Local charity takes strides towards environmental responsibility

Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC) is a not-for-profit charity with a proud history of leading social change on the East Coast since 1946. Along with improving the lives of children and their whānau, older people, and disabled people, PSEC is also committed to protecting the environment.

Why would a social service organisation be concerned with environmental issues? PSEC believes that environmental sustainability and social development are intertwined. Guardianship – Kaitiakitanga, is a fundamental PSEC value that refers to safeguarding both people and the environment. PSEC is committed to reducing negative environmental effects at the same time as focusing on its core work of empowering local people to thrive. The need for a healthy environment is closely related to its vision of communities reaching their potential.

PSEC started down the path towards being a sustainability-oriented organisation in 2020. In 2021, PSEC reaffirmed its commitment by partnering with Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University’s Business School to guide its sustainability journey. Massey academics in the fields of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility helped PSEC to identify the organisation’s environmental priorities. The Massey team also supported PSEC to record the organisation’s environmental impacts, including its estimated carbon footprint (CO2 emissions). This data was reported in PSEC’s inaugural Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, released in 2023 and available on the website.

Sanja Majstorović, CEO of PSEC, says, “PSEC is grateful to our colleagues at Massey for their guidance around environmental sustainability and ESG reporting. We are proud that this joint effort has produced something that is still quite unusual in New Zealand: an ESG Report by a social sector not-for-profit. We look forward to further collaboration to enhance environmental sustainability at PSEC.”

Next steps for PSEC will focus on developing workplace environmental initiatives across its services, Family Works and Enliven.

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