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Five actions and a funder commitment: environmental updates

Ahead of World Earth Day, we are excited to announce that earlier this year, we signed up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change, a public pledge to proactively audit and improve the impact of the Oglesby Charitable Trust (OCT) in tackling climate change.

The scale of the climate threat, and the scale of the solutions needed, means that this is an issue for all parts of society, and for all charitable foundations, regardless of their primary purpose, size or location. Until we solve climate change we cannot hope to solve any other of our priority areas. For these reasons, we have joined more than 50 other UK funders to commit to the following actions:

  • to educate and learn about the key causes and solutions of climate change;
  • to commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the causes and impacts of climate change;
  • to integrate opportunities to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a post carbon society across all our practices and processes;
  • to steward our investments for a post-carbon future;
  • to decarbonise our operations;
  • to report on progress.

We are reporting on our progress throughout the year via the host organisation, the Association of Charitable Foundations, as well as through our own updates.

What else we’re doing

In 2020, we also began a review of our environmental funding more broadly. This has involved:

  1. Reviewing our funding priorities to ensure that these reflect current needs and the areas in which we can add the most value;
  2. Collaborating with commercial property partner, Bruntwood, to identify where they, as an industry leader in environmental sustainability, can ‘wrap around’ the financial support we make available to our grant-holders, thereby delivering more value together than either organisation could achieve alone – this work is now incorporated within Funding Plus;
  3. Developing new funding options for non-environmental charities that want to make modest environmental improvements, but lack the resources to do so;
  4. Contributing to new opportunities, such as the Big Give’s Green Match Fund to generate additional funds and awareness for the environmental sector;
  5. Devising ways to engage more people with their role in safeguarding the environment and tackling climate change – and updating our processes to incorporate this.

Mission critical

We have always been passionate advocates for the natural environment, and have been involved with like-minded charitable organisations that are delivering exceptional, imaginative work at local and landscape level for decades. Now more than ever, we see the intersection between economic disadvantage, social inequality and climate change playing out, often exacerbated by politics and policy – and fatally harming people, and the planet. Never has the term ‘green recovery’ meant so much.

As funders, we have a responsibility to use all our resources to support direct, intelligent action, paying attention to how we do this as well as to where the money goes. This means collaboration, partnership working, sharing resources across sectors and exploring how charitable and corporate philanthropy can work together and with others to go further, faster. It also means taking action while we’re working some of this out. Here at the OCT we look forward to learning and sharing more about how funders can be most effective; most importantly, we look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the task ahead.

Louise Magill, Trust Manager