Sector boasts more environmental policies

Fifty-two per cent of charities surveyed now have green policies

The proportion of voluntary sector organisations with an environmental policy has almost doubled over the past 18 months, according to surveys by Every Action Counts, a coalition that provides advice and support on the issue to voluntary and community organisations.

The coalition, which received £4m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help charities reduce their impact on the environment, commissioned two ‘green office' surveys.

The first, in 2007, found that 27 per cent of office-based organisations had an environmental policy. When the survey was repeated this year, the figure had increased to 52 per cent, from a sample of 188 respondents.

The surveys found other improvements. For example, 80 per cent of organisations said they recycled more waste products than they did 18 months ago and 54 per cent were reviewing and monitoring their energy use, compared with 39 per cent 18 months before.

"Voluntary organisations have made great progress in greening their office practices over the past 18 months," said Mark Walton, head of programme at Every Action Counts.

But he warned the recession could prevent similar improvements in the future unless funding for green initiatives was found.

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