Word is spreading. Associations are looking at ways to extend their policies and programs to address climate change.

Associations are having to consider implications for their strategic plans, services, budgets, infrastructure and financial assets, and their members. They must also be forecasting and assessing risks for their members and sector in the immediate and longer term.

All Australian associations, large and small, now need to be proactive in addressing climate change.

Climate change is complex, all encompassing, and its impacts – of heatwaves, floods, fires, storms and droughts – can be devastating. The challenge is that climate change thwarts many predictable ‘business as usual’ policies, operations and processes. And cutting emissions requires steadfast changes to assets and operations.

What associations are already doing

Active associations in Australia and elsewhere have implemented smart policies and programs within their organisation.

Their actions to address climate change and CO2 emissions include the following:

Governance and reporting
  • Policies and planning
  • Member codes of practice
  • Board knowledge
  • Board meeting agendas
  • Sustainability committees
  • Annual reports
  • Climate emergency declarations
  • Financial investments
  • Insurance
  • Procurement – for association and members
  • Project management
  • KPIs for executives and staff
Sector representation
  • Strategic planning
  • Government submissions
  • Public statements
Information and extension programs
  • Training, webinars
  • Information and resources
  • Case studies
  • Conference programs
  • Partnerships, eg. with sustainability organisations
  • Support programs including certification
  • Tool kits
  • Awards

In forthcoming articles, I will highlight Australian associations that are supporting their members and wider sector through initiatives and leadership.

Read more:

Associations – Opportunities and Director Responsibilities with Climate Change