BFPA 2024 Yearbook & Members' Directory 2024

Sustainability CAFA’s mission is to decarbonise the membership sector. Whilst NGOs and other civil society organisations try to help companies to reduce emissions to address the climate emergency many only engage with companies on a one-toone basis. We believe, however, that by harnessing the reach, influence, and power of membership organisations, we can help speed up the reduction of business and industry emissions and accelerate to net zero. First, we want membership organisations to lead by example by getting their own house in order. This involves setting some well-defined commitments, policies and having a clear action plan in place to show how they are going to reduce their own emissions. We also want these organisations to communicate these actions in a positive way to their members and other key stakeholder groups. By taking proactive action, these membership organisations will then feel confident that they are able to lead and support the members that they represent to do the same. Full support CAFA provides support in the form of information, guidance, and peer-to-peer engagement specifically for membership organisations, including professional bodies, societies and trade associations. CAFA also has a Certified Net Zero Association programme of support that membership organisations can subscribe to. This is a multi-year hands-on programme of support to associations, delivered by CAFA’s sustainability team to help membership organisations reduce their carbon emissions regardless of their industry sector, and identify opportunities for growth and cost savings. The intention being that this support and guidance can then be cascaded to their members to do the same. In theory, this may sound like a fairly simple goal. However, trade and membership organisations can be quite complex in terms of their governance structure, members’ committees, councils and key stakeholders. What climate action needs and what membership bodies obviously need to do is advocate on behalf of their members, industry, and professionals they represent, and implement clear policies and actions. Cascading effect Unfortunately, not many of the membership organisations are taking the level of action required by this at the moment. So, our role is to generate momentum to initiate decarbonisation Addressing the climate emergency together 62 By Alison Heppenstall, Founder and Executive Director, CAFA. Alison Heppenstall: “Our role is to generate momentum to initiate decarbonisation strategies and ensure the action of membership organisations does not stall.”