Meadow Well Connected have achieved Silver Level environmental accreditation within the first year of their membership with Investors in the Environment, through their involvement in the Become Green Together programme. Become Green Together is a training cohort for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) in the North East and Cumbria, to become more environmentally sustainable. Numerous organisations have joined incrementally at various points throughout the year, with the first cohort of organisations beginning their journey to sustainability in October 2022.
Meadow Well Connected are the first Become Green Together organisation to go for audit, a process in which genee review the Environmental Management System set up by the organisation, and their resource measurement. The audit is a useful process allowing the organisation to demonstrate all their good work in this area and develop plans for improvements in the future.
The Investors in the Environment (iiE) accreditation requires an organisation to provide evidence that it has met a range of pre-defined criteria, set targets to reduce its environmental impact and taken action to improve its performance whilst enhancing the community in which it operates. Evidence is then presented at the annual audit, to which genee then generates a report to evaluate the organisation’s performance as well as offer advice on the next steps for continued improvement.
Genee’s Managing Director, Jo Holmes, stated “We’re so delighted with Meadow Well Connected’s environmental management system and all their work in this area, and to achieve Silver Level accreditation within their first year of membership is outstanding. They have developed an excellent environmental management system whilst participating in the programme and do a brilliant job of engaging with the wider community to champion sustainability. We look forward to seeing their progression towards their ambitious Net Zero target.”
The goal of Become Green Together is to establish an effective climate-focused strategy within community organisations, charities and social enterprises, introducing conversation and action around carbon reduction in a pro-active but accessible way. As the initiative approaches it’s first full year, the impact of Become Green Together is beginning to show through our member’s experience and results.
As part of this initiative, Genee guides participating organisations through the Investors in the Environment accreditation scheme, a programme which provides a clear structure to introduce an Environmental Management System into your organisation and get your team thinking about sustainability in an action-focused way. As well as this, participating organisations have been able to attend training sessions alongside the cohort of other like-minded organisations who are going through the same process, to aid conversation and provide a forum in which sustainability becomes a sector-wide priority.
Mandi Cresswell, Chief Officer at Meadow Well Connected, commented “We learned about iiE via VONNE’s Become Green Together programme. We were at the start of our journey of understanding our impact on the environment with limited knowledge and capacity prior to starting our journey to achieving iiE. We found the process gave us the tools, training and understanding to start to measure our carbon footprint and plan for how this could be reduced. It was a flexible programme, enabling us to shape our plans to suit our own circumstances and we were thrilled to be awarded our Silver Award in our first year. Whilst there is work to do it is extremely worthwhile and I would recommend the scheme to others in the sector.”
Nathaniel Spain, Going Green Together Coordinator said “We’re delighted that Meadow Well Connected have attained Silver with Investors in the Environment. This achievement showcases the positive impact voluntary and community sector organisations can have in tackling the climate crisis, and is a testament to genee’s excellent work helping the sector towards greater sustainability. We’re looking forward to supporting more organisations gain iiE accreditation through the Become Green Together programme, and invite anyone who is interested to get in touch and take part.”
Applications for the last cohort of Become Green Together participants are open to 30th September 2023. You can apply here. To ensure you are able to enjoy all the benefits of being in the cohort, we recommend applying as soon as possible.