Contribute to Positive Change

War Child successfully developed a progressive Environmental Policy in 2020. 

The initiative started by conducting a detailed overview of War Child Holland’s environmental impact across the countries where it works. While measures such as waste management, use of plastic bottles and printing showed some impact, this proved to be marginal compared to CO2 emissions. It was hence agreed to first estimate and focus on reducing War Child’s environmental carbon footprint before addressing other lower impact matters.     

© Michael Jessurun

An analysis of War Child’s environmental impact across its operations and programmes, followed by a pilot, partial calculation of CO2 emissions for 2019 showed that about 90 per cent of its impact related to direct and indirect use of fossil fuels, particularly for transport, purchase of hardware and use of electricity. These are therefore the first areas in which War Child will seek to reduce its future emissions.

The carbon footprint results for 2019 showed emissions of 2126 to 2452-ton CO2e. From this, it was agreed to not only reduce but also offset all of War Child’s emissions by planting trees and restoring biodiversity in a former War Child project location in Sierra Leone, now run as a community initiative: The GreenMakombeh foundation works with local farmers in Makombeh, a village in Sierra Leone to create jobs and create a cleaner planet by planting trees. It has planted 20 thousand trees and offset 822 tonnes of CO2 since its inception in 2004. 

The organisation included climate neutrality in its global strategy and will continue measuring and acting upon annual carbon footprints, with a view to significantly improving its global environmental performance in the coming years.