Research on the devastating impact of climate change is overwhelming. The UK Environment Agency has warned that the climate emergency is hitting ‘worst case scenario’ levels, which, if left unchecked, will lead to the ‘collapse of entire ecosystems, cause international famines and the infrastructure that our lifestyles are based on to fail’.
Earlier in the year, Pharmacist Support made a commitment to reduce the charity’s impact on the environment. We did this as we believe we have a responsibility to act on climate change. We recognise that the climate crisis is a global threat, impacting the health of our pharmacy family and the whole of humanity. Tackling this threat will require significant change and we believe we have a duty to do all we can to support the global effort that is required.
One of the commitments we made related to the charity’s investment portfolio. The charity relies heavily on its investment portfolio to fund its charitable activity. We were conscious of the impact our investment portfolio could have and wanted to achieve a more socially and environmentally responsible investment portfolio. We therefore made a commitment to work with our investment managers to measure the impact of our investments against several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure that their environmental, social and governance investment polices align with our values and commitment. A key part of this commitment was to divest in fossil fuel producers by 31st December 2022.
As reported in the Chair of Trustees quarterly board update from September, the charity is delighted that it delivered its commitment to divest in fossil fuel producers three months ahead of schedule in September 2022. The charity was supported to do this by Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate conscious pharmacy professionals who are calling for organisations to divest in fossil fuels and move to positive reinvestments. Pharmacy Declares put the charity in contact with other organisations who had divested in fossil fuels, which supported us in our work with our own investment managers.
The work doesn’t stop there. The charity has a number of other commitments that you can read about here and has recently implemented a new environmental policy.