Case 1: an organisation provided evidence of environmental protection despite potential disbenefit
We received an application from an organisation that planned to create an artificial reef by sinking a decommissioned warship. One of the purposes set out in its governing document was the advancement of environmental protection or improvement.
We had to decide if the activities were likely to provide public benefit as well as advancing the purpose. We asked if there was any potential disbenefit arising from the creation of the artificial reef. The applicant told us that the warship would be environmentally clean and that a robust environmental monitoring programme would be in place as part of the seabed licence. Further, it provided examples of a similar reef which was already well established and which had significantly increased the number of species recorded in the area.
We were satisfied that the applicant’s activities were intended to create or enhance the natural marine flora and fauna, and that any potentially negative impact on the environment would be closely monitored. The application to become a charity was successful.
Case 2: an organisation indirectly increased environmental awareness as well as directly advancing education
We received an application from an established organisation that felt it advanced education and environmental protection or improvement through web-based documentaries and film screenings.
We agreed that making available a range of films and documentaries on various environmental issues was likely to provide public benefit and advance education.
We had to consider whether those activities would also have an environmental benefit. The applicant advised us that its aim, through the medium of film, was to better connect people with nature and to encourage a more environmentally conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
We decided that the activities were likely to meet the aim of raising awareness of the need to live in a more environmentally friendly manner, and therefore would indirectly advance environmental protection or improvement, in addition to advancing education. The application to become a charity was successful.