Overview and Context
World Vision is a child-focussed international relief, development and advocacy organisation that strives to be environmentally responsible. Our concern for the poor means that we cannot ignore changes in the environment that intimately affect their livelihoods. Climate change has the potential to seriously undermine sustainable development and may in the long run contribute to rising levels of natural disasters and endemic poverty. As a result, it will have the greatest impact on the poorest communities around the world. We recognise the United Nations Global Compact voluntary initiative which encourages organisations to implement universal sustainability principles in support of UN goals. UN Global Compact environment principles 7 to 9 encourage: a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, initiatives which promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage environmentally friendly technologies.
For World Vision UK’s mission to be fulfilled in a way which is consistent with biblical teaching, we recognise the need to care for the environment in all areas of our work. World Vision UK’s approach is therefore to seek to have the least negative impact, where practicable, on the environment, and to continually seek to reduce any negative impact. We shall encourage our staff and supporters to recognise that we have a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of all our business activities. This statement relates to employees’ responsibilities, the direct impacts of our day-to-day operations, which arise through the consumption of energy and resources, as well as impacts that arise indirectly that have the potential to affect the environment. In line with this we are committed to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions from our UK operations by 2050 and have set out realistic targets in our Carbon Reduction Plan.
This environmental statement is endorsed by our Strategic Leadership Team and CEO. It commits the organisation to meet all applicable legal requirements and work to improve (or maintain) our Environmental Impact.
- Comply with all applicable legal and other environmental requirements.
- Promote environmental responsibility and seek to improve environmental performance.
- Seek to minimise our production of waste and recycle our waste, as practically possible.
- Seek to promote energy efficiency and to reduce our CO2 emissions, as far as practically possible.
- Look to increase awareness of the impacts of environmental issues with employees.
- Undertake periodic reviews of progress.
APPENDIX - Application of the principles
Examples of how the principles may be applied include:
- Reducing the production of waste for example by cross-organisational management of internal print and moving from single use plastic cups to long term use cups.
- Recycling paper, plastic and metal waste and composting food waste.
- Promoting energy efficiency through the use of light sensors, office notices asking staff to turn off lights, installing LED lighting undertaking energy assessments and implementing subsequent recommendations as viable.
- Reducing water usage in our Milton Keynes office.
- Reducing CO2 emissions through voluntary car shares, a cycle to work scheme and utilising video conferencing where appropriate to reduce air travel.
- Reducing environmental degradation by using sustainably sourced paper and purchasing locally produced goods.
- Raising awareness of environmental issues such as ensuring staff are aware of our workplace environmental initiatives , sharing sustainable lifestyle suggestions in internal news, and communicating with staff about how World Vision wider work is helping communities to adapt and become more resilient to climate change.
Examples of how we seek to apply our environmental principles in our wider programmes:
- We seek to abide by the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, which specifies “We will pay particular attention to environmental concerns in the design and management of relief programmes. We will also endeavour to minimise the negative impact of humanitarian assistance, seeking to avoid long-term beneficiary dependence upon external aid.”
- Across all World Vision UK funded programmes, we support the wider World Vision partnership’s utilisation of environmentally aware programmes. For example: Livelihoods programmes may work with small holder farmers to build their capacity to deal with the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. This includes the promotion of climate smart agricultural techniques, agro-forestry and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, and soil and water conservation as managing and restoring the natural environment is key to their ongoing ability to be productive and improve their livelihoods and incomes and so contribute to the well-being of their children.
More broadly World Vision International is a signatory to the INGO Accountability Charter, which includes a requirement to report on environmental management. This requirement is met within the annual World Vision International Accountability Report.
Read more: Carbon Reduction Plan