At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we recognise that our operations have an adverse affect on the environment. This includes a contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and the release, both directly and indirectly, of other harmful greenhouse gases that play a major role in climate change. We also recognise the negative impact this has on not just the environment but society as a whole.
Increases in global surface temperatures, rises in sea levels and changes in weather patterns causing severe drought and floods have been reported as the environmental effects of climate change, with a resulting social impact on access to water, food production and health. Furthermore, this impact affects some of the very people that the Foundation aims to support. The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s contribution to CO2 levels is primarily made though energy consumption at the Foundation’s offices, as well as occasional air and surface travel undertaken by members of staff, primarily visiting our grantees.
As a socially and environmentally aware organisation, we aim to minimise our negative impact on the environment and the related costs to society by reducing where possible our carbon footprint and offsetting that remainder which is necessary for us to function. Among various practices, we do this by conference calling where possible instead of travelling, maximising the use of public transport over cars and taxis, minimising energy and water use in the office, recycling all possible waste and encouraging staff to cycle to our offices by participating in a Cycle to Work Scheme. We are also mindful of the effect of climate change on our grantees both as a consequence of any programme we might support and/or the external environment in which they operate.
Most importantly we calculate, track and aim to reduce our carbon emissions, and in January 2011, for the first time, we offset the carbon footprint produced as a direct result of our operations annually through the purchase of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits. Although a small gesture in light of the global problem, we believe it is a positive step in the right direction and we encourage other non-profits in the UK and around the world to do their part in fighting climate change.