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ACEVO urges charities to do more to respond to climate crisis

20 Apr 2021 News

ACEVO’s climate-crisis member working group has launched seven sustainability principles for civil society leaders and urged other leaders to respond to the climate emergency.

The seven principles come under three headings: “acknowledgement”, “ambition” and “action”. This framework aims to help leaders understand the scale of the crisis, be ambitious about the changes they make, and act wherever they can to create progress. 

The principles include championing the need for ambitious leaders within the voluntary sector and sharing and learning alongside peers in the sector.

'We must do more'

So far nine leaders, including ACEVO's CEO Vicky Browning, have signed the pledge. But any charity leader can add their name, as long as they can send ACEVO a short statement explaining their commitment and demonstrate that they will be accountable. 

Browning said: “Civil society leaders are working to eliminate injustice and create a better world for people, places and communities globally. However, as a sector, we have more to do to demonstrate our understanding of the climate crisis and acknowledge that it represents a genuine threat to achieving our missions. 

“We recognise that the climate crisis can feel overwhelming and difficult to tackle and that every organisation is on a different journey. These principles are designed to provide a framework for organisations taking their first steps in this area as well as organisations who want to move to the next levels.

“I am pleased that these principles have been led by ACEVO members as we aim to create a community that can support each other to play their part in a just transition to net-zero.”

Practical steps 

The principles ask leaders to take practical steps within organisations and networks to understand emissions and how climate breakdown intersects with charitable objectives. 

Leaders should also be seeking board-level support to embed climate justice.

One of the commitments in the principles is to speaking publicly and confidently about the climate and using personal and organisational communications platforms to support campaigns asking policymakers for change.

Kath Rosen, chief executive at The Orchard Project, said: “As the most pressing issue we are facing in human history, it is vital that the sector works together to bring about positive change for climate now. It can be a frustratingly slow journey alone.

“By working collaboratively using the ACEVO sustainability leadership principles, we can make a difference. As charities whose very purpose is to help people and the planet, it is absolutely imperative.”

Governance & Leadership is a bi-monthly publication which helps charity leaders and trustees on their journey from good practice to best practice. Written by leading sector experts each issue is packed with news, in-depth analysis and real-life case studies of best practice in charitable endeavour and charity governance plus advice and guidance straight from the regulator. Find more information here and subscribe today!


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