We recognise that as an international NGO we must continuously do more to protect the planet - starting with conscious steps to reduce our carbon footprint and incorporate environmentally friendly practices into our daily work for children.
The year 2022 saw us take this commitment back to basics. We took a long hard look at ourselves and our efforts to date to ensure we handle our corporate social responsibility with utmost attention to detail.
This saw us draw up a new Sustainability Policy for launch in 2023 with the aim to highlight the sustainability of our work more comprehensibly moving forward. The policy pulls together our existing policies and builds on them from an environmental perspective. It also provides practical tips to staff across the organisation on how to make our operations greener.
Meanwhile, the results came in from our annual carbon footprint calculation. In 2021, we emitted an estimated 2056 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This includes a 5% de minimis - an exemption for emissions that are too small or too cumbersome to calculate. For the size of the organisation, this is a modest footprint. This is due to the fact that most of our programmes do not come with substantial logistical chains.
Yet, it is a footprint that we take very seriously. With the knowledge that nearly 95% is emissions related - including emissions caused by road and air travel but also the purchasing of tablets for our e-learning programme Can’t Wait to Learn - we took decisions across the organisation to avoid and reduce them. For example, we took tablets that had stopped working and combined the parts into functioning ones maximizing the lifespan and number of users.
We also stood by our conviction that every little helps when it comes to the climate crisis. Our Lebanon office incorporated a sustainability element into our long-standing SHIELD project seeing children go out into their community to pick up litter and clean outdoor areas - putting a smile on everyone’s faces.
War Child works exclusively to improve the resilience and wellbeing of children affected by armed conflict but we cannot ignore the impact of climate change on these children. In 2023, we will stimulate further discussions with experts in the sector ensuring that we accelerate our efforts in this area today, not tomorrow.