5 May 2017

A thriving sustainability network for not-for-profit organisations has launched its new strategy, laying out plans for making its members climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient over the coming years. In 2016 the network, Fit for the Future, helped its member to save an estimated £1.2 million and generate 32.1 GWh of renewable energy, enough to power 8,834 homes for a year.

Fit for the Future has attracted dozens of charities including Cancer Research UK, the RSPB, Guide Dogs, RNLI and Oxfam GB since it was set up by the National Trust and sustainability charity, Ashden in 2013. By engaging in honest and open collaboration with each other, member charities are moving forward with environmental projects and becoming leaders for the low carbon transition in the third sector.  

The network’s new strategy marks a departure from it being solely clean energy focused. Instead it will provide its members with practical solutions to wider climate change issues with a focus on the not-for-profit sector. At a time when relevant funding for charities has largely dried up, the network is stepping in to facilitate adaptation and resilience.

Fit for the Future’s Chair, Sir Ed Davey, said:

 “The need to future-proof charities and make them resilient against climate change is becoming increasingly urgent. As the not-for-profit sector strives to put environmentally friendly practices in place, it’s clear that a lot more can be achieved if we all work together. That’s exactly what Fit for the Future is about.”

“At a time when it’s crucial for charities to make their donations go as far as possible, the £1.2 million saved by our members in 2016 is a significant achievement. For me it’s simple: money saved on energy and other environmental resources means more money to spend on charitable objectives.”

Fit for the Future’s 2016 Impact Report revealed how Oxfam GB’s 2016 savings on mileage alone could pay for safe, clean water for 250,000 people, whilst National Trust’s savings on oil, could pay for the treatment of 42 historic sculptures.

Fit for the Future works as an environmental ‘match making’ service, linking those with questions about their sustainability work to those who have the knowledge and experience to provide answers. Last year, Fit for the Future arranged events, workshops, peer consultancies and site visits across the UK for more than 500 people.

This network is used by hundreds from the not-for-profit sector in fields as diverse as conservation, energy management, procurement and catering.

Johanna Gosling, Environmental Manager at Oxfam GB, said:

“Fit for the Future is one of the most useful networks I have been a part of. It’s accessible, targeted, relevant, and everyone is very open about sharing their learnings. Its unique selling point is that it gives you access to a network of peers who have similar challenges and work within very similar constraints. Being a member has also saved me hours of research and allowed me to regularly update my knowledge in key areas.”

The Network is going from strength-to-strength as it recruits new members and helps them not only advance their environmental projects but to measure their impacts. Fit for the Future supported a 40% increase in energy reporting and monitoring amongst its members in 2016 and aims to grow that number this year.

To find out more about the Network, its upcoming events and how you and your organisation could benefit from being involved, visit the website www.fftf.org.uk

Fit for the Future’s new 2016-2021 strategy can be found in full here.

Fit for the Future’s 2016 Impact Report in full can be found here.

For more information contact the Network Manager, Chloe Hampson [email protected]

Author: Sophie McGovern