Now that we’re heading towards the end of December, it seems the ideal time to reflect on what has been a high-profile year for the environmental sector, and what this means for both PECT and the world in general. 2019 was a year when climate change, or the climate emergency as it became known, really hit the headlines.
Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist, said to decision makers at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019: “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say – we will never forgive you.”
Climate emergencies have been declared by councils – and governing bodies – across the length and breadth of the UK. What this means is that it puts each organisation on record for taking more extreme action to reverse global warming, acknowledging that previous measures were simply not enough.
This year, PECT is proud to have had the opportunity to work with dozens of organisations looking to declare a climate emergency – from city councils to professional bodies – in order to help them recognise the urgent need to speed up action on climate change, and how to achieve their desired results.
2019 also gave us the opportunity to speak to numerous leaders and decision makers, including at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership executive programme, and the Peterborough City Leadership Forum to gain commitment from leaders on environmental pledges that they’ll be driving forward in 2020.
As a charity, we have had an impact by working with hundreds of businesses to support them on environmental accreditation or in catalysing investment in clean technologies to reduce their carbon emissions.
One of our aims has always been to help and encourage people to make healthier choices, so we launched Cool Food: a project that promotes behaviour chance in individuals, who can make a significant difference to the environment through simple changes to their food habits.
PECT has been working with communities to tackle fuel poverty and promoting healthy lifestyles through a range of education and behaviour change programmes, including our Growing Healthier Communities and Warm Homes projects. We have also worked with thousands of students through our eco education projects, and continue to improve the natural environment in the East of England with planting trees and much more.
At the Peterborough Business Awards in November we were delighted to win the Social Enterprise Award. This was a real highlight for us because it recognised the hard work and the achievements that the team have made over the last few years.
We wouldn’t be able to carry out the work we do without our supporters, funders and amazing volunteers – so we’d like to give them a massive thank you for everything they do to help us reach our aims.
2019 has been a difficult year for many: right now millions of people in our country are living in poverty. As part of our work, we want to empower people, and provide them with the knowledge and confidence to have their say and take action.
We have big plans for 2020. We hope to work with even more communities, organisations, people and places for a more sustainable future. We hope you’ll join us on the journey.