Croydon Voluntary Action achieves Green Mark Level 1

Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) is an umbrella body which supports and promotes voluntary and community organisations in the London Borough of Croydon. CVA has been working with Green Mark since late 2011, and has now achieved a Green Mark level 1 certification.

CVA previously received the ENVIBE award from Croydon Council, in recognition of their commitment to improving their environmental performance. Green Mark helped CVA to build on this achievement by defining further ways to manage waste, transport, cut energy bills, and support local biodiversity.

The organisation has made significant investments to reduce its carbon footprint. CVA’s head office is located in an environmentally friendly building which boasts a number of impressive features including a biomass burner, light sensors and a green roof.

In addition to the green building, CVA have set up systems and practices to lower the environmental impact of their everyday operations, in partnership with the other organisations which share the building. This included developing waste training materials for all employees, so that waste is correctly identified, stored and disposed of, along with communication and awareness efforts to promote reuse and recycling.

Recycling facilities have been improved, and a greater number of materials are now recycled. CVA has also introduced a TRAID recycling bank for clothes, which is now situated outside the main reception.

Working closely with their finance and IT departments, CVA plan to monitor quarterly energy use, focusing on areas of energy intensity so that peaks can be identified. A simple monitoring spreadsheet to record utility bills and meter readings, will enable comparisons to be made and inform reduction targets.

Led by Croydon Voluntary Action’s environmental champions Joy and Jenifer, CVA aim to find further ways to motivate employees and encourage participation in their environmental activities.