Setting up a new carbon-cutting network

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Getting our places Fit for the Future © National Trust

Getting our places Fit for the Future

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Latest update 06.11.2014 16:19

Together with the sustainable energy charity, Ashden, we've created a new carbon-cutting network to bring together some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners to fight the impact of climate change and rising energy costs.

The Fit for the Future Network, which formally launched on 5 November 2013 at Centre Point in London, will allow leading sustainability experts and energy champions across charities and land-owning organisations to learn from each other and share best practice about how to reduce their carbon footprint. Members will work together to minimise their use of carbon and improve their resilience against rising energy costs.

Speaking at the event our Director General, Dame Helen Ghosh, said:
‘Our coastlines are crumbling and we are battling new pests, diseases, droughts and floods as a result of climate change. It’s a serious issue for us all.

‘As a conservation charity, it’s also unacceptable that our energy costs could increase by millions of pounds over the next decade.

‘To tackle these issues, we’ve set ourselves ambitious targets to use 20 per cent less energy, halve our fossil fuel use and generate 50 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. But, like others, we need support to achieve these targets.

‘Many people talk about the power of one but I’m a great believer in the power of many, which is why I’m delighted to be working with our partner Good Energy and other organisations in this new network.’

Some of the UK’s top charities and landowners attended our event, including the Landmark Trust, Crown Estate, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Also speaking at the launch were two other leaders in the clean energy sector: Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden and Juliet Davenport OBE, founder and CEO of Good Energy, which sponsored the event.

Why now?
The Government has set targets to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

With more than 300 historic buildings and 250,000 hectares of land to look after, our energy costs are expected to increase by millions of pounds over the next decade if nothing is done. Working in partnership with Good Energy, we've set ourselves some ambitious targets to tackle this and the impact of climate change on the places we look after.

By 2020, we aim to:

  • Reduce our energy use by 20 per cent
  • Generate 50 per cent of energy from renewable sources
  • Halve our fossil fuel use
  • Inspire others to do the same

But, like other organisations, these targets will be tough to achieve without support.

Support from others
All members will work together to help reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and boost resilience against rising energy costs. Individuals and organisations have been invited to make pledges in support of the network.

Howard Richings, Head of Estates Management at RNLI, pledged to ‘share what they had learned’ from renewable energy projects, such as solar PV and water source heat pumps that were set to save the charity £100,000 in the next year.

Mr Richings said: ‘The RNLI sees great value in belonging to the network and learning from the lessons of others – the more people who join the better.’

View all the pledges made so far.

Want to do your bit?
Find out more about our work with Good Energy and how you can support our renewable projects by making the switch to clean electricity.

Find out more about the Fit for the Future network.