Leaves and Trees – Kids’ Own Sustainability Charter A Message from the CEO of Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership: At Kids’ Own we are committed to explaining and accounting for our actions, and in seeking to understand the views of those who are impacted by our work, whether that is the communities in which our programs operate, our supporters, our staff, the targets of our advocacy work or others. Accountability is at the heart of our vision for the future and it has encouraged us to make sustainability and sustainable development central in our strategic planning. Ensuring good accountability in our program work is on-going for us, with the publication of our first report, we aim to identify areas that we can improve upon while acknowledging the work already done. This is a dynamic process and requires commitment and accountability. To this end we are committed to reviewing our performance on a regular basis and addressing issues as they arise. This approach is to ensure that we achieve our goal of sustainability that is equal parts social, economic and environmental. This will inform us an organisation and help bring about a societal transformation supporting future generations and the natural environment we live in. Signed,
Orla Kenny CEO, Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership
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4th Feb 2016
About Kids’ Own: Kids’ Own was established in 1997. Over the past 19 years, it has worked with over 50,000 children and published more than 100 book titles. Kids’ Own supports children’s own individual creative expression through professional arts experiences and publishing. Kids’ Own continues to demonstrate excellence of practice at a national level and continues to singularly represent a niche sub-sector within the arts sector of Ireland, as the only dedicated publisher of books by children for children. As a national organisation Kid’s Own works in partnership with, schools, libraries, local authorities, education centres, arts organisations, festivals, private organisations, philanthropic funders and public bodies.
Introduction Kid’s Own would be classified as a small to medium enterprise with five direct staff and twenty contract artists and writers that contribute to specific projects on a project by project basis. The staff number, while small, does not reflect the true extent of the organisations national and international operations. Nor does it reflect the level of complexity and robustness of the projects undertaken. This report sets to outline the main aspects of the organisations social, economic and environmental activities and assess their degree of sustainability. It will present a current baseline of the organisation under the following headings, namely; governance, stakeholders, finances, people and environmental impacts. The report will present a set of actions that will allow the organisation to further develop its activities in a manner that is truly sustainable, not just in a financial manner (albeit important) but is also one that has a social and environmental consciousness.
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Governance: Kidsâ€™ Own is an Irish based company limited by guarantee with a governing board of directors. During 2015 Kidsâ€™ Own signed up to comply with the Governance Code, a code of practice with five underlying principles for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organizations in Ireland. These principles are as follows; 1. Leading our organisation. 1 Agreeing vision, purpose and values and making sure that they remain relevant; 2 Developing, resourcing, monitoring and evaluating a plan to make sure that the organisation achieves its stated purpose. 3 Managing, supporting and holding to account staff, volunteers and all who act on behalf of the organisation. 2. Exercising control over our organisation. 1 Identifying and complying with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements; 2 Making sure that there are appropriate internal financial and management controls; 3 Identifying major risks for our organisation and deciding ways of managing the risks. 3. Being transparent and accountable. 1 Identifying those who have a legitimate interest in the work of the organisation (stakeholders) and making sure that there is regular and effective communication with them about our organisation; 2 Responding to stakeholders' questions or views about the work of the organisation and how it is run; 3 Encouraging and enabling the engagement of those who benefit from our organisation in the planning and decision-making of the organisation. 4. Working effectively. 1 Making sure that the organisations governing body, individual board members, committees, staff and volunteers understand their: role, legal duties, and delegated responsibility for decision-making. 2 Making sure that as a board it exercises collective responsibility through board meetings that are efficient and effective. 3 Making sure that there is suitable board recruitment, development and retirement processes in place.
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5. Behaving with integrity. 1 Being honest, fair and independent; 2 Understanding, declaring and managing conflicts of interest and conflicts of loyalties; 3 Protecting and promoting the organisation's reputation. Details on the Governance Code and Kids’ Owns compliance can be found at; http://www.governancecode.ie Kids’ Own is a registered charity: Charity Registration Number: 20082109. It is committed to comply with the Charity Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). Kids’ Own receives core funding from the Arts Council of Ireland and public funding from other statutory organizations on a project-by-project basis. Kids’ Own accounts are audited annually. A copy of our most up-todate annual audited accounts is publicly available on the Kids’ Own website.
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Engaging with our Stakeholders: Kids’ Owns primary stakeholders are children and young people in Ireland, Northern Irealnd and abroad. Our other key stakeholders are: • • • • • •
partner organizations who we work with; supporters, including both private and institutional donors; staff and volunteers; the targets of advocacy at local, national, regional and international levels: including politicians, governments and private sector; the public in the countries we work in; and the environment.
The Kids’ Own Strategic Plan (2014 – 16) provides the guiding framework for all of Kids’ Owns operations, is developed through an extensive consultation process. The views of a wide range stakeholders as listed above, are collected and analysed. Kids’ Own adhere to a set of principles in their engagement with stakeholder and their development of programmes. The set of principles define how Kids’ Own can encourage good cooperation with its partners, through shared vision and values, transparency and mutual accountability and commitment to joint learning.
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Advocacy at Work; A Case Study: In 2016 Kidsâ€™ Own, in partnership with Sligo County Council Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund and the Department of Environmental Science at IT Sligo will develop an environmental field guide for primary schools. This publication will be distributed free to all schools in County Sligo. It aims to increase the capacity of schools to develop field education programmes and to help them better enjoy and appreciate the natural environment. Better appreciation of the natural environment and our role in it, helps to ensure its sustainable management for future generations.
The projects, the partners, the participants and the lasting legacy of the work is deemed to significantly benefit society at a local, national and international level. This cannot be quantified in terms of carbon emissions or financial revenue however; it is a form of social capitol that should be acknowledged. A detailed overview of the organisations activities and strong social impact can be found in their 2015 Annual Report In terms of social reach in 2015, Kidsâ€™ Own directly worked with 2717 children, indirectly reached 104,000 children, engaged with 50 schools and early years groups, 121 parents directly and 44 artists.
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Managing our Finances: Kids’ Own must match its ambitions to supporting children’s own individual creative expression through professional arts experiences with the resources that are available. Funding to support Kids’ Own programs comes from a variety of sources: voluntary donations, trading income, grants from and contracts with government agencies, institutional donors, and other public authorities. Total Kids’ Own income by type (2013/14)
0% 1% 29%
Philanthropic Funding Public Funding Earned Income Book Sales
Kids’ Own financial reporting, accounting procedures, resource allocation, risk management and other ethical and financial decisions are managed through its financial and governance procedures. These adhere to the Governance Code as detailed above. The organisational oversight is via its active board of directors, who review performance every quarter.
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Managing our People: Kids’ Own are committed to ensuring that our organisational purpose, leadership, culture, capability, structure, processes and systems are aligned. Kids’ Own wishes to invest in its people and plan to do this as follows; Capability:
Kids’ Own attracts, retains and develops the people needed for delivery of its Strategic Plan
Culture and leadership:
Kids’ Own has an organisational culture that supports delivery of its Plan
Systems, processes and structure:
Kids’ Own maximises its effectiveness through increased use of digital technology, partnership with like minded organisations and where possible shared services
The retention, active engagement and continual professional development of this workforce are recognised as integral to our success. Kids’ Own adhere to the principle of non- discrimination in its staffing, individual volunteer membership and programs with respect to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability. Kids’ Own provides a guide for all staff in dealing with incidents of Health and Safety along with grievance and disciplinary procedures. Such items are managed quickly and in accordance with state legal requirements. All staff are issued with a staff handbook which outlines these formal methods and acknowledges their rights. The Kids’ Own staff handbook is updated yearly.
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Managing Our Environmental Impact: In 2014/15 Kids’ Own produced 12.45 metric tonnes of CO2e. This was predominantly made up of road travel (90.4%) and building energy consumption (8.3%) Distribution of emission categories as percentage of total reported emissions
Road Transport Rail Transport Building Energy
Note: CO2e refers to Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent. Carbon dioxide is one of many greenhouse gases. The others are methane, nitrous oxide and ozone – all of which can occur naturally but with elevated levels they can exasperate climate change. CO2e takes into account human emissions of these other gases.
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Greenhouse gas emissions by category, including direct and indirect emissions, 2014/15, tonnes CO2e. Category Total footprint Electricity Space heating (Bottled LPG) Other fuels for heating and lighting Passenger air travel (incl. radiative forcing1) Owned and leased vehicles Public Transport Total
2014 â€“ 15 0.66 0.38 0.0 0.0 11.24 0.16 12.45
Note 1 - Carbon emissions from planes at high altitude have an increased effect on global warming.
While this overall figure of approximately 12.45 tonnes of CO2e is small, reflecting a slightly above average footprint for an Irish person (10.40 tonnes CO2e), it is still higher then the world wide target to combat climate change at 2.0 tonnes of CO2e per person per year. It should also be noted that there are certain limitations to these figures in that they do not take account of embodied carbon content in products bought or consumed by the organization. And it does not take account of travel by third party contractors and staff travel to and from work on a daily basis. It is recommended that these figures are monitored and considered in future reports. Long term the organisation aims to become carbon neutral in its activities. This transition will take time and will be an on-going process. It will be achieved via conservation and management of energy and natural resources, use of renewable energies and ethical carbon offsetting. To initiate this programme, Kidsâ€™ Own have committed to planting a minimum of 100 native trees per year each year. This will help offset carbon emissions and year on year it will have a cumulative effect.
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Based on figures from the UK Forestry Commission, one tree will lock up approximately 2.0kg of CO2 per year. Over the next 10 years, planting a minimum of 100 trees per year, this will off set 11.1 tonnes of CO2e. Over a trees 25 year lifespan, a ten year planting schedule will result in 41.4 tonnes of CO2e offset. This, along with other actions will help Kidsâ€™ Own more towards a path of becoming truly carbon neutral. The Building Environment The organization, based in a rural part of northwest Ireland is located in a purpose build, highly energy efficient building that utilizes natural ventilation and passive solar energy. The timber frame structure has cellulose paper insulation in the walls, under-floor insulation and a highly insulated modular ceiling system. It has not been air pressure tested however it has low levels of drafts and uses energy efficient double glazed windows. The facility uses a condensing gas boiler (noted to be 97% efficient) and bottled Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) to provide space heating and hot water. The building has a high level of heating controls with thermostatic valves on the radiators and a room temperature thermostat. The boiler is serviced at regular intervals and as such it explains the low running costs during 2014/15. The organisation has switched to low energy lighting throughout the building. Outdoor and car park lighting are set with timers with motion sensors for the most efficient use of electricity and to ensure a safe environment for staff during winter and night time hours. The organization moved to a new electrical provider, Energia, and as a result all electricity is sourced from renewable wind energy (2015 Commission for Energy Regulator Fuel Mix Report). As a result all current and future energy usage will have 0.00 tonnes of CO2 per MWh of electricity produced and consumed.
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Recycling and Waste Prevention: The main waste sources were reviewed and classified by the following headings. Items Percentage as total Percentage Recycled Paper Recycled 35% Printer Cartridges Recycled 15% Compostable Food Waste 10% 85% Plastic Recyclable Materials 23% Batteries (recycled) 2% Non-recyclable Plastic Materials 8% 15% Non-recyclable food stuffs 7% 85% of material waste recycled or diverted from landfill for composted far exceeds the national average. According to the EPA 33% of municipal waste was recycled nationally in 2012 with only 6% composted. Material is segregated and disposed of in the appropriate manner using as recommended by the Irish EPA waste hierarchy.
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As the organization publishes books, by far the biggest use of materials is the printing process including the use of paper and inks. Publications vary in page size, page number and paper type. The size of print run and the materials used in printing depend on the project and the associated project funders. Kids’ Own wish to source high quality printing close to home thereby supporting regional jobs. As a result Kids’ Own work with a dedicated printers, Nicholson Bass based in Belfast. Kids’ Own request Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. It has complete traceability to source forests. The whole paper manufacturing process is chlorine free and FSC approved suppliers use managed forests, replacing two trees for every one removed. In some cases, when requested, Kids’ Own use 100% post consumer paper. For book printing purposes Kids’ Own are aware that this paper may require additional processing and chemicals to reach a suitable print quality standard and as such recommend an FSC quality paper. All inks used in the printing process by Nicholson Bass are vegetable based. These can provide more accurate colours in the finish product but are also easier to recycle at end of life. Where possible, Nicholson Bass utilise renewable energies in their production process with on site solar panels and they have a recycle programme for all materials and paper waste generated on site. In the day-to-day running of the office there is evidence of material consumption with thought, and thereby waste prevention. This on-going effort should continue. Office paper and other office consumables are predominantly FSC or post consumer recycled materials. These are general sourced from Klee Paper. Other office stationery are purchased so as to be durable, long lasting and recyclable. Used office paper is re-used where possible and workshop materials are sourced from re-use centres such as The Play Resource Centre in Belfast (http://playresource.org).
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While 85% of office waste is recycled, the remaining 15% collected by a licensed waste contractor, Greenstar and the items are further segregated in an Materials Recovery Facility ensuring best use of this resource. Commuting & Business Travel Road travel accounts for the largest element of the Kids’ Own carbon emissions from, 90.4% of CO2e. While the organization utilizes on-line means of communication to facilitate meetings as often as possible (e.g. Skype, Adobe Connect, etc.), it still carried out approximately 35,000km of road travel in 2014/15. This is partly explained by the organisations location in rural northwest Ireland and the dispersed nature of their work throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is also compounded by the regions poor connectivity to public transport. Some attempt is made to use the train network when travelling to Dublin. However this only accounts for approximately 12 journeys per year. The low usage of public transport to Dublin is primarily due to the wide geographical spread of work in the greater Dublin area and the timing of meetings clashing with public transport times. During 2014/15 the organization took no foreign travel by plane or boat however this may change depending on the projects and future funding. It is noted that the area has poor levels of broadband connectivity. The locality is on the national programme for fibre broadband but its proposed upgrade date is unknown. This impacts on the organisations ability to fully utilise virtual meetings as an alternative to carbon intensive travel. A regional priority should be the upgrading of infrastructure to a standard more in keeping with the Dublin region. This would facilitate more virtual meetings and mitigate distances travelled and CO2 emitted. While Kids’ Own can’t directly impact upon this, all opportunities to promote this change should be taken. Natural Heritage The Kids’ Own office is based in a rural part of north Sligo. It is fortunate to be located close to a number of internationally important habitats such as Streedagh Point Dunes SAC, Drumcliff Bay SPA and Ardboline Island
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and Horse Island SPA. Ardboline Island and Horse Ireland SPA is noted for the largest wintering population of Barnacle Geese on the Irish mainland. Closer to home, Kids’ Own endeavour to maintain the regions high level of biodiversity by its sensitive use of the landscape, its good stewardship of its grounds and its provision of resources that continually encourage the diversity of the local wildlife. The following actions are carried out; • All species planted are native in origin and non-native species are not used or brought onto the grounds • The use of chemicals is discouraged and only used when no other alternative can be found. Chemicals, when used are carefully managed, biodegradable and have a low level of persistence. • Hedge rows are cut between the 31st August and 1st March, out of bird breading season • Sections of the grounds are allowed to wild naturally. This helps to reduced maintenance and more importantly encourages biodiversity by providing food and winter cover for birds and wild animals. • Bird boxes, bat boxes and winter bird feeders are present and maintained
Natural Heritage at Work; A Case Study: Kids’ Own are fortunate to have a small population of Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) frequent the bird feeders during the winter months. Birdwatch Ireland have this species on an Amber-listed. This is a list of species of medium conservation concern in Ireland due to a moderate ongoing decline in the European breeding population. Populations in this region are just holding onto the western seaboard. Kids’ Own work to maintain hedgerows and other suitable habitat to maintain this population and support its contribution to local biodiversity through sustainable management.
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Action Plan Based on a review of Kids’ Own activities during 2014/15, the following initiatives are proposed. These initiatives will grow the sustainability of Kids’ Own, reduce its carbon emissions, increase its social capacity and ensure the organisation is ethical in terms of finance and environmental performance. Item 1
Action Yearly review of KOPP Sustainability Policy and Charter
Date Mar 2017
Yearly review of KOPP carbon budget
Review the possibility of completing a carbon budget for contractors activities (and specifically Virtually There project) Use appropriate FSC or other logo on all future KOPP publications Include a short section of text to all future publications stating the organisations commitment to sustainability Explore the option of increasing the amount of travel from Sligo to Dublin via public transport Contact local and regional representatives regarding the broadband rollout to the north of Sligo and its progress Plant 100 bear root native trees a year on and around the grounds of Kids’ Own to help off set carbon emissions Develop nature friendly bird houses and insect houses for discreetly placing around the KOPP offices, thereby helping to increase local biodiversity
4 5 6 7 8
This action plan should be reviewed periodically to evaluate performance and progress towards sustainability.
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