Shaping our Environmental Sustainability Strategy with people affected by cancer

Three women swimming together in a lake

In Cancer Research UK’s organisational strategy (2022), we set out our commitment to embedding environmental sustainability in everything that we do.  We have been carrying out a huge amount of work over the last two years to understand our obligations in this area and our environmental footprint. By speaking to our supporters, including people affected by cancer, we now have a better understanding of how important climate change is to the operations and future of our work. We’re pleased to announce that we have now published our first environmental sustainability strategy.

    How we involved people affected by cancer in the development of the strategy

    Firstly, we would like to say a huge thank you to members of our Patient Involvement Network who shared their views to help shape our thinking on this critical piece of work. Through Cancer Insights Panel consultations and surveys, we were able to gather your views on how people affected by cancer feel about environmental sustainability, and specifically your hopes and expectations around this subject at Cancer Research UK. 

    We used your valuable insights to define and structure our new Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

    We heard:

    • 81.5% of you feel that it is important for CRUK to be sustainable. 
    • 92% of you said that CRUK has as much responsibility as any other charity to be sustainable. 
    • 67% of you said that they thought that charities and businesses have the same responsibility to be sustainable.

    We used your feedback to:

    • Grow the survey – we have used the initial survey to develop a questionnaire that was sent to a national representative sample of 4,000 people. This has helped us understand what the expectations are of other organisations across the charity sector.
    • Drive the need for climate action at CRUK - our strategy focuses primarily on carbon emissions – the most direct link to and root cause of climate change. We’re committed to reducing our direct and indirect emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. This means that we’re reducing emissions from our operations, and from across our supply chain.   
    • Commit to beating cancer, sustainably – we have now got a team of 4 people at CRUK whose roles are dedicated to improving sustainability across CRUK. 
    • Build our environmental sustainability strategy, which is now live!

    Our environmental sustainability strategy

    This strategy sets out our priorities for the next three years towards achieving our 2030 target.  By 2027, we aim to expand the scope of our strategy to address other emerging aspects of environmental sustainability such as understanding waste, pollution, and water usage.

    The two strategy documents include:

    • A headline summary, which shares an overview of our journey, what we’re setting out to achieve, and what we’re going to focus on. 
    • A technical document, which expands on our headline summary and provides more detail on the background, our external studies, our emissions baseline carbon footprint, activity that has been happening over the last few years and how we will achieve 50% in reduction of carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

    Thanks again for your help in shaping our strategy. Please read the new strategy here.

    If you would like to read our newly published environmental sustainability strategy, please click the link below. 

    Our sustainability strategy