FSC leaders declare climate emergency

Leaders of a UK outdoor education charity have today declared a climate emergency and set out the organisation’s ambitions to hit significant carbon reduction targets by early next year.

The decision follows a meeting of the FSC’s (Field Studies Council) board of trustees on July 4 at which they challenged the charity to reduce its carbon impact by 40 per cent by 2020.

The charity, which operates 20 field centres across the UK and its headquarters at Preston Montford near Shrewsbury, has already saved more than £500,000 on its energy bills after switching from ‘dirty’ to green energy sources and more than 50 per cent of all energy used by the FSC now comes from renewable sources such as solar and biomass.

Professor Tim Burt, FSC Chairman said, “As the country’s leading provider of outdoor and environmental learning we have always held the protection and conservation of the environment as one of our key values.

“At this critical time I believe it is incumbent on those with expert environmental knowledge to spread the word that climate change is an existential challenge.

“I am both happy and concerned to say that the trustees have taken the unanimous decision to declare a climate emergency.”

The FSC welcomes around 165,000 visitors per year to its field study centres located in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

A number of its centres are located near the coast and so are directly impacted by environmental change and rising sea levels.

Switching to greener, off-grid sources of energy has been key to the FSC’s success in reducing its carbon footprint.

However, efforts have also focused on building infrastructure and managing heat loss at its centres; replacing its vehicle fleet with more energy efficient cars and reducing travel time for staff.

Further efforts are being made to provide more sustainable meals to its visitors and recently the charity was awarded the Food For Life Served Here Bronze Award by the Soil Association.

For further information about FSC visit the website https://www.field-studies-council.org/.