At their meeting last week, the WNST trustees agreed to join the growing movement of grant-making trusts and foundations adopting the Funder Commitment on Climate Change (https://fundercommitmentclimatechange.org/)
Around 75 foundations have already signed the Commitment, pledging to make every effort to be part of collective action to ensure that we all live in a sustainable way and make the changes necessary to achieve this.
Some of the funders “taking the pledge” are environmental specialists, but importantly most are not, highlighting that this is everyone’s problem. As a funder of community sports activities, we are mindful for example that climate change and extreme weather events regularly make pitches unplayable. We would also encourage groundsmen only to use products that are environmentally-sensitive and which do not harm the local fauna and flora. Other measures such as car sharing to away fixtures and better control of buildings and facilities (eg procuring a green energy supply) can all make small but important contributions to the global effort.
The Funder Commitment has six specific elements:
- Educate and learn – we will ensure that trust staff, trustees and grant recipients all have the opportunity to learn more about the causes of and solutions to climate change
- Where allowed, we will commit resources, whether financial or otherwise to support this work
- We will ensure that our funding programmes support moves towards carbon reduction and wider societal change
- We will steward our own resources in an environmentally-sustainable way
- We will minimise our own carbon footprint
- We will report annually on the above points and continue to share our learning
As a funder of community sports activities, it is unlikely that our rules would allow us to fund the costs of an environmental project, unless sport was at the heart of the work. But we will be doing what we can to ensure the sector adopts sound policies and procedures. And we call on all trusts and foundations to do likewise.