Lead OrganisationSustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Alan Carr (Senior Sustainability Adviser)
OverviewHLF recognised SWM’s track record in supporting organisations in this manner and therefore commissioned us to convene a series of national workshops for staff so that they can become more knowledgeable about sustainability and therefore more confident how to assess the credentials of grantee applications.
- Gain an understanding of the current policy context for sustainability.
- Improve understanding of what sustainability means in principle and in practice, i.e. how it might be defined and the breadth of topics and issues that it encompasses.
- Feel more confident discussing sustainability with potential applicants and stakeholders.
- Contribute to evolving thinking about how we will engage potential applicants with sustainability and support them to deliver positive outcomes.
Results and achievementsAs a result of appointing SWM in this role, we were able to provide sustainability training for HLF staff. The following achievements were realised:
- SWM produced sustainability criteria that HLF can use going forward as a framework to enable staff to better assess the sustainability credentials of funding applications going forward.
- We used existing relevant HLF guidance to feed into the above criteria, thus ensuring compatibility and continuity.
- Approximately 45 HLF staff, a sixth of the total workforce, attended the workshops from across all areas of the UK, meaning that they can now impart their new knowledge onto other staff members and developed a slide pack suitable for cascading.
- We routed out enthusiasm! The workshops showed that many HLF staff care passionately about sustainability which is always a great start.
- We routed out knowledge! The workshops also demonstrated that many HLF staff have good ideas and a sound understanding of sustainability already, vital when moving this work onto its next stage.
- We routed out a determinism to ensure that sustainability is truly integrated into project application assessments in future.
- We have also been able to provide HLF with some light-touch recommendations to consider when taking forward their sustainability related work.
- Publish an article on what it takes to run a sustainable event
- Assess 14 grant applications for their sustainability credentials.
“HLF is fully committed to ensuring that the projects we fund take steps to reduce their negative environmental impacts and increase the positive impacts. We identified SWM as a suitable partner, based on their experience and knowledge, to help us fulfil this commitment by providing training for staff from across the UK. The aim was to increase our understanding of the various facets of sustainability so that staff are more confident talking to potential HLF applicants about the ways that they can embed sustainability within their project proposals. SWM provided an invaluable independent perspective and an enthusiastic and engaging style to enable us to kick start this process, and it was great to be able to work with them. The facilitated group work was particularly helpful in gathering good ideas that can now be fed into our grant-making policies and emerging strategy.” – Sara Crofts, Head of Historic Environment, HLF
Lead OrganisationSustainability West Midlands Project Manager: Simon Slater (formerly Chief Executive)
OverviewSustainable development is a complex agenda, how can it be interpreted and practically applied by regional, public sector organizations? SWM set out to answer this question in the context of Advantage West Midlands (AWM). The aim of this was to help build the understanding, confidence, and capacity of regional organizations to practically integrate sustainable development into their strategic and operational processes. The aim of this work was to take national good practice, in the form of the Sustainable Development Action Plans (SDAP) required to be produced and reported on annually by Government Departments to the Sustainable Development Commission, and adapt for regional public bodies such as AWM.
Results and achievements
- AWM moved from the bottom to the top of the league table of corporate sustainability performance within the RDA network
- The creation of a board champion for future generations to chair the new sustainability sub-committee of the board to measure the progress of the SDAP
- Creation of small sustainability team of staff and co-located staff within AWM to drive ‘mainstreaming’
- Using the opportunity to refresh the economic strategy to produce the UK’s first low carbon regional economic strategy
- Internal environmental management system that led to operational savings from waste and energy efficiency measures
- Sustainability criteria built into funding investments, business support, and land and property development. This included a new carbon reduction target and reporting measures
- Developing a new sustainability standard for large sites, that was incorporated into Regional Planning Guidance
- Tailored training and support for the board, staff and partners to help them deliver their role in the SDAP