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Collaborations & future proofing

Ategi, as a charity, is keen to move into the future which means having a focus on its carbon footprint, this is important for many reasons. Firstly, reducing carbon emissions aligns with our mission of social responsibility. Secondly, it demonstrates accountability and transparency to donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Lastly, addressing the carbon footprint contributes to mitigating climate change, preserving ecosystems, and promoting a sustainable future for all.

Our ambition to make Ategi an organisation fit for the future must include considering our impact on the environment.  As Ategi does not have the expertise internally and limited resources we decided to look at how we could embrace another of our ambitions to be a “great place to work” by looking for a volunteer to support us in a project to establish our carbon footprint. We worked with Cardiff University’s Student Futures team and recruited Sam Halling, a Cardiff University graduate in Environmental Geography.   

Sam joined Ategi for an 8-week internship, over the 8 weeks, Sam worked alongside Karen Thomas, Ategi’s Head of Admin and Company Secretary, - with additional collaboration from across the organisation - on Ategi’s environmental impact project. 

Sam examined the environmental impact of Ategi’s operations and services. The focus of the project was primarily on carbon emissions (both direct and indirect), but also considered all facets of environmental impact as relevant to Ategi. 

Upon identification of areas where improvements could potentially be made, Sam then carried out research on actions that could be undertaken, as well as research on potential funding and schemes which may assist Ategi.  Through the research Sam did during the project he put together several recommendations in a report for Ategi to consider going forwards. The report will be vital in the development of Ategi’s environmental management system (EMS), as well as providing us informed guidance on improvements to enable ongoing progress.

At Ategi we recognise charities should prioritise assessing their environmental footprint because it reflects their commitment to sustainability, resource stewardship, and long-term positive impact. By minimising their ecological impact, charities can lead by example, protect the planet, and ensure their charitable efforts align with the goal of creating a healthier and more sustainable world.

At the end of the project, we asked Sam some questions about his experience with Ategi:  

What did you enjoy about your experience interning for Ategi?

I have felt very welcome here. Everyone is working to ultimately achieve the same outcome – improving the lives of the people Ategi supports. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that culture?

The experience I have gained from working with a charity, and being able to use my background skills and knowledge to help meet Ategi’s environmental goals has been invaluable – the first steppingstone of a fulfilling career. I am extremely grateful for this!

Keep up the inspiring work, and please keep in touch regarding your environmental progress. 

Finally, thanks for having me!

What's next after Ategi?

My goal is to work in an environmental role, and I have a couple of interviews lined up, one I am very excited about as it is an opportunity to support an ecology project in the Afan Valley.  The experience I have gained during me placement with Ategi has given me more skills and knowledge to enhance my CV and job application forms. 

What advice do you have for charities like Ategi who want to improve their carbon footprint?

We must recognise that charities have limited resources and so my advice would be to start by thinking about the small differences you can make and start including environmental impact assessments when planning.  Small changes will make a difference. 

Introducing Ategi’s environmental project and how charities can lead by example in protecting the natural world

Sam Halling

"Sam joined Ategi for an 8-week internship, over the 8 weeks, Sam worked alongside Karen Thomas, Ategi’s Head of Admin and Company Secretary, - with additional collaboration from across the organisation - on Ategi’s environmental impact project."

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About the author

Karen Thomas

Karen joined Ategi as a Finance Assistant, having worked in the banking industry for 23 years. She completed her AAT qualification and was looking for something completely different and she found it at Ategi. Karen loved the values of the organisation from the start and has been on an interesting journey where she has been supported to develop within the organisation.