Salvation Army cuts carbon emissions by 12% and reuses 250m items annually

The Salvation Army’s sustainability report shows the charity has seen a 12% year-on-year drop in carbon emissions, and has repurposed and reused approximately 250m items annually.

The report has been published by the Salvation Army Trading Company Limited (SATCoL), the trading arm of the charity, which has raised over £80m over the past 10 years.

It provides an overview of the charity’s social and environmental impact, as well as highlighting some of the ways it is trying to help the planet.

The report, which runs from the financial years 2022 to 2023, says that in the period it avoided 440,000 carbon emissions while its operational carbon emissions were down 12% on the year. Retail energy consumption was fell 9%.

Other highlights include 70% of the charity’s company cars now being electric; 85% of its shops have been converted to LED lighting, and 100% of its electricity comes from from certified UK renewables.

It also noted the recent launch of an Energy Efficiency online course for all staff to encourage a greater understanding of how to be more energy aware and reduce consumption at work and home. 333 staff have completed this course.

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On the recycling front, the Salvation Army said it now had more than 8,000 clothing banks.

In June 2023 in a “world first”, the charity announced the opening of its post-consumer polyester recycling plant.

The charity said it was “ leading the way in creating a circular textiles economy where more unwearable items can be recycled back into the supply chain.We have made significant investments in technology and are working with partners to provide solutions to textile recycling”.

Majonne Frost, head of environment and sustainability at the charity, said: “Each year, SATCoL enables the reuse and recycling of over 250 million products but there are always items which are too damaged and we cannot resell and they are often garments made from polyester.

“With the recycling technology we can give these clothes a new lease of life. So when your favourite jumper is worn-out, we will take it and turn it into polyester pellets, ready to be turned back into a new jumper. This is the future of fashion.”

Earlier this month, it was revealed the textile recycling industry was on the verge of “imminent collapse”, the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has warned.
Circular economyClimate crisisEnergyMaterials and packagingNet zeroNewsPolicySocial sustainability

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