Our sustainability strategy

Guide Dogs exists to help people with sight loss live the life they choose. To achieve our mission, we’re committed to working in a sustainable way and making the best choices for the growing number of people in the UK living with sight loss, our staff, volunteers, supporters and the planet.

As a leading charity, we recognise the urgent need for environmental sustainability. We know climate change and global warming can have adverse effects, not only for those living with sight loss but also for the future of our operations. That’s why we’re evolving our sustainability strategy and taking steps to minimise negative impacts that may result from our activities to make a positive difference to the environment.


At Guide Dogs, we’re focusing on ensuring any changes we implement to make our organisation more sustainable are inclusive, appropriate and accessible for people with sight loss. To get this right, we're working closely with staff and service users with lived experience of vision impairment. This is something we want to champion within our organisation as we’re aware sustainability measures don’t always consider everyone. 

Our sustainability progress 

We take our responsibility in this area incredibly seriously and have a dedicated team working on this. We’re already making positive changes across the organisation, but we still have lots to do and we’re taking the time to get this right.

How Guide Dogs is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals

To ensure our initiatives are effective in addressing global challenges, we’ve developed our sustainability strategy to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The seventeen SDGs are designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The goals work hand in hand to address such areas as health, inequality, climate change and education. Here are some examples of the ways we’re working to meet the SDGs:

  • Goal 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing: Our mission is to help people with sight loss live actively, independently and well. 
  • Goal 4 – Quality Education: Our range of services for children and young people (CYP) help families receive the support and advice they need so children with sight loss aren’t left behind. 
  • Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy: There are several measures underway to continue to reduce energy consumption across our buildings and we’re looking for opportunities to generate our own green energy at our freehold sites. We currently purchase electricity and gas for our sites from renewable sources.
  • Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities: We believe no one should be held back by a vision impairment. We campaign for the rights of people with sight loss to help them access public transport, town centres and other public services.
  • Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production: Our teams and suppliers are involved too. Working together, we’re finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle; support a circular economy; and ensure sustainability principles are considered in all purchasing decisions. We have already enacted a zero waste to landfill policy.
  • Goal 13 – Climate Action: We’re mapping our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions across our organisation with the aim of reducing our carbon footprint. We’re also working hard to reduce business mileage and vehicle emissions. Across our sites, we’re prioritising low carbon building principles as well as adapting and safeguarding against potential damage caused by environmental change.
  • Goal 15 – Life on Land: Across our sites, we’re working to improve the biodiversity of our natural environment and enhance our green spaces. We will also look to provide habitat protection for all creatures that call our grounds home and will explore future options for carbon capture opportunities on our estates.
  • Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals: We're putting measures in place to ensure contractors and suppliers work to help us achieve our sustainability goals. 

You can read about our sustainability progress in our annual report and accounts and we’ll continue to update this page with next steps and progress against our targets as we move forward.