunteers for its 2015 Great Daffodil Appeal, with the launch of...

Comparison website for special needs services launched by charity consortium

23 Jan 2015

A coalition of social care charities has launched a TripAdvisor-style website, designed to help families...

CRUK debuts contactless giving through shop windows

21 Jan 2015

Cancer Research UK has announced a collaboration with outdoor media owner Clear Channel to bring contactless...

Charity IT Association will provide free technology advice

15 Jan 2015

Four IT organisations have pooled their resources to launch the Charity IT Association and provide free...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<