Could funders reposition to boost our green recovery?




20 July 2020

As our governments gradually ease lockdown restrictions, the public’s opinion is that now is an opportunity for change, and they would be prepared to make many of the measures brought in during lockdown permanent to support a green recovery, according to a Climate Assembly UK report.

Findings from the report include a willingness from respondents to make changes to how we travel, and a view from the public that we should rethink how we invest in infrastructure while we make an economic recovery.

As a charity focussed on environmental regeneration, we welcome the value placed by the public on a green recovery, and we see the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) playing an important role in helping to deliver this.

In addition to the enforced lifestyle changes we have experienced as part of the lockdown, people have also used this time to find new interests and a renewed appreciation of nature and the outdoors. Councils, for example, are experiencing increased demand for allotment spaces as more people want to grow their own fruit and vegetables; very promising for the Growing Food Together fund we have launched for community growing projects.

With this desire to work towards a greener economy and future – and it is not just a public call but across various organisations and sectors – could other funding programmes also look at how they can help support a green recovery? By doing things differently here, we stand to make a significant impact within existing expenditure or with modest additional investment.

Partnership working is at the heart of what we do. We foster strong working relationships, have built a healthy network, and bring funders together and manage joint funding programmes on their behalf to deliver collective objectives. Our CSGN Development Fund alone has supported over 220 environmental projects with £7.2m.

Could your grant scheme lead the way for a new normal where a green recovery is embedded in funding criteria? If you would like to discuss how we can help you develop a fund that you manage, or explore how you can support a green economic recovery through your CSR strategy, our team is on hand to help.

Derek Robertson is the Chief Executive at Central Scotland Green Network Trust