Charities launch carbon cutting network

The National Trust and the sustainable energy charity, Ashden, have partnered to create a carbon-cutting network which includes some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners.

The purpose of this new network, named the Fit for the Future Network, is to allow environmental stakeholders a chance to act together and attempt to fight the growing impact of climate change in addition to rising energy bills. The network will also allow charities and landowners to share ideas on best practice with each other, helping them to collectively reduce carbon footprints and aiming to negate energy bills increases.

Charities who have been involved in setting up the network include; The Crown Estate,Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The National Trust alone oversees approximately 255,000 hectares of uk land including over 300 historically significant buildings and 742 miles of coastline.

Speaking at the launch of the network, Dame Helen Ghosh, the National Trust’s general director said: “Our coastlines are crumbling and we are battling new pests, diseases, droughts and floods as a result of climate change. It’s a serious issue for us all. As a conservation charity, it’s also unacceptable that our energy costs could increase by millions of pounds over the next decade.

“To tackle these issues, we’ve set ourselves ambitious targets to use 20% less energy, halve our fossil fuel use and generate 50% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. But, like others, we need support to achieve these targets.

“Many people talk about the power of one but I’m a great believer in the power of many, which is why I’m delighted to be working with our partner Good Energy and other organisations in this new network.”

Members of the Fit for the Future Network have been encouraged to make pledges to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, Howard Richings, head of estates management at RNLI, has made a promise  to “share practical solutions” from renewable energy projects, such as Solar PV and water source heat pumps that are expected to save the charity £100,000 in energy costs in the next year.

Richings concluded: “The RNLI sees great value in belonging to the network and learning from the lessons of others – the more people who join the better.”