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ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

flowery meadow and a solar panel, positive climate action
flowery meadow and a solar panel, positive climate action

Our commitment to climate change

Foundation Scotland recognises the growing climate emergency and our responsibility to engage, inform and influence Scotland’s communities to take positive climate action at a local level. We also take responsibility for reducing the carbon footprint of our own operations and investments.

funders for climate change logoClimate change affects us all. It’s not only an environmental issue; it’s an economic issue, an educational issue, an equality issue, a cultural issue and a scientific issue. We firmly believe it’s also a local community issue. It's within our communities that we'll all experience the impacts of climate change, and where we can all take action to address it. As Scotland’s community foundation, we are committed to taking action.

In 2020, we became one of 60 UK charitable foundations signing up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. Here we outline these commitments and some of the actions we’re already taking.

Our commitments

To educate and learn
To educate and learn

To educate and learn

We will make opportunities for our trustees, staff and stakeholders to learn more about the key causes and solutions of climate change.

Our actions

  • All Foundation Scotland staff and Trustees will attend a bespoke training workshop on climate change. This will take place throughout autumn 2021. 
  • Foundation staff have also attended climate focussed training courses from Zero Waste Scotland and the Association of Charitable Foundations. Further budget has been allocated to enable additional staff training where required.
  • We delivered a ‘Greening Community Benefit Funds’ presentation to the UK Onshore Wind Energy Conference in 2020, discussing how community funding from the renewable sector could have a more sustainable approach to the future of the communities they serve.
  • Our intranet provides information for staff on taking action related to working from home – for example, how to save energy.
To commit resources
To commit resources

To commit resources

We will commit resources to accelerate work that addresses the causes and impacts of climate change. 

Our actions

  • Foundation Scotland has a dedicated Climate Action Work Group (CAWG). The group includes staff from all departments to ensure any new initiatives are both deliverable and implemented successfully.
  • We are exploring options for providing additional resources, including funds, to further support local communities in combating climate change.
To integrate
To integrate

To integrate

Within all our existing programmes, priorities and processes, we will seek opportunities to contribute to a fair and lasting transition to a post-carbon society and support adaptation to climate change impacts.

Our actions

  • Our Foundation Scotland‘s 2030 Strategy includes an objective to ‘Become a sustainable organisation – from financial, social justice and environmental viewpoints’ - ensuring sustainability from an environmental perspective remains high on our agenda at all times.   
  • We will work closely with our donors to introduce more climate-smart objectives for grantmaking programmes, charitable funds and investments.
  • We ask local community groups and charitable organisations who apply for funding to consider sustainable alternatives for projects and services.
  • We have partnered with Zero Waste Scotland Energy Efficiency Business Support to support applicants in making climate-smart choices for their communities, in particular in the development or refurbishment of community buildings. 
  • Working with other funders in Scotland, we will provide further guidance and examples of good practice for those applying for funding.
  • We’re introducing new indicators within our grant monitoring to report on local measures taken towards climate action and sustainability. This will improve the data we collect and help us assess and report any climate-positive impact made with the funding we distribute.
Steward our investments for a post-carbon future
Steward our investments for a post-carbon future

Steward our investments for a post-carbon future

We will recognise climate change as a high-level risk to our investments, and therefore to our mission. We will proactively address the risks and opportunities of a transition to a post-carbon economy in our investment strategy and its implementation, recognising that our decisions can contribute to this transition being achieved.

Our actions

  • In February 2021, Foundation Scotland became the first community foundation in the UK to launch an Impact Fund. Part of our impact investment strategy, this innovative approach ensures the investments we hold bring a social and ethical return as well as financial. Investments are made in companies that deliver a positive societal impact through their goods and services and business practices, such as supply chains, low carbon policies, and staff welfare. You can read more about our impact investment strategy here.
To decarbonise our operations
To decarbonise our operations

To decarbonise our operations

We will take ambitious action to minimise the carbon footprint of our own operations.

Our action

  • We have adopted an Environmental Policy outlining our commitment to protecting and, where possible, enhancing the environment through our operations. We recognise our responsibility to reduce our carbon and environmental footprints, including in the course of carrying out our day-to-day work. We monitor our impact on the environment and use of resources and take ongoing action to minimise these.
  • We have recently undertaken a carbon footprint analysis of our operations (year up to March 2020). We are currently evaluating the best steps to actively reduce or offset this.  
To report on progress
To report on progress

To report on progress

We will report annually on our progress against the five goals listed above. We will continue to develop our practice, learn from others, and share our learning.

Our action

  • Foundation Scotland’s Climate Action Work Group (CAWG) reports to ACF on the actions we are taking each year under the Funder Commitment to Climate Change
  • We’re introducing new indicators within our grant monitoring to enable us to report on the extent to which progress regarding funding, which has included more supported sustainable or and climate-friendly initiatives.