Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Eight projects from around England will share in £6 million in funding through the Government’s Greener Living Fund, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced today.

The successful projects went through a two-stage application process and were selected from 112 original applications. Launched at the same time as Defra’s Third Sector Strategy in November 2008, the Greener Living Fund aims to help individuals and communities in England to live more sustainably, reducing their carbon footprint and reducing pressure on natural resources.

The fund has been made available to projects that have a clear understanding of who they are trying to influence and their potential to change behaviour and will give them two year funding. Most of the projects selected look at a range of behaviours that are good for the environment, like home energy, waste and water, but some of the chosen projects are more specialised and will focus on seasonal food and sustainable fishing.

Hilary Benn said:

”It’s a pleasure to launch the Greener Living Fund today, and to announce the eight successful projects from around England which have won funding for the next two years.

Each of these projects will make a real difference in helping individuals and communities to live more sustainably – reducing their carbon footprint and reducing pressure on natural resources.”

Tim Baster, Executive Director, COIN said:

"The partnership of Climate Solidarity is delighted to be part of the Greener Living Fund. This is a wonderful opportunity for trade union members from CWU, NUT, PCS, UCU and the wider trade union movement to work together to create the sustainable and just society that we all know is necessary."

Helen Seymour, Head of Projects and Development, Co-operatives UK said:

“The lifeblood of co-operatives is involvement with their members. Through the project Greener Together - the co-operative way, co-operative enterprises will engage with their individual members to achieve a real and measurable change in greener behaviour - in waste, energy use and personal transport. Co-operativesUK, the national apex body for co-operatives, with its partners the Plunkett Foundation and the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, will work with eco-champions in each co-operative to provide advice, guidance and support.”

Richard Leggatt, Marine Stewardship Council Senior Fundraising Manager said:

““The MSC has already achieved an enormous amount of behaviour change in the field of seafood consumption with the help of Defra funding: nearly 15% of English primary schools are now serving sustainable MSC fish on the school lunch menu to over 900,000 pupils as a result of the MSC’s  EAF-funded ‘Fish & Kids’ project.  Our selection as a delivery partner for the Greener Living Fund has presented us with a fantastic and timely opportunity to use a similar model with far wider target audiences.”

Wes Streeting, NUS President said:

"Students in the UK care passionately about the environment, the Greener Living Fund means the NUS can support them to live greener lifestyles, and enthuse those around them to do the same.  Students today will have a major influence on the world tomorrow meaning the impact is direct and long lasting".

Jenny Sansom, National Trust Local Food Co-ordinator said:


“Food is one of our most fundamental connections to the living Earth. This grant gives us a fantastic opportunity to inspire hundreds of thousands of people, reconnecting them to what they eat and where it comes from prompting them to think about their wider impacts on the planet.”

Rob Wall, Sustrans Project Manager said:

“Sustrans’ TravelSmart has already proven to be successful in reducing car use and helping to lower carbon emissions.  The Greener Living Fund is providing a great boost, allowing us to extend the benefits of TravelSmart to 25,000 households in Ipswich and Hertfordshire. We are also taking the opportunity to develop Sustrans' online mapping, offering people across the country the chance to produce, save and share the sort of local sustainable travel maps available to TravelSmart participants. This has real potential to help people across the whole of England change their travel behaviour.”

Jacob Tompkins, Waterwise Managing Director said:

"We know that in the coming years there will be more people and less water in the UK. We also know that people want to live sustainably. The Greener Living Fund has enabled Waterwise to bring together water companies and social housing providers to makeover homes so that they waste less water - and to support community teams help the people living them waste less water too."

Trewin Restorick, CEO Global Action Plan said:


“Thanks to the Greener Living Fund thousands of people will be able to get together to take joint action that will be good for the planet and for their pockets.  EcoTeams helps groups of people to make a real environmental difference in a sociable setting.”

Notes to editors

1.    See table below for the breakdown of the total of £4,873,517.65 being given to fund projects for the two year funding period 2009 – 2011 and description of the projects.

Delivery partner

Award (09/10 and 10/11)


Project description

Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN)


The programme expects to profoundly change the attitude of rank and file union members; generating visible collective reduction action, establishing a social norm for personal action, and creating a persuasive synergy and cross over between personal action, work-placed programmes such as 'Greening the workplace', and the emissions reduction targets of employers.



To galvanise individual members and employees of co-operatives to change their daily behaviour to minimise their impact on climate change. This will be achieved by working with individuals through their co-operative organisations by
• education, communication and targeted activities
• clear metrics
• delivering measurable action and impact.

Global Action Plan


To create a partnership between a national retailer (expected to be Boots subject to final negotiations), The National Childbirth Trust (NCT), and Global Action Plan (GAP), enabling 20,000 households to save money, build stronger networks and achieve tangible environmental targets through the rapid national expansion of GAP's EcoTeams programme.

Marine Stewardship Council


Promoting choice editing of certified sustainable seafood on menus offered by in-house and contract caterers in school and university canteens, as well as public sector and commercial offices; and, by means of social marketing campaigns including tailored ‘take home’ messaging, engendering wider, long-lasting change in families’ food shopping habits.

National Trust


Our aim is to increase by at least 20% the proportion of National Trust supporters eating more locally in season food.  Having piloted and evaluated different approaches to pro-environmental consumer behaviour change over the last five years, we are ready to mainstream this into the Trust's core work through food.

National Union of Students


The programme will embed behavioural change programmes in all higher education institutions (HEIs) in England, resulting in pro-environmental behaviours being adopted by individuals across campuses and beyond into the local community throughout England, helping to drive down personal and community carbon footprints.



Reduce car use for short trips across England by: 1) Upgrading and nationally promoting Sustrans’ online mapping/interactive website, featuring TravelSmart-type personalised neighbourhood mapping 2) Establishing up to three TravelSmart projects targeting around 25,000 households 3) Building TravelSmart’s capacity to reach new audiences.

Waterwise Project


To deliver significant environmental savings using water efficiency retrofits to engage residents in a wider programme of pro-environmental behaviour change.  Residents will be given the knowledge, skills and confidence to act as eco-champion within their communities within their communities - before, during and after the retrofits - to encourage and enable pro-environmental behaviours.

2.    The Greener Living Fund had a total budget of £6m to award in a two year funding period; a total of £4,873,517.65 has been allocated to the successful projects.  The remaining amount will be used to fund other behavioural change activities that contribute to the aims of the fund. Project preparation grants of £30,000 were made available to the shortlisted projects in stage two of the application process. The Energy Saving Trust role as facilitating partner is also supported through the fund. The projects were assessed by a panel that consisted of 2 members of Defra senior staff and 2 external members. The panel met twice, once to consider the projects to shortlist for the second phase and once to select the final 8 projects that were invited to become delivery partners.

3.    The work that the projects are carrying out was developed with reference to the Defra pro-environmental behaviours framework. This summarises our understanding of the evidence on consumer behaviour and is designed to support policy development and implementation in Defra, other Government departments and externally. The framework has been developed with the help and advice of a wide range of experts, Defra delivery partners and other stakeholders.

4.    Defra’s Third Sector Strategy, launched in November 2008, signals the Department’s commitment to working with the third sector (which includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, NGOs, co-operatives and mutuals and social enterprises). The sector makes a vital contribution to Defra’s strategic objectives.

5.    The Greener Living fund contributes to the Government’s work towards a sustainable, low carbon and resource efficient economy. Government has put in place a range of activities designed to:

    • encourage business to produce, market and use more sustainable products and services;
    • encourage consumer demand for sustainable goods and services, and reducing the environmental impacts of household consumption;
    • increase the resource efficiency of business operations and processes;
    • lead by example through sustainable public procurement; and

            prevent, reduce and recycle waste, and reduce landfill.



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