January’s Going Green Together peer support session
We had our first peer support session of 2022 last week. First point on the agenda was green New Year’s resolutions. (We’ll be sharing them as graphics on the Going Green Together social media channels so keep your eyes peeled.)
What I really liked about the session is that we hadn’t set any homework for organisations to think about a green New Year’s resolution - Carol just asked at the start of the meeting and everyone managed to think of something green that they wanted to achieve in 2022. I think this shows how enthusiastic organisations are and how we really are starting to embed Going Green into our practice and way of thinking.
We then had a discussion about introducing climate action as a topic at staff team meetings and putting it on board meeting agendas. It was interesting to see how different organisations have brought this topic to the forefront in meetings. One of the key pieces of advice to do this was to “Keep it real, sensible and achievable.”
This triggered a conversation about encouraging use of sustainable options in situations where there is a higher initial cost. It’s important to emphasise in these situations that sustainability is an investment — for instance when you buy LED lightbulbs there is a higher initial cost but this will save money on energy in the long run. Its clear that climate action is something that we have to start taking seriously and dedicating time to it by coming to meetings and taking small first steps means you’re ahead of the game. In the not too distant future, environmental action plans will become a requirement for writing funding applications — by getting involved in climate action now you’ll have something meaningful to say in applications as it will be embedded in your organisational structures, giving you the differentiator edge.
We also had discussions about how climate action is connected to all things. This is one of the main ways we can encourage engagement in climate action. Considering how it can be integrated into all aspects of life is how we really embed sustainable practice.
We turned our attention to the outcomes of COP26 and talked about our powers of influence. Whilst VCSE organisations in the North East are far removed from the global stage of the UN, we need to keep making the small differences that are within our power. The bigger the movement that we build, the greater impact and influence we can have. But it all starts with small steps.
In our next meeting on Wednesday, February 9th, 4pm-5pm we’re going to be talking about approaching engagement with others — especially the wider staff team and how we make climate action relevant to our sector/charitable mission/the needs of our communities. If you’d like to pop along and join the discussions sign up on our MeetUp page. It would be great to see you there!