Collection of plastic bottles in a large rice sack for recycling

Last updated: April 2014

We recognise that our activities impact on the environment and are thus committed to improving our environmental performance. This will be achieved through the implementation and review of objectives and targets within the framework of an Environmental Management System (EMS). 

British Council Rwanda is committed to reducing waste, recycling materials whenever possible and reducing the impact of our activities on the environment. Continually improving our environmental performance is essential if we are to fulfil the British Council’s vision, purpose and values. A fundamental premise underlying such an approach is that we fully engage with multiple stakeholders whose viewpoints and interests are considered and incorporated into our policy and practices.

We wish to ensure that the policies and practices developed and practiced by British Council Rwanda, not only address short-term requirements of operational efficiency but incorporate a much longer-term perspective of environmental and social custodianship for future generations. 

We will do this by:

  • reviewing and understanding the environmental impacts arising from our activities
  • ensuring that we understand and comply with all relevant environmental legislation, and with any other environmental requirements or commitments
  • setting environmental objectives and targets for activities having the most significant impact
  • ensuring that our policy is understood, implemented and maintained by all our colleagues and is supported by suitable education and training
  • communicating our aspirations and progress in reducing our environmental impact to interested parties, including suppliers, local authorities and project partners and taking account of the goals and aspirations of those organisations 
  • planning our projects in a manner which takes account of their environmental impact, seeking to reduce such effects as much as possible
  • periodically reviewing our policy to take account of changes in the British Council, legislation, government targets or other internal and external factors 

Our focus will be to:

  1. Minimise use of materials, energy and water in our premises;
  2. Minimise the generation of waste and implement re-use or recycling initiatives wherever possible;
  3. British Council’s internal footprint: We will strive to reduce and minimise the ecological footprint of our internal operations. We will do this through a three pronged approach of (i) instituting robust processes in measuring and monitoring our carbon footprint (ii) deploying appropriate clean technologies and (iii) engaging all British Council employees in continuous green improvements at the workplace;
  4. Monitor our environmental impact of our business travel and prioritise the use of environmentally friendly transport;
  5. Reduce our travel needs by encouraging alternative mechanisms to deliver our work effectively e.g. greater use of video- or tele-conferencing;
  6. Use our skills and strengths as an organisation to promote key sustainability messages locally, e.g. by engaging with the climate change agenda;
  7. Integration with business strategy: We will integrate internal ecological programs into our core business strategy and the corresponding processes of planning, goal setting, measurement and continuous review;
  8. We will engage collaboratively with our customers in identifying and providing appropriate solutions and services, which will help the customer reduce their ecological footprint;
  9. We recognise that the cause of ecological sustainability requires the collective focus of multiple stakeholders. A key cornerstone of our sustainability process will be to partner and collaborate with multiple stakeholders on common programs- (i) working with our suppliers towards the goal of a responsible and sustainable supply chain (ii) by working and partnering with academia, NGOs and communities, introduce and promote environmental monitoring as an element of our approach to project management. 

We will drive the implementation of our policy through widespread awareness and concrete actions, while being open to continual improvements. We believe that the policy serves a strong foundation for our goal of a seamless integration of workplace, environment and community concerns with British Council’s business operations in order to support the larger goal of sustainable development.

Approved by:

Sheilagh Neilson

Country Director

01 April 2014