Charity network saves millions by switching to clean energy sources

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A group of charities, heritage organisations and arts venues have collectively avoided spending £6.97m on energy produced by fossil-fuels such as coal, oil and gas in 2017, a report from a sustainability network has shown.

The impact report from Fit for the Future has revealed that its 102 member organisations generated 48.5GWh of renewable energy for themselves, which is enough to power a National Trust mansion house for 138 years, and avoided spending just under £7m on fossil-fuel energy.

The 102 Fit for the Future members include the National Trust, RNLI, Cancer Research UK, Guide Dogs, Historic Environment Scotland and Tate galleries.

They collectively look after 30,497 buildings including lifeboat stations, charity shops and theatres, as well as property including Buckingham Palace. They also own 815,290 hectares of land, an area roughly the size of North Yorkshire, which includes landmarks such as Stonehenge and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

The impact report also showed that members collectively produced 53 per cent more clean energy than was generated last year. This means members saved 3,859 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2017 by reducing gas, oil and electricity consumption, which is the equivalent of taking 757 cars off the road for a year.

‘Operating without damaging on the environment ‘makes business sense’

Sir Edward Davey, chair of the network, said: “Climate change is putting the things we value most at risk, including buildings, landscapes and the wider environment. The organisations within Fit for the Future are rising to the challenge by collaborating to find practical solutions, which include generating their own clean energy.

“Member organisations are demonstrating that operating without damaging the environment is possible and, moreover, that it makes business sense.”

The report showed that Manchester Museum’s 2017 energy savings could pay for the conservation of 8 Egyptian mummies. While, National Trust’s gas savings could pay for 7,105 metres of coastal wildlife trails. The Canal & River Trust’s energy savings could pay for 12 new hand-crafted lock gates.

Fit for the Future was set up by the National Trust and sustainability charity, Ashden in 2013. Its mission is to ensure that all the organisations in its membership become “climate-friendly, adaptive and resilient”.

In 2017 it launched a working group, which is developing an action plan to ensure all its members can begin to engage with climate change adaptation.

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