Driving forward environmental aims and objectives
A UNISON case study

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Page 2: Aims and objectives

The planet we live on faces a challenge. Every week more evidence is uncovered about climate change. As a trade union, UNISON is committed to playing an active part in responding to the problems of climate change. Its first response was to set a direction for its members on how to save energy within the workplace. It also concentrated on ways of reducing waste and improving processes for recycling.

In order to create direction for where it wants to be, an organisation sets aims and objectives. An aim is a broad statement that identifies the direction an organisation wants to take. Objectives are the steps it plans to take to achieve its aims.

UNISON wants its green agenda to integrate with and influence its other objectives. Its aim for this green project is: 'to support UNISON members to broaden the workplace agenda to include environmental issues, with particular focus on tackling climate change.'

Specific objectives support this aim. These objectives establish UNISON”s profile as an environmentally responsible organisation which: 'recognises the need for change in the workplace to tackle climate change is seen as the leader on green issues within the labour movement contributes a distinctive voice to public debate about tackling climate change

  • is seen as a key advocate for the role that public services must play in tackling climate change plays an active role in lobbying for sustainable energy and transport policies
  • recognises the aspirations of members of UNISON to play an active part in environmental campaigns'.

 'Green' aims and objectives

Creating 'green' aims and objectives has helped UNISON establish itself as an environmentally friendly organisation. This has resulted in better interaction with employers, enabling change to take place more easily. It is also popular with members and potential members, many of whom care deeply about environmental issues.

Setting objectives is a starting point for a series of actions. These actions lead to results or outcomes. For each of its objectives, UNISON has developed a series of strategies and tactics. These identify what it intends to achieve and by when.

For example, by October 2007 UNISON had responded to consultations on the Government's Climate Change Bill and implemented changes to its practices. These included training its members and briefing them on its new approach to climate change.

UNISON | Driving forward environmental aims and objectives