Celebrating World Environment Day!

How we’re starting to plan and make changes to reduce our carbon footprint

12 June 2024

World Environment Day is the biggest international day for the environment, and it’s held every year on 5 June.

Did you know it was World Environment Day last week? On World Environment Day, millions of people across the globe come together to celebrate and help find ways to protect our planet.

We’re celebrating World Environment Day because we know how important the protecting the planet is to girls. Almost 9 in 10 (87%) of girls agree we all have a responsibility to save energy and reduce waste to protect the environment. And our promise and Guide laws encourage members to serve their community by taking care of the world around them.

For this year’s World Environment Day, we’re unpacking our carbon footprint. Learning about our carbon footprint can help us better understand where our carbon emissions are coming from, and how we can make improvements. Reducing our carbon footprint is also a key part of our environmental plan.

What is a carbon footprint?

Our carbon footprint is made up of all the greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere in our daily lives. It’s a number often measured in tonnes, kilograms or grams.

It can be calculated by working out how much greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere by the things you do every day, and by the making, transportation and use of the objects you use.

Why did we decide to include this in our environmental plan?

Reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most important things we can do to improve sustainability and tackle climate change. Once we know where our carbon emissions are coming from, we can target key areas that need improving and start reducing our environmental impact.  

That’s why in 2023, we looked into the carbon footprint of the entire Girlguiding movement in the UK. We created a breakdown of our carbon footprint and found out exactly where our emissions come from.

This has given us a better understanding of our environmental impact and how we might reduce it over the next few years.

We’re setting out to cut our carbon footprint by 50% by 2040.

How we’re planning to reduce our carbon footprint

When we launched our environmental strategy on Earth Day, we let you know what we’re planning to do to cut our carbon emissions. We’ve also been looking at what we can improve at Girlguiding HQ and the Girlguiding shop.

We’re going to:

1. Use our new dedicated, internal group to explore how we achieve our carbon reduction goals

This dedicated group is made up of Girlguiding staff, but we’re also in the process of recruiting for a lead volunteer to work with us on this project. This group is looking at what more we could be doing at Girlguiding to reduce our carbon emissions and make recommendations of what to do next.

2. Review our suppliers and their environmental impact

Our Girlguiding shop team already look into the sustainability of suppliers we work with, but we want to do this across Girlguiding – for anyone we pay to provide us with a service. This will help us make sure we’re working with environmentally-friendly suppliers as much as possible and reduce our indirect emissions.

3. Find out and improve our recycling rates

We’re going to find out a percentage which tells us how much of our waste from Girlguiding HQ and Girlguiding shop gets recycled. This means we can track what is and what isn’t getting recycled and work out where to make improvements.

Our electricity at Girlguiding HQ already comes from a renewable source. But we’re exploring options to make sure our electricity at Girlguiding shop comes from renewable energy sources too.

Thank you!

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us get the information we needed to work out our carbon footprint. We got lots of valuable data from Girlguiding members which we’ll continue to use to help us reduce our environmental impact. We also have more guidance and resources on the way to support you with all things environment.   

Activities to help girls learn about the environment

Remember, there’s lots of things you can do to talk about the environment with your unit. From programme to partner activities, there are so many ways for girls to get involved and learn more about how to take care of our planet.