‘Operation Green’ will involve the NCVO adopting a series of eco-friendly initiatives, including using plates made from a 100 per cent biodegradable potato-based product in its conference suite, instead of plates made from environmentally-damaging polystyrene. The suite, which has a turnover of £900,000, will also use fair trade coffee, sugar and organic milk.
Under the scheme the NCVO will also set up a ‘swap shop’ for where members can exchange used furniture and filing cabinets, and switch to a green cleaning contractor that uses only environmentally-friendly cleaning products and processes. The umbrella body will also switch to a green electricity supplier and ensure that all new furniture is environmentally friendly.
Operation Green has been launched as part of Every Action Counts, a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs-funded programme to encourage voluntary and community organisations across England to become more eco-friendly.
The NCVO is also asking members to become “community champions” with responsibility for encouraging local community groups to understand their environmental impact and create sustainable development action plans.
“There are simple things that every organisation can do to make its operations more ‘eco-friendly’,” said Tracy Kiernan, facilities manager at the NCVO. “From ensuring that equipment is turned off at night to using recycled paper, there are steps that we can all take to reduce our carbon footprint.”