APSE (the Association for Public Sector Excellence) has become concerned about the widening gap exists between the climate emergency aspirations publicised by most if not all UK local authorities, and the relative lack of concrete action so far. To monitor this gap, APSE commissioned a nationwide study from a London-based think tank called New Policy Institute (NPI). It will be useful to EnCAF members to read the full results of this analysis when they come out.
EnCAF members with an indirect relationship to NPI and APSE have discovered during the course of this project that as important as local authorities are in creating a green policy framework, their direct footprint is only a fraction of the total in any given locale. Households and businesses - in heretofore unspecified proportions - have much greater responsibility for the main ecological challenges (resource depletion, pollution) facing our society today. It is therefore incumbent upon entities such as EnCAF to interact with these two sectors alongside the work we will be doing with local government.
Future blogs will present in greater detail the kinds of collaborations that EnCAF seeks with Enfield's households and businesses. Clearly the approach will be different in these two sectors; from one another; and from the work done with the Council. Where households are concerned, the ethos will necessarily emphasize personal initiative and a sense of civic responsibility. With Enfield's businesses, on the other hand, the focus will not only appeal to corporate responsibility sensitivities but also entail some cost-benefit manoeuvring.
Carrot and stick approaches are commonly used by mass movements looking to inflect the nature of business decisions. But these tactics ("name and fame" vs. "name and shame") only work if they enjoy widespread support among the consumer population. We hope that members will both keep an eye out for future news about EnCAF efforts in this area; and even more importantly, integrate into their own decision-making consideration for the environmental citizenship of the businesses whose products or businesses they consume.
Purchasing behaviour is yet another weapon in the arsenal of people power. Let's think about the best way of using it.