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Our 2023 Reflections

As we come towards the end of 2023, we’re taking a moment to reflect on our year and the projects that we have been involved in throughout. It’s been an amazing year at genee, with a lot of learning, to better equip us going forward. We’re looking forward to expanding our team in 2024, to help more organisations embed sustainability within their day to day operations.

Over the course of 2023, genee have had a 120% increase in North East Investors in the Environment (iiE) members. We love delivering iiE across the region, because it gives an holistic view of an organisation, and offers a fantastic framework for organisations to identify, measure and reduce their environmental impacts. The structure of iiE is suited to all organisations, which is reflected in our client base, from working with Local Authorities and NHS Trusts, to the VCSE sector and SMEs. The programme is built to encourage continual and incremental improvements, and recognises that sustainability is not an overnight occurrence, but one which requires ongoing commitment. A large number of our iiE clients have come from our partnership in the Become Green Together programme. At the start of the year, we were three months in to the Become Green Together partnership with VONNE and SmartCarbon (funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and County Durham Community Foundation), delivering iiE to the VCSE sector in the North East and Cumbria. The first cohort of organisations on this initiative began their participation in October 2022, and were audited as part of the iiE programme towards the end of 2023, with many achieving Bronze accreditation, and some even achieving Silver in their first year of membership.

The Become Green Together programme has had a staged application process, which has been beneficial to the development of the project over time. We’ve been able to take the feedback from our first cohort to the betterment of the project and ensure we’re meeting the needs of the VCSE organisations who have unique daily pressures.

It’s has been a joy to work with the VCSE sector so closely this year. We’ve been able to witness the fantastic work these organisations are doing across communities, the social value they create and the impact they have within the community. Through their involvement with the Become Green Together project, the participating VCSE organisations have been able to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their environmental impact within their own organisations, but also the wider communities, by sharing their learning.

Genee continues to work regionally towards the goal of a greener, more sustainable region, with the North East England Climate Coalition, and Net Zero North East. Over the past year, this work has involved running two climate focused planning groups on land use and agriculture, and waste and resources management.

As well as this, amongst the projects we have collaborated on this year, is the production of the South of Tyne & Wear Local Nature Recovery Strategy Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Local Nature Recovery Strategies are being developed across the country seeking to recover nature at scale and deliver wider environmental and public benefits. Genee have been grateful to be involved in the process to drive coordinated action towards nature’s recovery in the region.

We were also thrilled to bring the Sizzle initiative, Enrich the Earth, to the North East this year. Enrich the Earth seeks to transform unavoidable green and food waste into nutrient rich compost, and our strong regional networks makes the North East a brilliant landscape to trial this in.

At genee, we believe it vital to support regional approaches to tackling the climate crisis, as it is only by working together across the region that we can achieve our net zero and nature recovery goals.

At genee, we often talk about our ‘why’, and our motivations to work on the projects we do. We want to make sure that we’re working towards a more sustainable world, but also bringing everyone along with us at the same time. In 2024, we’re excited to work with existing and new clients towards this goal, and contribute to a regional effort to tackle the climate crisis, we’d love you to come and join us!


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