Charities' greenness 'often down to individuals'

Charities' efforts to become environmentally sustainable are often the result of pressure from individuals rather than a strategic decision by trustees, a report by the Charity Commission suggests.

The Charity Commission has said that in many cases "if such key individuals left, the momentum for environmental action would be lost".

The report – Going Green: Charities and Environmental Sustainability – examines how 21 charities interested in environmental sustainability were dealing with the challenge.

It says the charities reported a range of practical, financial and attitudinal barriers to taking action but that, with pressure from individuals or a collective willingness to change, it was possible to overcome them.

There was, however, concern among some trustees that engaging with environmental issues might not be a legitimate use of their charities' resources.

"As environmental sustainability moves up the agenda for all sectors, it's important that charities explore the opportunities open to them," said Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission. "We are keen to help all charities – whether they have environmental aims or not – who want to find ways of taking environmental responsibility."

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