COP26 photo of Martlets Garden

COP26: How Martlets is working to protect our environment

COP26 is here. Over the next fortnight, nations across the world are meeting in Glasgow for COP26 to discuss how we can tackle rising global temperatures and win the fight against climate change. It relies on big commitments and big targets – but we will only meet these if we work together.

As a socially conscious charity, Martlets is doing our bit to reduce our impact on the environment. With council statistics showing that only 2% of the city’s emissions are down to the council, it’s down to organisations like us to play our part.

Here are four of the ways that #TeamMartlets are reducing our impact on the environment.

1. Bee-friendly garden

Nature is one of the big conversations happening at COP26. We have experienced mass biodiversity loss as a planet. This includes the loss of bees. Bees and pollinators are dying out at an alarming rate due to habitat loss and the use of pesticides.

The way we garden will therefore help bees stay healthy and reduce the decline. At Martlets, our garden is bee-friendly. John Hinchcliffe, our head gardener said:

“The hospice garden has a huge variety of plants to encourage bees and other pollinators. The general approach of the garden volunteers is to go for mixed, informal layouts of shrubs and flowers, rather than uniform designs. We use no chemicals and tend to allow nature to take its own course.”

2. Our shops

Fast fashion has a negative impact on the environment, so buying second-hand always helps the planet. We have shops across Brighton and Hove and our online shops, where we sell the very best of goods you’ve donated to us.

But we’re also conscious about the way we sell too. Our online shops team are working hard to protect our environment. They have cut down on paper use, begun sourcing packaging from local businesses rather than new and they even sell broken items on eBay where they can be used for repair.

Shopping in charity shops is a great way to live more sustainably. So if you’re feeling the heat while COP26 is in the media this week, why not pay us a visit?

3. Ecosia

We’ve recently made one small change that will make a huge difference. When our staff and volunteers search the internet at work, their searches go through the search engine Ecosia.

Using Ecosia generates money from your searches to plant trees across the world. Ecosia has tree-planting projects in a huge variety of places, which means that from Burkina Faso to Bristol, your searches can make a huge difference to our planet. An average of 45 searches plant one tree and many of our staff are racking up great results.

4. Encouraging sustainable travel

Transport contributes a lot of carbon emissions worldwide, so it’s important for us to reduce our impact. We’re encouraging our staff to use sustainable travel where possible and offer the cycle to work scheme as one of our staff benefits.

We are also working in partnership to encourage sustainable travel more broadly too. We were the charity partner of this year’s London to Brighton electric vehicle rally. On top of this, you can donate your points earned from sustainable travel to Martlets when you use the app BetterPoints.


Martlets are continuing to explore ways we can be more environmentally friendly. We have a group of staff who meet regularly to review our actions as an organisation. Many of our teams across the organisation are working incredibly hard to reduce their impact too. Of course, this work doesn’t just happen during the weeks of COP26 too. We are working all year round for the good of people and planet.