Every day, Pact works around the world to improve people’s lives, including helping communities from Africa to Asia to Latin America to protect the environment and face environmental challenges. Indeed, climate change is among the biggest threats to the wellbeing and futures of those Pact serves. With our everyday operations, international NGOs contribute to environment degradation, namely through our carbon emissions. Pact is extremely cognizant of this. Besides advocating for action across the international development sector, we are taking a number of steps to assess and reduce our environmental impact and to operate sustainably.
- We believe in making evidence-based change backed by science and data.
- We believe in accountability – in accurately assessing our environmental impact and tracking and sharing our progress as we work to reduce our impact.
- We believe in innovative, global solutions – in involving our staff around the world in generating ideas, experimenting and taking action to collectively improve.
Actions to date
- Pact has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- In 2019, we adopted and published an organization-wide Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy.
- A Materiality Survey conducted across all of Pact highlighted sustainability issues that our staff see as key in the coming years, namely reducing Pact’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and our consumption of single-use plastics.
- We created an Environmental Sustainability Key Performance Indicator in 2020 that tracks our performance and is reported to our Board of Directors to ensure accountability. This index measures our environmental impact across operations and programs, including our total GHG emissions.
- In 2021, we conducted a carbon footprint assessment with support from the carbon consulting group South Pole to measure our total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, the last full year in which our operations were not impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. We collated information from all 26 Pact country offices (and associated satellite offices) on air and ground transportation, electricity consumption, recharge of AC refrigerants, diesel used to power generators and more. We published the results in a GHG Accounting Report.
- We are creating a comprehensive action plan to reduce and offset our carbon emissions, with an Pact internal Environmental Sustainability Working Group overseeing our efforts. We are tracking our emissions across our country offices going forward with a new GHG emissions inventory dashboard in Salesforce.
- We launched an internal Environmental Sustainability Campaign to gather ideas for reducing our environmental impact from our global staff, encouraging both country office-specific ideas as well as proposals for changes across the organization. As a result, we are moving from physical servers to cloud-based data storage, expanding waste recycling programs and exploring renewable energy sources such as solar for country offices.
- We have implemented a new process to determine when air travel is truly necessary, to identify alternatives to air travel, and to identify opportunities to combine trips to reduce our overall use of air travel. We calculate carbon emissions for all air travel and consider anything above 11 kg of carbon per day at the destination to be unreasonable and so require alternatives.
- We have committed to conduct waste audits (including single-use plastics) in each of our country offices. With this as a baseline, we will measure our progress as we work to reduce our plastic waste. Based on office-specific results, we will take steps including substituting with non-plastics and reusables and increasing recycling.
- We have increased options for our staff for telecommuting and remote work.
Driving collective change
In addition to our commitment to be net zero by 2030, Pact strives to drive collective action around environmental sustainability. We are a founding member of the Global Battery Alliance, a partnership of 90-plus businesses, governments, academics, industry actors, international and nongovernmental organizations, working to ensure that battery production supports green energy and safeguards human rights, health and environmental sustainability. We supported the establishment of, and are presently the de facto secretariat for, the first global Sustainable Coconut Charter, which aims to improve farmers’ livelihoods, lessen the carbon footprint of coconuts and boost supply to meet rising global demand. Pact is also a member of the World Resources Institute-facilitated Sustainability Managers Roundtable, consulting with like-minded organizations in our field to share lessons learned in our sustainability journey. We believe that in partnership, we can solve the most intractable environmental sustainability challenges faced by communities worldwide.