Environmental Statement

Overview and Context

World Vision is a child-focused international relief, development and advocacy agency that strives to be environmentally responsible. Our concern for the poor means that we cannot ignore changes in the environment that intimately affect their livelihoods. Climate change has the potential to seriously undermine sustainable development and may in the long run contribute to rising levels of natural disasters and endemic poverty. As a result, it will have the greatest impact on the poorest communities around the world. We recognise the United Nations Global Compact voluntary initiative which encourages organisations to implement universal sustainability principles in support of UN goals. UN Global Compact environment principles seven to nine encourage: a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, initiatives which promote greater environmental responsibility and encourage environmentally friendly technologies.

For World Vision SA’s mission to be fulfilled in a way which is consistent with biblical teaching, we recognise the need to care for the environment in all our areas of work. World Vision SA’s policy is therefore to seek to have the least negative impact, where practicable, on the environment, continually seeking to reduce our negative impact. We shall encourage our staff and supporters to recognise that we have a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of all our business activities. This policy relates to employees’ responsibilities, the direct impacts of our day-to-day operations, which arise through the consumption of energy and resources, as well as impacts that arise indirectly that have the potential to affect the environment.

This environmental policy statement is endorsed by our Senior Leadership Team and CEO. It commits the organisation to meet all applicable legal requirements and work to improve (or maintain) our Environmental Impact.

Environmental Principles

We will:

  • Comply with all applicable legal and other environmental requirements
  • Promote environmental responsibility and seek to improve environmental performance
  • Seek to minimise our production of waste and recycle our waste, as practically possible.
  • Seek to promote energy efficiency and to reduce our CO2 emissions where practically possible.
  • Look to increase awareness of the impacts of environmental issues with employees.
  • Undertake periodic reviews of progress.

APPENDIX - Application of the principles

Examples of how the principles may be applied include:

  • Reducing the production of waste for example by: cross-organisational management of internal print and move from single use plastic cups to long term use cups.
  • Recycling paper, plastic and metal waste and compose food waste using the compose on site.
  • Promote energy efficiency through the use of light sensors, moving to LED lighting, and taking part in energy assessments, implementing subsequent recommendations as viable, offices notices asking staff to turn off lights.
  • Reducing CO2 emissions through a voluntary car shares, utilising video conferencing and screening sharing technology where appropriate to reduce air travel.
  • Reducing environmental degradation by using sustainable sourced paper and purchasing locally produced goods.
  • Raising awareness of environmental issues: ensuring staff are aware of our environment policy and practises, sharing with staff how WV wider work is helping communities to adapt and become more resilience to climate changes.

Examples of how the principles may be applied in our wider programmes:-

  • We will seek to abide by the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, which specifies “We will pay particular attention to environmental concerns in the design and management of relief programmes. We will also endeavour to minimise the negative impact of humanitarian assistance, seeking to avoid long-term beneficiary dependence upon external aid.”
  • Across all of World Vision SA funded programmes, we support the wider World Vision partnership’s utilisation of environmentally aware programmes. For examples: Livelihoods programmes works with small holder farmers to build their capacity to deal with the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. This includes the promotion of climate smart agricultural techniques, agro-forestry and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration and soil and water conservation. We recognise that for most small holder farmers, managing and restoring the natural environment is key to their on-going ability to be productive and to improve their livelihoods and incomes and so contribute to the well-being of children.

More broadly World Vision International is a signatory to the INGO Accountability Charter, which includes a requirement to report on environmental management. This requirement is met within the annual World Vision International Accountability Report.

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