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

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

CTG calls for VAT rebate scheme and gift aid reform to be part of Autumn Statement

20 Oct 2014

The Charity Tax Group is urging the government to improve the VAT system for charities in its Autumn Statement,...

BeatBullying to go into administration due to financial difficulties

20 Oct 2014

BeatBullying will go into administration after suffering “significant financial difficulties”, the...

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

Stand Up To Cancer raises over £14.5m

21 Oct 2014

This weekend's Stand Up To Cancer event has raised over £14.5m so far, and that figure is continuing...

Charities 'must continue to fight for the right to influence policy'

20 Oct 2014

Civil society organisations must not give up the fight to influence policy and governments, the international...

Blackbaud launches online giving platform for individual fundraisers

17 Oct 2014

Blackbaud has launched its online giving platform, everydayhero, for fundraisers in the UK in a bid to...

Don't dismiss social media 'slacktivists', fundraisers told at IFC

16 Oct 2014

Charities should embrace and love charity ‘slacktivists’ because social is a great ramp for new donors,...

Nesta has made no grants to charities from its Impact Investments Fund

16 Oct 2014

Only 15 per cent of applications to a Nesta fund to invest in innovations to help older people, children...

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 <<