The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors. Underpinning all our work is a belief in the importance of independent and rigorous research evidence, and its power to bring about change.
Our own work aims to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation in education and social policy. However, within our own organisation, we also wish to contribute to society by cutting carbon emissions and contributing to the dialogue on climate change, which we believe extensive scientific research has now proved to be a worrying problem for all of us. Whilst we are only a small organisation, we believe that cutting emissions begins at home, and that change only truly begins when individuals start to act collectively to bring about a change in attitudes and practises.
To signify our commitment to cutting our emissions, the Foundation is now signed up to the 10:10 initiative, aiming to cut our emissions by 10% in the next year. The 10:10 challenge focuses on four key areas: electricity; on-site fuel use; road transport; and air travel. Our commitment is to lower our footprint in these key areas, but also to investigate other ways in which we could operate in a more environmentally friendly way, such as food and materials sourcing.
The Foundation has, for some time, requested all staff to be ‘energy conscious’ when in the office – we request that all computers, printers and other electrical devices are turned off at the end of each day, rather than simply put on standby. We also seek to use the most energy efficient lighting possible within the constraints of our listed building. Staff are reminded to turn off lights during lunch-breaks or if the office is likely to be empty for fifteen minutes or more. We are fortunate that in many rooms during brighter months lighting is not required at all. All electrical appliances are kept turned off when not in use, especially those with digital displays which use a large amount of electricity whilst on standby.
On-site fuel use
The constraints of our listed Georgian building makes reducing our fuel consumption challenging, as our heating system is not the most efficient possible, partly due to the cast iron radiators which are not allowed to be changed. However, staff are encouraged not to turn radiators on unless absolutely necessary, and first to consider warmer clothing in winter months.
Currently, very little of the Foundation’s work is carried out using road transport. Whilst travel is sometimes essential for members of staff, public transport is encouraged over car usage, which we regard as a last resort. We would encourage our grant-holders to advise their staff likewise. Foundation staff commute to work via bike or public transport, and we would advise all visitors to the Foundation to travel in this way, especially as we are fortunate to be situated close to several different transport hubs, including a new rank of bicycles available for hire.
Increasingly, facilities such as WebEx or Telephone Conferencing are good substitutes for meetings in person, and we encourage this where feasible.
Nuffield Foundation staff are advised against air travel wherever practical, and currently we have a very low air mileage for our staff. Once again, we would advise all grant holders against flying for work purposes wherever possible, and to minimise trips where they are unavoidable.
Outside of these core areas, we are also looking to cut our carbon footprint by looking into our office supplies and investigating more environmentally friendly options. We are also conscious that as an event host we need to look into our food sourcing more closely. Where possible we try to serve local, seasonal food, however this is something that we feel we could improve on.
All the measures listed above are part of our commitment to cut our emissions consistently over the ensuing years. Within the constraints of our listed building, this may not always be easy. However, with the right attitude from staff and grant-holders, we are committed to improving our efficiency, and encouraging others to join us.