New Commission advice on the environment highlighted in Task Force report

(Immediate Release - 9th March 2010)





The Charity Commission’s new best practice recommendation on environmental responsibility and sustainability is highlighted today in the joint Ministerial and Third Sector Task force report on climate change, the environment and sustainable development.

The Commission’s Board recently approved the addition to both its publications Hallmarks of an Effective Charity, and The Essential Trustee, which now say that trustees should have regard to the impact of their charity’s activities on the environment.

The recommendation goes on to say that trustees should consider ways in which their charity can take an environmentally responsible and sustainable approach to its work, which is consistent with its purposes even when its purposes are not specifically related to the environment. The addition to both publications was added to clarify that there is no legal barrier to charities exploring the environmental impact of their work even if it is not part of their core charitable purposes. Commission guidance states that it ‘supports and encourages all charities considering the development of environmentally sustainable practices wherever possible as a way of maximising their effectiveness’.

The Commission hopes that by taking this action, it will prompt wider debate by charity trustees about what environmental responsibility is and how it can be acted upon.

Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission said;

“Charities should be at the forefront of environmental sustainability. The Charity Commission Board wants to make it clear that whatever their core areas of work are, charities may consider environmental issues. This ‘green lights’ charities thinking and acting green.”

The Charity Commission has a dedicated web-page, Environmental responsibility: what role should charities play?  This includes a set of questions and answers to help charities think about the ways in which they work. It also signposts to other organisations that can assist charities in addressing their own environmental responsibility issues.


PR 19/10

For further information on this story please contact the press office.

Notes to Editors

1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. See for further information or call our contact centre on 0845 300 0218.

2. Our mission is: to ensure charities’ legal compliance, enhance charities’ accountability, encourage charities’ effectiveness and impact and to promote the public interest in charity.


© Crown Copyright

© 2010 Crown Copyright          Copyright Notice, Disclaimer and Privacy Statement