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Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

This website is adapted from Going Greener Together, used under creative commons licence CC-BY-NC and is run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Find out more

Buy & sell

The things that your organisation buys and sells- your supply chain- is considered part of your overall carbon emissions. Understanding more about who are buying from, and selling or giving to, is a key part of becoming more climate confident.

Opportunities to source your day-to-day supplies, raw materials or finished goods from environmentally-friendly suppliers are increasing. Think about sourcing locally when you have the option, and look at the environmental policy and approach of your suppliers. 

You might find it helpful to build this into a supplier code of conduct, or to prioritise accreditations like the Fairtrade Carbon standard where you can.

If you are entering into a new partnership with a third party you associate your brand and values with the other organisation, so it pays to do due diligence, and feel confident that they meet your environmental standards.

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Fossil fuel companies are some of the wealthiest and most powerful companies on the planet. As long as our banks and pensions continue to invest in fossil fuels we will struggle to move to a greener and more sustainable future. 

In our personal banking many people have made a switch to ethical banking providers, but it can be more complex thinking about this for your organisation. Why not put this on the agenda for your next board meeting and start to explore what your options are.

If your staff pension fund doesn’t have an option to invest ethically this is another area to look into. Pensions operate in the same way as investment funds. To help promote green energy and climate change innovations amongst others, make sure that the pension provider your organisation uses has an ethical option (such as an ESG fund). These sorts of funds commit to choosing investments that meet specific environmental, social and governance criteria. Bear in mind, however, that ESG funds are usually opt-in, so each staff member would have to understand the implications, and choose this option for themselves

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Whether you are selling a product, giving out merchandise or running a catering business it is important to think about how you package and post. There are lots of alternatives to single-use plastic, and to make sure your items are delivered safely and sustainably.

You might even decide to go one step further and avoid packaging completely, learning from Scotland’s zerowaste shops.  

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Supporters and donors are increasingly interested in how charities are reducing their environmental impact. This can include your approach to accepting donations and working with corporate sponsors. In recent years several charities have decided to end funding relationships with fossil fuel companies because of a clash of values and risks to reputation and trust.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has produced a toolkit with tips and guidance for people working across the different fundraising disciplines, from major donors to community event.

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