Climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient organisations
I’m delighted to share Fit for the Future’s new strategy with you, developed after a lengthy consultation with our members, and with expert advice from the board, which lays out our plans for becoming climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient organisations.
Now in its fourth year, Fit for the Future has become a thriving network for environmental practitioners from a wide range of organisations including The Crown Estate, Scottish Canals, Oxfam GB and RNLI, as well as smaller organisations like Martineau Gardens and Farms for City Children. Last year this dynamic group collectively saved £1.2 million on energy bills and generated 32.1GWH of renewable energy, which is enough to power 8,834 homes for a year.
A Strong Set of Values
Fit for the Future has developed a strong set of values that underpin how it operates and how members engage with each other. Firstly, the Network is non-commercial. This means its members can be confident that they are receiving unbiased advice, and that anyone who will benefit commercially from being a member is not allowed to join.
Secondly, the Network is honest and open: members share what didn’t work so well during environmental projects as well as their successes. This is important if we are to learn from others’ mistakes and stop ‘reinventing the wheel’ when it comes to sustaianbility. Thirdly, Fit for the Future is about practical solutions- by introducing our members to real-life projects, resources and the people involved, we help them to move forward with their environmental projects.
The Next Stage
So you can see, with an engaged group, robust outcomes and a defining set of values, myself and the board felt that Fit for the Future was in a strong position to be taken to the next stage. Whereas before the Network was focused on clean energy, it will now be sharing best practice and lessons learnt on wider climate change issues too. This is in line with the wishes of 87% of members who said they wanted Fit for the Future to focus on wider environmental sustainability.
We will also be focused on helping not-for-profits. After analysing what similar initiatives were already ‘out there’, it became apparent that projects and funding pots to help the third sector tackle climate change have largely dried up. Clearly there is a need for a network focused on helping non-profits, and at a time when public funding is scarcer, ensuring they are making their donations go as far as possible. For me it’s simple: money saved on energy and other environmental resources means more money to spend on charitable objectives.
Whilst we are still for the ‘end-users’ within an organisation, it became clear over the course of the last strategy that our members need additional resources in order to deliver environmental projects. So, we also want to engage people higher up in member organisations in order for them to understand the many benefits and the urgency of becoming climate-friendly.
Growing the Network
In order to deliver the new strategy, Fit for the Future cannot operate alone. Working with other organisations who have specific expertise or resources will play a key part. I also want to see significant growth in the Network itself. The more people who are involved, the more likely it is that someone out there has already found the solution to someone else’s problem. Together we can realise our vision of being climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient organisations.
Sir Ed Davey