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How one of the UK’s oldest charities was transformed by climate training

This is the story of how we energised and realigned staff at Keep Britain Tidy around their mission and messaging on climate and sustainability.

Written by:
Meg Watts & George Biesmans

At a glance

Re-energised and realigned staff around its core mission and messaging

Led them to introduce a Climate Perks scheme offering staff additional paid “journey days” to avoid flying

Equipped staff with the knowledge and understanding to ask better questions and make better decisions

As an environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy was no stranger to driving action on the climate and nature crisis, and so an unlikely candidate perhaps, for signing up to our Climate and Sustainability Leadership Training. But for Finance Director, Ruth Jenkins, there was a lack of alignment within the team on what the organisation’s mission and message were: “What are we trying to say here?”, she remarked when we chatted to her at the end of 2022. 

Having sat our public course and been inspired by a guest appearance from Keep Britain Tidy ambassador, Chris Packham, Ruth was determined to get her whole team on board.

She wanted to create an enabling space within the organisation for difficult conversations around the climate and nature crisis, and trigger “a kind of ripple effect” in the workplace, which she hoped would translate into clearer and more impactful messaging with the public.

After getting a flavour of AimHi Earth’s work with the Climate Masterclass, the Keep Britain Tidy team came back for more and booked onto the holistic, four-part Climate and Sustainability Leadership Training.

The “ripple effect” Ruth was looking for was felt right across the organisation:

“The course brought the team together in such a fun learning environment, and re-inspired us to push harder for the changes we need as an organisation, and across Britain."

Fast forward two years and the longer-term impacts of that ripple are plain to see.

Keep Britain Tidy has restructured its 5-year strategy to reflect the more holistic understanding of the climate and nature crisis gleaned through the course, and plans to offer further training to its board and broader staff group.

They’ve also introduced a Climate Perks scheme encouraging staff to avoid flying by offering them additional paid “journey days” so that they can use slower, lower-carbon means of transport.

Other changes include enabling staff to opt into a fully divested, carbon-neutral pension plan and reorienting their Eco Schools programme to focus on both emissions reductions and their impact on nature. The list goes on!

Beyond these concrete operational changes, the training re-energised the very people who make up Keep Britain Tidy, sparking a desire to push for transformation within the organisation and, in Ruth’s words, “helping them to ask better questions and make better decisions”.

As our conversation drew to a close, Ruth offered some unequivocal advice to other organisations: 

“Whatever business you’re in, it will not survive if we don't deal with these crises. So engage now, and engage in a really fun way.”

If you’re reading this, and you’re looking for a way to engage your team on the climate and nature crisis, head over to our training page for organisations to discover more and get in touch with us.


Get your team on board

Wondering how to convince your colleagues and senior management to bring climate and sustainability training to your organisation? We’ve put together a handy email template which you can use to clearly explain what we do and why your organisation will benefit from it!