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  • Anna Burgess

Nature based evaluations; understanding Wavehill’s approach to environmental impact.

The last eight years have seen a steady rise in global temperatures. Globally the planet is experiencing more extreme weather events whilst countries around the world grapple balancing the impacts of climate change with social and economic unrest further heighted by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

In the UK there is a critical need to promote and encourage conservation and pro-environmental behaviours. The 2020 Biodiversity Intactness Index found that the UK only has half of its natural biodiversity left, putting it last among the G7 group of nations and in the bottom 10% of all countries globally. The UK government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) 2021 independent report also found that the UK’s ‘adaptation action has failed to keep pace with the worsening reality of climate risk’ despite increasingly frequent climate and weather-related disruptions.

Tackling the cause and impact of climate change needs a response from policy makers, businesses, and civil society; and there is momentum.

In 2018 then Prime Minster Theresa May, launched the UK government’s 25 year Environment Plan. The plan seeks to mitigate the causes of climate change whilst also enhancing people’s engagement with the natural world. A recent review of the 25 year plan published, the Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 has highlighted some areas of progress. In addition, the Environment Act 2021 sets statutory targets for the recovery of the natural world in four priority areas: air quality, biodiversity, water and waste, and targets to reverse the decline of species by 2030.

Taking a multifaceted approach to reducing environmental impact

Tackling climate change is a battle with many fronts. Wavehill work with a wide range of partners from national government, charities, and community groups, to develop fresh approaches that create new understanding on the impacts an intervention can have within a social, economic and environmental context.

Our work spans a wide range of economic development and social research around the environment, renewable energy and climate change. Since 2018 many areas of our work across Wavehill have cross-fertilised to not only compliment but strengthen our nature-based research, evaluation and policy work. This can be split into the following pillars of work:

  • conservation and restoration this work focuses on supporting biodiversity and protecting the natural environment across the UK.

  • diversification of the environment sector workforce, this work focuses on strengthening education and building skills, particularly for young people, and in supporting the green economy with green jobs for the future.

  • green community hub development and green social prescribing, this work focuses on connecting the restorative power of nature to support mental health and wellbeing.

  • green youth social action, this work focuses on supporting young people as the next generation to create opportunities to fight climate change.

These separate pillars of work enable our clients to develop more targeted and sustainable projects and policies that contribute and strengthen their environmental impacts. Whilst each pillar of work stands alone as an important step towards a greener future, each pillar also shares a strong interdependence with each other. At Wavehill we are well placed to understand these connections. Over the coming months, we will share deeper insights on each of these pillars of work though our Environmental Impact series. For more information you can contact Anna Burgess who leads our nature-based work.

Note: We all have a part to play in protecting the environment and in mitigating the impacts of climate change. At Wavehill we are doing this both through our continual work to reduce our environmental impact as a business including our carbon reduction plan, as well as through the work we are doing with our clients. We are excited to share our continual journey with you.


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