Sustain Who we are

Good governance: Sustain's policies

Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming runs a number of projects and campaigns that work to persuade the public and private sectors to change their policies and practices, so that they underpin, rather than undermine, sustainable development.  As such, it is incumbent upon us, both as an organisation and as part of the Third Sector, to 'walk the talk' and also make sure our own policies and practices contribute to ethical practices and sustainable development.

We promote healthy and sustainably produced food, available to all, and campaign for government and industry policies and practices to support sustainable farming and fishing. Several of Sustain's member organisations demonstrate that sustainable food is an economically and technically viable choice, which provides many benefits for food quality, health, social relationships and the environment. Several of Sustain's projects aim to ensure that sustainable food becomes embedded into mainstream markets, such as routine purchasing decisions of supermarkets, neighbourhood food retailers and public-sector catering, such as schools and hospitals.

We are always renewing the process of greening our working practices by, for example, reducing our energy use, increasing our recycling rates and ensuring that our travel arrangements are as low carbon as possible. It is also part of a process of working with Sustain's members, which we hope will lead to greater understanding of the issues, and continuous reductions in the impact of the way we work on the environment as a whole, and on climate change in particular. Our policies and statements of approach are grouped under four broad headings:

Click on the links below to view our written policies on health, sustainability and the good governance of the Sustain alliance. More will be added as they are developed by the staff team and trustees, and all comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Healthy and sustainable food policies

Sustain's policy on Greener Food 
 Download 135kb PDF
Note: Our sustainable food guidelines are also available online at:

Sustain's Model Catering Policy, for communicating sustainable food guidelines simply to caterers providing food for our staff and guests at events, venues and meetings
 Download 600kb PDF (updated January 2020)

Sustain as a Fairtrade Workplace
Sustain is registered as a Fairtrade workplace, committed to buying Fairtrade tea, coffee, sugar, fruit and other products, and to promoting Fairtrade products for events and meetings. 

See also: What is sustainable food? - Sustain's working definition for good food that is produced, processed, distributed and disposed of in ways that are healthy, ethical and sustainable.

Health and well-being

As well as our healthy and sustainable food policies (above), the following environmental policies also apply.

Sustain's policy on Health & Safety
 Download 660kb PDF (updated April 2020)

Sustain's statement on Mental Health
 Download 660kb PDF (updated April 2020)

Sustain's Mental Health Policy
 Download 575kb PDF (updated June 2021)

Sustain's policy on Flexible Working
 Download 730kb PDF (updated July 2021)

Sustain's policy on Safeguarding (working with children and vulnerable adults)
 Download 594kb PDF (updated July 2023)

Sustain's policy and guidance on Safeguarding at Sustain events
 Download 803kb PDF (updated May 2024)

Sustain's policy on Bullying and Harassment
 Download 158kb PDF (updated August 2022)

Environmental policies

As well as our healthy and sustainable food policies (above), the following environmental policies also apply.

Making time for climate, nature and social justice (volunteering policy)
Sustain has adopted a system of ‘volunteering days’ for staff to take a day out of the office, to participate in some form of climate, nature or social justice activity. The purpose is to support Sustain staff taking part in climate, nature and social justice activities that develop knowledge, skills, sense of agency, diversity of experience and thoughtful connections.
 Download 624kb PDF (adopted January 2020)

Sustain's policy on Greener Travel 
 Download 573kb PDF (updated January 2019)

Sustain's policy on Greener Housekeeping 
 Download 890kb PDF (updated January 2020)

Ethical policies

Sustain's policy on Ethical Funding 
 Download 865kb PDF (updated August 2020)

Sustain commits to an ethical approach to fundraising by means of our Fundraising Promise, in line with guidance from the Fundraising Regulator. 

Sustain's policy on Ethical Advertising
 Download 624kb PDF (updated April 2020)

Sustain’s commitment to tackling racial injustice in the food system
Read an organisational statement from Sustain's chief executive
 Download 800kb PDF (published August 2020)

Sustain's progress on diversity and anti-racism
Annual progress report on Sustain’s work to improve diversity, equalities and inclusion, and to promote racial justice. Read the most recent progress reports here.

Sustain's Diversity Style Guide
This is Sustain’s guide to writing about, portraying and providing a platform for diversity and racial justice in the food and farming system.
 Link to publication download page (updated April 2023)

Some of our employment policies

Sustain's policy on Equal Opportunities 
 Download 188kb PDF (updated July 2021)

Sustain's policy on Pay Ratios
 Download 709kb PDF (introduced 2018, monitored annually)

Sustain is also an accredited Living Wage Employer, guaranteeing to pay at or above the Living Wage (nationally) or London Living Wage (in London), as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation

Sustain's approach to recruiting for diversity
See our web page here

Sustain's parental policies
 Maternity leave, download 277kb PDF (updated August 2020)
 Adoption policy, download 290kb PDF (updated May 2021)
 Paternity leave, download 640kb PDF (updated May 2021)
 Parental leave, download 463kb PDF (updated May 2021)
 Shared parental leave, download 568kb PDF (updated May 2021)

Sustain's policy on working with volunteers
 Download 789kb PDF (updated April 2020)

Good governance 

Sustain's policy and procedure for dealing with Complaints
 Download 424kb PDF (updated July 2021)

Sustain's policy on Conflicts of Interest
 Download 752kb PDF (updated May 2018)

Sustain's policy on Anti-Bribery, Fraud and Corruption
 Download 863kb PDF (updated January 2020)

Sustain's policy on expenses for staff, volunteers and trustees
 Download 645kb PDF (updated May 2018)

Sustain's policy on Whistleblowing 
 Download 242kb PDF (updated August 2022)

You can read Sustain's policy on Data Protection and Privacy at:

The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2024
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