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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Climate Conscious charities are already protecting Scots

Enter the Scottish Charity Awards Climate Conscious Award and inspire others to take action

As the UK recovers from the onslaught of Storm Eunice, which saw over 100 mph winds and blizzards cause deaths, school closures, travel disruption and damage to buildings it’s impossible to deny the climate crisis has reached Britain.

The British Red Cross had teams across the country ready to support families and communities affected by the raging storms. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution put out a warning to exercise extreme caution along the UK’s coastlines. Age Scotland urged people to keep an eye on elderly relatives and encouraged older people with communication, access or safety needs to sign up to Scotland’s Priority Services Register.

These efforts are just a few ways the climate crisis is affecting the work of charities. And this is just the start. These organisations, and many others, are already being climate conscious even though environment isn’t one of their charitable purposes.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre was set up to support local people with hearing impairments and sight loss. Last year it won SCVO’s Climate Conscious Scottish Charity Award for its work to ensure that energy advice and services are accessible to people with sensory impairments. It also works to help people get funding for adaptations to their homes to be more energy efficient.

The two other finalists of the inaugural Climate Conscious Award, the Climate 2050 Group, which supports young people to be climate leaders, and the Rvolve Recycle Project from older people’s charity LEAP, were equally inspiring when they spoke at SCVO’s COP26 event last November.

These organisation are showing true leadership, looking the climate crisis straight in the eye and taking action. That’s not easy to do when surviving the pandemic and the subsequent cost of living crisis feels so much more immediate.

Whatever your social purpose, voluntary organisations have a responsibility to try to reduce their organisational carbon footprints. It’s also our job to help our communities adapt, so reducing Scotland's collective carbon footprint is a fair process that doesn’t intensify inequality.

COP26 coming to Glasgow helped focus the minds of SCVO’s board and senior management team, and we have now begun our own organisational journey to net zero. You can read about our progress on our Climate Crisis webpage.

And we are also supporting our community – our members and the wider voluntary sector – to start their journey to net zero. That’s why we’re looking for more inspiring Climate Conscious organisations to apply for this year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

We are looking for organisations that are showing leadership through either making changes to their own ways of working or supporting their communities to adapt to the climate crisis and net zero. Or both.

We have come through Storm Eunice this weekend, and thanks to organisations like the British Red Cross, RNLI and Age Scotland many vulnerable people were protected. If your organisation is also facing the climate crisis bravely, then please apply for the Scottish Charity Awards Climate Conscious Award 2022.

Last modified on 21 February 2022