Third of top 100 charities not complying with green regulations

Nearly a third (31%) of the UK’s largest 100 charities are failing to comply with government regulations around disclosing emissions and energy use.

The research has been carried out by social and environmental impact organisations Aleron into sustainability and commitment to green issues in the UK charity sector during 2020.

This also found that just seven top 100 charities have set net-zero emission targets and a around a third (30%) do not have an ethical investment strategy. This is despite the charities analysed having an average of £555m in assets.

Half (51%) of charities reviewed did not disclose any form of information on sustainability or emissions in their latest annual report.

The charities selected are the 100 largest by expenditure and with a workforce of more than 1,000.

The research comes amid a commitment by the UK government to cut emissions by 78% by 2035.

“Although it is disappointing that almost a third of charities are not complying with emissions regulations, it was encouraging to see that some leading charities are on track for net zero already by 2030,” said Aleron chief executive Nicolas Ponset.

“There are some outstanding players – embracing sustainability in their strategy, decision
making, and reporting – providing models of excellence for others to follow.”

Aleron head of sustainability Kristofer Gravning added: ““There is a strong case for charities to be among the leaders in the UK’s transition to net zero.

“As a sector, charities sit on unique expertise in achieving positive social
and environmental impact. And as we are currently headed for 4 degrees of global
warming, climate change will negatively impact almost all social indicators: poverty,
inequality, health, conflict and more.

As charities are dedicated to improving social and environmental outcomes, investing in sustainability is therefore an investment in their own social mission.”

Earlier this month a report by the Association of Charitable Funders found some grant givers are struggling to ensure their investments are supporting environmental causes.

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