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It’s time for our movement to benchmark performance on ethnic diversity

The Green Alliance, Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, Wildlife & Countryside Link and The Wildlife Trusts are all participating in The RACE Report initiative. We warmly encourage our members and partners to join in. It’s high time we recognise that our movement is one of the least ethnically diverse in the country and take action to fix this.

Together, our alliances and networks involve over 200 national organisations. We know that many in the environment sector are committed to combating the inherent racism and injustices in which our movement is steeped – from land ownership, to the distribution of funds, the jobs people do and who gets to make decisions. We also recognise that good solutions can only be found and championed when the people most affected are involved in decision-making and in shaping what we work on and how we see the world. 

Yet the environment, climate, sustainability and conservation sector is one of the least diverse in the country in terms of leadership and employees. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the average rate of employment in all professions for people identifying as from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds is over 12%. Yet in the environment and conservation sectors, it is shockingly low, at between 0% and 4%. Let’s work together to fix this. 

Our organisations would like to help our movement to become more representative of the communities we are working to serve. We are taking a range of actions, including participating in The RACE Report and we want to encourage our members to join in with this initiative, as a cohort committed to working together for racial justice. The RACE Report is run by a coalition of Hindu Climate Action, Nature Youth Connection and Education, South Asians for Sustainability and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), who coordinate the work.

Will your organisation join in with The RACE Report initiative? Please get in touch: 

Participation entails collection and submission of key data on staff, leadership, Trustees and on employment practices in relation to ethnic diversity, and templates can be provided. 

“Unfortunately, minoritised communities in the UK are used to slow progress on equity and diversity in the workplace. I’m heartened that RACE Report will provide transparency and a means for ongoing frank discussions about the pace of change in the sector. We will soon find out which organisations are prepared to do the hard work that comes with genuine transformation, versus those which are only comfortable with change when it’s reserved to Instagram posts.”

Andre Kpodonu, Head of Activism, Feedback and member of Sustain’s Council of Trustees

As well as shaping up our own internal culture, recruitment and employment practices, we want to support Racial Action for the Climate Emergency (RACE) in their aim to bring greater transparency to the sustainability sector, to cultivate the impetus to go further and faster on diversity and inclusion. 

Having looked at their survey and plans, we think this will also provide a very helpful and authoritative benchmark for the sector, and opportunities to compare performance and identify gaps, as well as share ideas and good practice to drive and inspire collective action.

Congratulations to members of our alliances and networks who have already signed up to take part in The RACE Report, including: Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Campaign for National Parks; Compassion in World Farming; Feedback; Food Ethics Council; Greenpeace; SOS-UK; Women's Environmental Network; Woodland Trust; WWF; ZSL Institute of Zoology.

The RACE Report organisers are holding a drop-in webinar each fortnight to talk through the data collection and submission process and answer any questions. The webinars will be on the below dates and times:  

  1. 6th July, 12:00-12:45pm
  2. 18th July, 12:00-12:45pm
  3. 3rd August, 4:00-4:45pm
  4. 17th August, 4:00-4:45pm
  5. 31st August, 12:00-12:45pm

HR colleagues are very welcome to join the webinars. Any attendees should book through the links above. RACE Report organisers are always available to help you through, email:  

Commitments by the alliances authoring this blog

Each of the alliance organisations authoring this blog has committed to participate in The RACE Report. 

Note on The RACE Report timetable and process

The RACE Report plans are as follows:

  • April to September 2022, collect comparable data from UK charities, and trusts and foundations, that predominantly work on, or fund, environmental, climate, nature or sustainability issues.
  • In October, analyse the data and prepare the inaugural RACE Report, an annual summary report of the sectoral data, with anonymised data providing a benchmark.
  • Provide case studies demonstrating initiatives helping progress equality, diversity and inclusion in organisations and the sector. 
  • In 2023, and annually, repeat the survey and publish The RACE Report annually. From 2023, introduce online transparency cards for individual organisations.

Published Thursday 30 June 2022

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

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Kath Dalmeny is Chief Executive of Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming.  Shaun Spiers is Executive Director of the Green Alliance. Richard Benwell is Chief Executive of Wildlife & Countryside Link. Craig Bennett is Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts.

Kath Dalmeny, Shaun Spiers, Richard Benwell and Craig Bennett

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