By Walter Young, Non-Executive Director
For quite a while now here at Team Fostering, we’ve been considering our impact on the wider world, especially with consideration to environmental issues; a concern close to the hearts of many of the young people we work with. We asked Non-Executive Director Walter Young to discuss the changes we are making as an agency to respond to this.
“Team Fostering’s purpose and values have always been summed up in four words: Putting children’s futures first. Over the years we’ve become increasingly aware that the one thing that is putting children’s futures at risk more than anything else is climate change. Global warming is already affecting our environment, health, food supply, economy and security. If we do not take action, the effects will be far worse in the future.
What can one organisation do about this? The Directors of Team Fostering have listened to the views of children and young people via the Eco Task Force, as well as suggestions and actions from employees and others. We have explored what changes could make the most difference in the shortest time, and whilst the challenge still feels overwhelming, we believe that we can at least ensure that the agency operates on a carbon-neutral basis.
For example, one of the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis has been to make every meeting a virtual one, using video conferencing instead of meeting face-to-face. We’ve learned that it’s often possible to share information and make decisions without travelling to attend a meeting. In the future, we will cut our carbon footprint by making much more use of virtual meetings. Over the next few months, it is our intention to go through everything we have learned from the current crisis and work out how we can use that learning to make Team Fostering a better and more environmentally efficient organisation.
As well as reducing our carbon impact by burning less fossil fuel, we can mitigate it by supporting the creation of forests in the UK. We are investing in this financially in partnership with Forest Carbon, an organisation that has already planted 7 million trees in the UK, in woodlands independently audited and certified under the UK Woodland Carbon Code. By supporting the creating of UK woodlands, we are helping to capture CO2 as well as delivering other benefits for biodiversity, landscape, flood management, water quality and recreation.
We are currently creating our next 3-year strategic plan, which will cover the period 2021-2024. One of Team Fostering’s strategic objectives will be about ensuring an effective response to climate change, particularly reducing our output of greenhouse gases. This will lead to further initiatives and changes in our behaviour that we cannot necessarily predict today. Our approach to this needs to be about continuous improvement, not just a one-off change.
Everyone can do their bit in trying to reduce the impact of climate change. Rather than feeling helpless or hoping someone else will sort it out, we believe that even the efforts of one organisation are worthwhile and will make a difference."
To help Team Fostering continue making a difference to the lives of many more young people, you can contact us in the following ways:
- send an online enquiry by clicking here
- call us on 0800 292 2003
- email us via firstname.lastname@example.org