This post is by Ian Christie, Green Alliance associate and senior lecturer at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey.
My fellow Green Alliance associate and former director Rebecca Willis spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week about the state of environmental politics and climate action as the UK general election approaches. She said, “these are the best of times – and the worst of times.” Best, because finally there seems to have been a breakthrough in political consciousness and sense of urgency concerning the climate crisis. Read more
Green Alliance and I grew up together. We’re both children of the 1970s, a decade which, according to the New Economics Foundation’s happiness index, included Britain’s happiest year, 1976. Though incomes have risen since then, so have environmental impacts and social inequality, hence their argument that Britain peaked in the mid-seventies. Read more
This post is by Tom Burke, chairman and founding director of E3G and former director of Green Alliance (1982-91).
When I became the director of Green Alliance in 1982, its office was small annex to the office of the Electoral Reform Society in Chandos Place. When I say small, I mean very small indeed. Read more
This post is by Julie Hill, former Green Alliance director (1992-97), Green Alliance associate and chair of the resources organisation WRAP.
One of the early projects I led for Green Alliance, in 1990, was the book Ethics, environment and the company. Commissioned by the Institute for Business Ethics, it was written to provide a checklist of the practices that might be discerned in a company serious about its environmental performance. At a time when the environment was barely on businesses leaders’ radar, the most significant measures concerned awareness and process. So the recommendations included conducting “a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts”, setting targets, ensuring management commitment through a designated board member, and regular auditing and reporting. The hope was that widespread adoption of these processes would bring about a sea change in environmental performance. Read more
This post is by Tracey Rawling Church, an independent consultant and non-executive director specialising in sustainable business.
My relationship with Green Alliance began around a decade ago when I encouraged my employer to join what was then the Resource Efficiency Task Force. As a manufacturer of office printers and copiers, Kyocera had long been a pioneer in resource efficiency, having brought to market in 1992 the first – and still the only – range of ’cartridge-free‘ office printers. Read more
This post is by Nigel Haigh, former director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy and chair of Green Alliance from 1989 to 1998.
Of all the talented directors that Green Alliance has had, Tim Beaumont – or, to give him his full title, the Reverend Lord Beaumont of Whitley – was surely the most extraordinary. He was one of three people connected with the Liberal Party who joined with others across the political spectrum to create and launch Green Alliance in 1979. Maurice Ash was to become its chairman, Richard Holme its treasurer, and Tim was its ‘convenor’ or ‘co-ordinator’. He never called himself the director, though he ran the show and gave it its sense of direction. Read more
According to an early promotional leaflet, Green Alliance was set up “by a group of individuals concerned that Britain’s political parties were failing to understand or respond to environmental issues”. Plus ça change. With an emphasis on “ideas more than issues”, the organisation aimed “to introduce an ecological perspective into British political life”.
This has been our aim ever since and is needed now more than ever as the scale of the climate and ecological emergency we face becomes clearer. Over our history we have used various methods to achieve it, from poetry and the arts to analysis, thought leadership and brokering historical political pledges. One ‘softer’ way we do it is by getting people together to talk, to understand the relevance of environmental issues and to catalyse action. Read more