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Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism

A blog post by Tom Brock OBE

As we prepare for an exciting and ambitious year, Tom Brock, Chair of our Board of Charity Trustees, highlights the exciting campaigns we have on the way and urges collaborative and positive action in 2023.

We wrapped up 2022 with positivity by highlighting the amazing commitment and work of those we support across Scotland. While there is no doubt that last year we, and all of you, made it one of our best ever in terms of innovation, numbers becoming Carbon Literate, and communities taking local environmental action, we know that there is an opportunity – and a need - to scale up our impact in the coming 12 months.

Over the past few weeks, I have reflected on some of the massive challenges and opportunities we face in 2023.

We now know that we are facing three significant and interlinked emergencies; a climate emergency; a nature emergency; and, a litter emergency declared by us in December 2022.

Over the past year we have developed and enhanced our training courses to support Scotland becoming Carbon Literate and Literate. We have worked in partnership with a wide variety of businesses and carried out bespoke audits for some great clients, we have built on our award schemes for businesses in the tourism and housing sectors in particular, and we have a healthy order book as we look forward to the year ahead.

This is good news: any income that we generate is ploughed straight back into our charitable activities – our business head feeds our charity heart. 

We know that our income generating activities add value to the businesses we help and support. They also add value to Scotland plc and help to achieve significant environmental improvements. The more we make from our income generating activities, the more we can invest in supporting communities and individuals to combat climate change, tackle litter and waste, restore biodiversity and enhance and improve the places they love.

We’ve heard directly from those we work with that they perceive litter levels to be worse than they were, we know that young people and educators feel unprepared for a future with a changing climate, and we know that communities want to do more and take relevant action.

Society has changed over the past few years.  It has presented challenges, yes, but also massive opportunities. We have seen outstanding positive environmental action from communities across Scotland.  We engaged with thousands of young people and educators through our new series of Live Lessons, beamed from us and partners directly to schools as part of our Climate Action Framework. We even welcomed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon live during Climate Week to one of our lessons. We are looking forward to developing this exciting education offer in 2023.

This year, we know that we need to step up our engagement with people across Scotland to build on the interest in taking environmental action. I am keen to see how our two new behaviour change campaigns – Cup Movement® in the Highlands and the Highland Community Waste Partnership – will help us to learn more to support action.  We, as individuals and communities, must own the challenges and become part of the solution. 

Every member of #TeamKSBScot, from the employees, volunteers and charity trustees to the wider network of supporters, funders and business we work with, passionately care about our local environment and wildlife, our country, and our planet. We all want to do what we can to make a positive difference to our environment – big or small. It is this passion that I believe will help our vital impact to grow in the coming year. We look forward to working with more businesses and communities throughout Scotland. We have a strong business head supporting our charity heart and we want our charity heart to beat powerfully for our people, for our wildlife and for our planet.

Our shared goal remains for us all to live and work in a clean, green and sustainable Scotland. But we can only do that in partnership with you. As we continue to inspire and enable positive environmental action across Scotland, we urge you to join us and play your part.

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