About our environmental strategy
Our mission is to create a world where people and wildlife can thrive together. 'Walking the talk’ is essential to achieving this. Our responsibility does not end with influencing others to safeguard the natural world through their key decisions – we must also play our part, reducing our own impacts as well as inspiring others to do the same. We've come a long way since our first environmental policy was launched in 1989, but we'll always be working to improve our environmental performance.
In 2008 we became certified to the environmental management standard ISO 14001 and have upheld this certification every year since. Most recently, we moved our head office to a bespoke designed building - The Living Planet Centre - which was awarded a top rating of 'Outstanding' by BREEAM; an internationally recognised environmental assessment for buildings.
Below is a summary of our key areas of environmental performance, for more details about how we set targets for these areas please read our Environmental Goals. Each year we publish an Environmental Report which summarises our performance against our targets, these can be downloaded below.
We’re committed to running our buildings as efficiently as possible, ensuring we minimise energy use without negatively affecting our operations.
We monitor our energy consumption and assess factors like weather and staff occupancy to check our usage is normal. In our smaller offices in Scotland and Wales we purchase electricity from renewable energy suppliers and share knowledge and information with other tenants about how to make operations more environmentally friendly.
At the Living Planet Centre there are 410 solar panels which provide us with around 15% of our energy needs. The rest of our electricity comes from a local combined heat and power network; a more efficient and lower carbon source of electricity than the national grid. Any electricity our solar panels produce which we can't use is fed back into this network.
Instead of sourcing heat externally and using air conditioning, we use a more energy efficient ground source heat pump for heating and cooling. We also use natural ventilation during warmer months by opening windows and doors. The Living Planet Centre produces nearly 25% less CO2 per m2 than our previous HQ.
We have features in our offices to help reduce energy use such as on-demand hot water boilers, LED lighting and motion-sensitive lighting. Our environmental procurement guidelines include information on electrical equipment, so we can ensure we choose efficient devices.
We have a responsibility to manage our waste in the most sustainable way possible, in line with our mission to reduce pollution and wasteful consumption.
We’re mindful of the 3 Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle. We encourage staff to reduce consumption of materials as a first priority, we then aim to reuse materials wherever possible and when things must be thrown away, we recycle as much as possible.
There are clearly labelled waste and recycling bins at all our offices. At the Living Planet Centre our general waste is used to produce energy from incineration rather than going to landfill and our food waste is used to produce fertiliser for crops and energy for homes and businesses.
Waste arrangements at our other offices are managed by the building management companies. We try to positively influence the way waste is managed, for example after advocating for separate food waste collections at our Edinburgh and Cardiff offices this is now a reality.
Print and procurement
Thinking carefully about what we purchase and the suppliers we use is another way we can affect our environmental impact.
Our most tangible consumable is paper. Most of the paper we print on is for fundraising purposes and despite using digital fundraising, print remains an important part of our activities.
We’re committed to sourcing only FSC certified or 100% recycled paper and timber, to reduce our impact on forests. We choose printers with ISO 14001 certification, which demonstrates they are working to manage and reduce their own impacts.
We promote a 'digital first' way of working, encouraging staff to work digitally rather than printing internally and externally.
Our environmental procurement guidelines help our staff purchase items produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. The guidelines focus on maximising the use of natural, sustainable materials, considering the whole life cycle of the product - not just how it was made but how it will be recycled at the end of its use.
Events are an important way we engage with people and spread our message. We consider the materials we'll use, venue location - how will people travel there, and the environmental features and facilities at the venue.
Our catering policy reflects our work on diets and exceeds our Livewell principles, demonstrating tasty, sustainable food and drink. We focus on healthy, sustainable produce and supporting certification labels that benefit the environment.
The impact of plastics, particularly on our oceans, is a fast-growing global issue. We have set a commitment to end the use of single-use plastics in our operations, products and supply chain across the WWF-UK by 2020. We have developed an action plan to remove single-use plastics from our organisation and implemented a single-use plastic policy which provides a hierarchy of alternatives for staff to apply when purchasing items where plastic may be present. The hierarchy emphasises eradication as the best alternative and then focuses on finding, in order of importance, reusable, renewable, or recyclable alternatives.
WWF-UK are members of Fit for the Future - a network of more than 600 people from 102 organisations in the not-for-profit sector and beyond. Its members are working together to make their organisations climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient. The Network is run by a team who make connections between members so they can share knowledge and experience. It operates on the principle that, more often than not, the solution is already out there when it comes to making buildings, land and whole organisations more sustainable.