Rock Trust launches first Green Action Plan ahead of World Environment Day 2021
Scottish youth homelessness charity Rock Trust has published its first Green Action Plan 2021-22 to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and improving the health, wellbeing and prospects for young people affected by homelessness.
Rock Trust’s first Green Action Plan outlines the steps the charity is currently taking to reduce its carbon footprint, as well as highlighting the many steps they aim to take over the next year to help minimise environmental impact.
The plan is proudly aligned to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the first year’s SMART objectives initially focusing on goal three and seven of the UN’s 2030 Agenda: Good Health and Wellbeing, and Affordable and Clean Energy.
Fuel costs continue to remain a critical issue in Scotland, with 25% of all households living in fuel poverty - defined by the Scottish Government as any household spending more than 10% of their income on energy – after housing costs have been taken out.
Like the Scottish Government, Rock Trust recognises the four main drivers of fuel poverty: energy prices, income, energy efficiency of the home, and how energy is used in the home. The charity has already begun addressing these drivers in their Green Action Plan by creating resource booklets for the young people in their services and accommodation.
These resources provide guidance on areas such as sustainability in the home, energy efficiency and condensation. You can view these booklets on Rock Trust’s Sustainability webpage here.
Rock Trust staff are also benefiting from the organisation’s commitment to the Green Action plan. Five employees’ have registered to the charity’s Bike2Work scheme as part of their initiative to promote active travel. This number is expected to grow as Covid-19 restrictions ease and more employees come back to the workplace.
Rock Trust’s partners Home Energy Scotland and OVO Foundation have been influential to their Green Action Plan, both contributing to the plan and offering ongoing advice and support surrounding sustainability best practice.
Caroline Silke, head of OVO Foundation which commissions Rock Trust’s Future Builders programme, said: “The Rock Trust’s dedication to creating a Green Action Plan reflects how the importance and urgency of the climate crisis is intrinsically linked with the critical matters in housing and homelessness that they tackle in their daily work. Not only have they mapped out how they can take action, but they have also centred the young people they support - and their futures - at the heart of the Plan too. As climate awareness increases and attention turns to COP26, we have a unique opportunity to build momentum and drive change. It is brilliant to see the Rock Trust grasp this moment and we look forward to continuing our work together.”
Home Energy Scotland also commented on Rock Trust’s Green Action Plan.
It said: “We have been working with the Rock Trust to upskill staff, review their housing stock and engage their young people. We are delighted to see the formalisation of this work, and much more, through the creation of this Green Action Plan.
“From building staff awareness, to reviewing and improving their own stock, from recognising the benefit of simple and small actions like turning down the thermostat through to installing larger measures as recommended by EPC data, the Rock Trust are taking a holistic approach to the issue of energy efficiency. By engaging young people, they will ensure a legacy to this work, equipping them to take positive action to protect the planet as they progress through life. We support the Rock Trust in their commitment to embed sustainability and look forward to working in partnership with them in the years ahead.”
Kate Polson, CEO of Rock Trust, added: “Rock Trust has been working to end youth homelessness and to support young people to have positive futures for 30 years. Throughout this time, we have worked to improve the sustainability of all our services and processes including those which have a wider impact on the world we live in.
“Our Green Action Plan ensures that this activity continues and confirms our commitment for going even further. As an organisation, making more sustainable business decisions and creating more sustainable opportunities for both our staff and the young people in our services is vital. We are very proud to be doing all we can to ensure that the future health of the environment our young people live in is protected.”