Research Report: Greening the Not-for-Profit Sector

We believe that climate change is a serious governance issue for Australian not-for-profits. It affects everything from workforce planning to funding to the safety of people and physical properties. It has to be understood, planned for, responded to. It’s the board’s responsibility to ensure the organisation – and its constituents – are ready.

ICDA, with the strong support of the Community Directors Council, believes that now is the time to act. We are embracing the responsibility we have as the nation’s key peak body for community leaders to help the not-for-profit sector find a pathway to a safe and prosperous future.

This report presents our findings from a survey-based research program conducted from February 23 to March 8 2022. A total of 570 Institute of Community Directors Australia members took part in the survey. The survey focused on the appetite and opportunity for not-for-profits to transition to carbon-free technologies.

The results suggest that climate change mitigation represents a significant economic opportunity both for organisations that embrace the change and for organisations that assist with the transition.

Top 10 survey findings


The not-for-profit sector can make a big impact on Australia’s carbon emissions if vehicle fleets are transitioned to electric vehicles and power is sourced or generated from carbon-free sources.


There has not yet been a big take-up of electric vehicles in the Australian not-for-profit sector.


Not-for-profits can make savings if they convert their fleets to electric.


The barriers to fleet transformation are real.


Buildings owned or operated by not-for-profit organisations can be used to generate and store green power through the installation of solar panels and batteries.


There is a clear appetite for self-generation of power; many organisations have embraced this opportunity already.


Not-for-profits could save money by generating their own power.


The diversity of the not-for-profit sector may present some challenges to rolling out solar solutions uniformly at scale.


Not-for-profits that are unable to install solar solutions can still make an impact on decarbonising by switching to 100% green power.


It would be worth a retailer’s while to concentrate on the not-for-profit market for power, solar panels, batteries and EVs.

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