The United Grand Lodge of England has pledged to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.
As COP26 came to a close, UGLE announced a new policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions from heat, power and travel, as well as cutting waste, boosting recycling, and reuse of materials wherever possible in a drive to reduce the organisation’s carbon footprint – demonstrating the necessary commitment by seeking ISO 14001 certification in environmental management systems within the next ten years
There will also be a new procurement practice and investment strategy rules based on minimum environmental standards; promotion of environmental awareness to staff; and annual monitoring of what’s been achieved.
CEO Dr David Staples said: “We are taking all reasonable steps to reduce our carbon emissions, and environmental commitments will be an integral part of our day-to-day activities. We will also seek ways to continually improve our environmental performance and operate responsibly, including reducing waste and making reductions in our carbon emissions from heat, power and travel. This new initiative makes sense environmentally, ethically and economically.
“The environment in which we work and live has never been subject to as much change as it is now experiencing. Population growth, use of finite resources and greenhouse gas emissions are taking their toll in many ways, not least through climate change and pollution. Global temperatures continue to rise as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere increase, and pollution through waste generation continues.”
Individual departments at UGLE will each be responsible for specific elements of the project. The director of facilities will deliver all activities and implement a central reporting mechanism to allow senior managers to be informed about environmental issues within the organisation. The senior management team will review progress on environmental issues at least twice per year. At the same time, all staff members will responsible for complying with the new policy and supporting efforts to minimise the UGLE’s impact on the environment.