The Foundation for Sustainable Development (founded in 1997, Fundacja EkoRozwoju – FER) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is environmental education, promotion of sustainable development and nature conservation. It carries out projects in partnership with associations, public institutions and national education. The Foundation is a member of the Alliance of Polish Green Network Associations.
Field of activity
16 employees et 16 volunteers
Since 2013, the Foundation for Sustainable Development has been managing the EkoCentrum, a restored place that bears the values of sustainable development and provides rooms for associations. The FER has put in place rules for the operation of this place in order to promote an eco-responsible management for its staff and the users of the place.
In terms of energy flows and the building, the association has implemented the following actions:
install a heat pump that runs on renewable energy and electricity
install solar panels that provide energy for the lanterns in the courtyard
install a grass roof for insulation
use rainwater for toilets
use local artisans for building sites (carpenters etc.)
On the purchasing side:
use vegetarian or vegan catering with organic and seasonal products
buy from short circuits
select partners from the social and solidarity economy
regulate the catering of the users of the premises by imposing vegetarian or vegan food only
The accumulation of problems related to the climate crisis led the team to want to act. The development of a larger team of volunteers and supporters around 2010 required the establishment of common rules and was an opportunity to reflect on eco-responsible practices.
The good practice initiatives are generally individual (employee and volunteer) and linked to values shared in private life, then shared with the group and validated during team meetings.
The criteria related to a vegetarian diet, ideally vegan, are the result of an initiative of a team of educators (addressing the climate crisis). This point is regularly reviewed and discussed with the new members of the team. Despite the facts that prove the need to change the food system, this is a difficult topic, even for environmental activists.
Long discussions were useful to make the team aware of the importance of respecting food rules and the difficulty is to communicate these rules to new team members to ensure their continuity. In addition, the people responsible for purchasing do not always have the reflexes to buy responsible products, due to lack of time or accessibility. Lastly, eating habits are sometimes difficult to change because they depend on personal choices, for example some people do not like the taste of fair trade coffee.
Frequency of compliance with established rules (e.g. 100% of events had plant-based catering, 100% of service providers were SSE representatives, 100% of coffee/tea is from the EC, increased cooperation in sustainable common purchases…).