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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.

Circular Economy 360

Practical, pragmatic and inspiring support to help social enterprise and third sector organisations take positive climate action.

On May 3, I will be launching inaugural Social Investment Scotland Circular Economy 360 programme. Based on the group learning and cohort approach of the SIS Retail Academy, this new video and webinar series – delivered in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland – will enable social enterprises and third sector organisations from all backgrounds to move towards a more circular model for their operations, helping to debunk any myths around circular practices and uncover the commercial benefits.

As someone that started my career in the not-for-profit waste sector back in the late 90s, I can’t wait to share thoughts and ideas and hear from participants. Climate, and particularly the circular economy, is a subject I am incredibly passionate about for both its environmental and social impact. With guest speakers from Scottish organisations and additional materials recorded with global third sector leaders, participants will leave the programme with the inspiration and skills to conduct baseline environmental assessments and develop a plan for their organisation to embed the circular economy principles into their business.

It’s interesting writing this blog following on from the previous contribution from Nick Addington of the William Grant Foundation. Like Nick, I agree that complex carbon calculations can often be a distraction and perhaps even an excuse to stop us moving forward. The impact of many of our organisations will of course be much less than that of large corporations or public sector agencies yet, as we often promote the impact of our combined efforts within the sector, our environmental footprint is not insignificant. The small changes we can all make, when aggregated together will make a difference both locally and globally. It’s critical we align our actions with the local and organisational context. Climate change affects us all.

Our approach does of course need to be proportional. We will look at baseline data, but we will do this in an appropriate way. Will look at the role of the climate champion and environmental leadership as well as consider how being green may reduce costs – ever more critical at this current time. I hope in our Circular Economy 360 sessions we will cover many of the questions raised in the previous blog discussion and by working as a group we will start to develop and build a simple practical framework aligned to our sector needs and capacity.

Climate change is one of the key underlying objectives of the Scottish Government and as impact reporting and social procurement both in the public and private sector increases in importance the desire for measurement, action and environmental literacy will filter down to all organisations sectors and individuals. We want to be ready. We want you to be ready. I can’t wait to work with you.

Naomi Johnson, SIS Associate and Chair of Circular Communities Scotland

The Circular Economy 360 series is delivered by Social Investment Scotland and supported by Zero Waste Scotland. In addition to our live sessions will be sharing inspiring interviews from organisations across the globe and our resource pack information will help you on your journey too.

To register and join our working cohort please visit Circular Economy 360 | Social Investment Scotland

Last modified on 2 May 2022