GreenWorkplaces News: May 2011

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TUC Climate Conference: What makes a good green government?

Wed 6 July, TUC Congress House

The highlight of the 2011 TUC climate change conference is a high level panel debate on this topical question.? Our panellists include Environment Secretary Chris Huhne; Shadow Environment Secretary Meg Hillier; and (tbc) Green Party spokesperson Caroline Lucas MP. The panel is chaired by Frances O'Grady, Deputy General Secretary, TUC. Panellists are invited to make a few brief opening remarks, followed by a debate between the panellists and delegates, with Q&A from the floor. The debate will set the scene for a day of discussions on green jobs and growth, including industry roundtables arranged for later in the day. Coalition plans for the Green economy roadmap (due late June 2011), energy market reform, a low carbon skills strategy and the Green Investment Bank should be published by then. Other highlights of the day include three Policy roundtables: Building Visions for a Green economy. And (for the afternoon) four Policy Challenge roundtables: Where do we want to be, and there?

For information and to register please visit:

Policy in Practice

South West GreenWorkplaces Project Report Online

by Nigel Costley, South West TUC Regional Secretary

When the South West Regional Development Agency first considered funding a project to use trade unions to help change workplace behaviours they appreciated that its direct outcomes would be difficult to measure. The project is unique, experimental and risky. Three years on, the project has inspired many people, trained lots of volunteers to champion the environment. It has firmly established the environment within the lifeblood of the trade unions but also put unions on the map of the business support organisations and climate campaigners.

This evaluation report draws out lessons learned. Not everything went to plan, the recession forced unions to focus on saving jobs and helping redundant workers, political change has devastated regional networks. Yet the project won lots of contacts and supporters. Innovative ideas and inspirational projects have been set in motion. The range of events, activities and materials has been impressive with very positive feedback. The project may be ending, but much of the work will live on in many workplaces. The South West TUC will remain a champion of the environment and has put green workplaces into its core programmes at work.

This report highlights the twists and turns of the project. It charts its highs and lows. The South West TUC will consider its experience as it continues to support green reps and the work needed by unions to build a low carbon economy.

Without funds or legal backing the development of the network of green reps will be challenging we may have to reconsider the training offered. But the contacts will be maintained, the materials have a long shelf life, the website will become part of the TUC's online resource.

The national TUC's Greenworkplaces project will continue to show unions, employers and Government what can be achieved by trade union champions.

Thanks to Lu White, Andy Moss, Frances Robertson, Beth Callinan and Paul Adams for their hard work in making this project such a success. Best wishes to them. Thanks too to the RDA contacts, especially Ben Powis and all the many partners, steering group members and supporters of the project.

To download the full report go to:


Another brewery goes green

Following support from the South West TUC Green Workplace Project, Unite and management at Hall and Wodehouse brewery at Blandford in Dorset have set up a new Energy Saving Group and agreement has been reached for Unite to recruit a new environment rep. Find out more at the GreenWorkplaces Network.


For full information on green workplaces events visit:

Green Skills Workshop: Turning Policy into Practice

The UCU will be hosting a Green Skills Workshop on Monday 6 June 2011 from 10.30 -16.00.

It will be held at our head office, Carlow Street, London, and will examine the role of the learning and skills sector in moving to a low carbon economy.

We have teamed up with the Association of Colleges, City and Guilds, Learning and Skills Improvement Service, and People and Planet to push forward the debate on greening the curriculum. The title of the workshop Turning Policy into Practice reflects the urgent need to speed up the green skills implementation process in FHE institutions and local communities.

Speakers will present on two linked themes - the demand and supply side of green skills. However, the focus will on maximising participant input around practical implementation proposals rather than policy development.

Free training - take the Trade Unions and the Environment Course

Three day accredited courses for union members available at the following locations:

June 13 Cornwall, Plymouth

Scottish Green Workplaces

For TUC Environmental courses and information in relation to Green Workplaces

in Scotland and any general environmental enquiries please contact George Waldron, Trade Union Education Department, Stow College on 0141 332 1786 ex512 or e-mail [email protected]

For more information on courses visit:

To find out more about the TUC's GreenWorkplaces Network contact the project leader, Sarah Pearce, at [email protected] or Tel: 020 7467 1230

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