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The RSPB’s approach to its own environmental impacts

The Markie (horse) Burn tumbles over rocks & waterfalls in its passage down the glen

Image: Andy Hay

The RSPB works to save birds and other wildlife here in the UK and abroad. Nature is in trouble and we recognise that this is largely due to the rate at which we’re using up resources. 

We are looking for more sustainable ways for people to meet their needs and make the link between individual actions and saving wildlife. 

Our commitments

We also apply this to the way we work. We have had a greening programme since the 1990s and have now set up a corporate environmental management system (EMS). In addition, our workplaces in Wales are trialing the Green Dragon scheme – an externally accredited EMS. We have an Environmental Policy (see download), which sets out our overall directions. In the next 18 months we’re focusing on 5 key areas:

  • Reducing carbon emissions 
  • Ensuring legal compliance
  • Reducing water use 
  • Reducing waste to landfill
  • Ensuring any purchases of tropical commodities and seafood meets our standards. 

Each Directorate has an action plan, which will help us achieve these objectives.

What we’ve achieved so far:

  • 21 buildings have solar (photo-voltaic) panels
  • Wind turbines at 2 reserves and one proposed for our headquarters (HQ) at Sandy
  • Ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps at 2 buildings
  • Woodchip/pellet boilers at 3 reserves
  • 95 percent recycling rate at our HQ, including composting
  • Video-conferencing units at all our main offices
  • From a 2007/8 baseline, we reduced our carbon budget emissions by more than 3 percent each year
  • An electric car charge point was installed at our HQ 2 years ago and we now have 3 electric vehicles  in our fleet, including 1 in London
  • Installing smart meters at our main workplaces for energy and water
  • Signed up to the Sustainable ® Advertising Mail scheme
  • Going for the Soil Association’s Food For Life Award at our cafes
  • Switching to paperless HR and Finance systems.