On Purpose declare a Climate Emergency

On Purpose
Jan 8 · 4 min read

Today, 8th January 2020, On Purpose declares a Climate Emergency, formally recognising the urgent threat faced by humanity. We urge you to do the same.

On Purpose was launched in 2010 to support the development of the social and environmental impact sector, bringing new talent into the space, and developing the leadership we need to create an economy that works for all — one that is equitable and sustainable for the long-term. We have been ‘walking the talk’ for ten years, but there is more we can do as an organisation and as a community.

As an organisation committed to creating positive social and environmental change, we recognise our responsibility to take a stand in the context of the Climate Emergency, and to take immediate and radical action alongside fellow social enterprises, B Corps and organisations worldwide which hold similar values.

Our Board of Directors has ratified the below Declaration, and we pledge to make our long-term commitments ambitious in scope, and to begin work immediately on a number of short-term actions.

Our long-term commitments

  • We commit to Carbon Neutrality by 2025, with realistic interim milestones along the journey including science based targets
  • We commit to reshaping the short, medium and long-term strategy and business model of the organisation in the context of the Climate Emergency, with the redesign to embrace the principles of ‘just transition’
  • We commit to maximising the interests of all stakeholders — employees, our board of directors, partners and our full community, which includes Associates and Fellows, and those who work with us pro-bono as trainers, mentors and coaches — in the context of a total commitment to doing what is required by the Climate Emergency
  • We commit to using our position as an organisation connecting people, organisations and movements that pursue positive social and environmental change to engage our network on the commitments they can make as individuals and as organisations in the context of the Climate Emergency

Our short-term actions

  • We recognise that air travel is one of the largest areas of our carbon footprint, and commit to reducing or eliminating this as soon as possible. In the short term we commit to:

— Reducing the number of flights taken by the On Purpose team between our programme cities of London, Paris and Berlin

— Reducing the number of flights taken as part of the recruitment process of our programme, by implementing a strict policy of interviewing online where a candidate cannot reach us by foot, bus or train

— Engaging our community, particularly our programme participants, on reducing their group and personal air travel

  • We recognise that the food we choose to offer through the delivery of our programmes is a significant area of our carbon footprint, and commit to sourcing vegetarian and vegan food for all our events, from snacks to sit-down dinners
  • We commit to engaging our programme participants and our wider On Purpose community of Fellows, placement host organisations and beyond on the commitments they can make in the context of the Climate Emergency, beginning by hosting an event with Business Declares in London in the first quarter of 2020
  • We commit to communicating our journey towards Carbon Neutrality through our blog, in order that we might engage or assist other organisations on this journey

For more information, or to share ideas or recommendations on how On Purpose can better respond to the Climate Emergency please contact Tom Ebbutt, MD, via contact@onpurpose.org.


Declaration

Our organisation was designed in a time when there was a different expectation of the role of business in taking climate action.

This context has changed. Today we are clear there is a Climate Emergency which will require immediate and radical action by our organisation. We believe based on the facts we know today, it would be a breach of our duties as directors of the company and custodians of our stakeholders’ interests to continue as though there is not a Climate Emergency.

This Declaration requires that the entire design of our organisation be rethought in the context of a Climate Emergency. This includes a commitment to Carbon Neutrality before 2025 with realistic interim milestones along the journey including science based targets.

This Declaration commits us to reshape the short, medium and long-term strategy and business model of the company, and that this redesign must embrace the principles of ‘just transition’ which takes into account people who will be implicated in this Declaration.

We must seek to maximise the interests of all stakeholders — shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers — in the context of a total commitment to doing what is required by the Climate Emergency.

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Our mission is to create an economy that works for all— one that is fair & sustainable in the long-term. We run programmes developing leadership for this future

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