Skip to main content

Climate Change Statement

Barrow Cadbury Trust recognises that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the wellbeing of the human race and our planetary ecosystem. Unchecked, climate change will make much of our planet unliveable, will worsen economic and social divides and is likely to lead to social unrest over increasingly scarce resources.  We also recognise the interconnection between climate change and the social justice issues on which we work, and the deep systemic issues that need to be addressed if we are to achieve a sustainable future.  As a funder with both resources and influence, we recognise the role we can play both through our own actions and by working with others.

We can and are addressing the challenge in three ways: through how we manage our endowment; through decarbonising and minimising waste and pollution in our operations; and through supporting our funded partners to reduce their own climate impact.  Our endowment represents the largest portion of our resources and we both design our investment portfolio through a climate impact lens through aligning it with the Sarasin & Partners’ Climate Active Fund and engage with others in shareholder action to press for change in business practice.  We seek to minimise the carbon footprint of our operations, including those arising from our office location and our patterns of working, and have a programme of practical support for our funded partners.  Details of our activities can be found in our annual Action Plan.

We are a signatory to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change, and will be reporting on progress against our Action Plan each year through our Annual Report.

October 2022

Climate Change Action Plan & Progress 23-24

We have reviewed opportunities to mitigate climate change across all our areas of operations, considering what we can do ourselves, and what we can help others to do. We have undertaken the following actions.

To educate ourselves we have:

  • Established a climate group within our staff team, chaired by our Director of Finance and Administration with representatives from each of our staff teams that will take responsibility for ensuring climate change mitigation is a live issue in the Trust.
  • Enabled representatives from the climate group to attend training on climate change and carbon literacy and cascade learning to the rest of the team.
  • Participated in funder networks, the most notable example of this being attendance at the West Midlands Funders Network annual conference which this year focussed on sustainability.

To reduce the climate impact of our own operations we have:

  • Moved to premises at The Foundry which we anticipate will much reduce our carbon footprint.
  • Much reduced our dependence on printed materials, maintaining a virtually paperless office as we returned to hybrid working, and discouraging the production of printed reports by our partners.
  • Reduced our travel out of London, though this picked up slightly as face to face meetings have opened up. Meetings are virtual by default and we only travel out of London if a face to face meeting is needed for business purposes (e.g. long, complex, sensitive or multi-day meetings).
  • Examined our catering supply chains, avoiding suppliers and foodstuffs that have a high carbon footprint and/or have other negative environmental impact such as excessive use of packaging. We will minimise food waste through careful ordering and monitoring how much we use. The Foundry has contracted a vegan catering supplier which we are evaluating.
  • We have used our investments to address climate change: Aligned our investment portfolio with the Climate Active approach of Sarasin & Partners, our investment manager.
  • The Trust signed the 2022 Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis, which called on governments to enhance and strengthen their 2030 targets ahead of the COP27 conference.
  • We have supported the Investor Decarbonisation Initiative (IDI), managed by ShareAction, which engages with companies to address different aspects of their activities which affect climate change.
  • We also supported ShareAction’s letter to major banks asking that they stop financing new oil and gas fields. We have continued to invest in companies which have a positive environmental impact.

To support our partners to reduce their own climate impact:

  • We have funded a number of our funded partners to attend Carbon Literacy training.
  • We are currently surveying our partners to ask what additional (non-grant) support they would find useful. Ideas on offer include funding carbon audits or consultation, peer mentoring and additional Carbon Literacy training days.

May 2023