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Greenrock forced to cut costs

Losing post: executive director Jonathan Starling (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

An environmental charity confirmed it has been forced to cut costs because of the knock-on effects of the 2008 financial crash.

Greenrock said it had taken the “difficult but necessary” decision to make the position of executive director redundant.

The post was held by Jonathan Starling, who said he would continue to work with the organisation on a voluntary basis.

A spokesman for the charity said: “As a sustainability charity, we practice what we preach and, accordingly, have had to make some hard decisions regarding the structure of the organisation.

“Like many in Bermuda’s charity sector, we have been hit hard by the ongoing impact of the 2008 economic crisis and the reduction in available sponsors from the business sector.

“As a result of the decline in our fundraising capacity, the operational model of the organisation has had to be revisited.”

A spokesman added: “Greenrock has made the executive director position redundant.

He said the move was needed to “prioritise the long-term sustainability of the organisation, the charity’s programmes and advocacy in our community”.

He added: “Greenrock’s board will now be taking a more active role in the operations of the charity and will be seeking volunteers to assist with specific roles.

“On behalf of Greenrock, our members and our supporters in the broader community, we would like to thank our outgoing executive director, Jonathan Starling.

“Jonathan is a committed environmentalist and, while he is no longer serving in the capacity of executive director, he remains involved with Greenrock in a voluntary capacity.

“We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Mr Starling, appointed to the position three years ago, thanked the charity’s board of directors and donors, partners and the public for their support.

He said: “I am, of course, sad to be leaving the role of executive director, however, I want to stress that I was an environmentalist before becoming the executive director and I will be an environmentalist after leaving the role.

“I remain committed to the values and vision of Greenrock in realising a sustainable Bermuda for all.

“While I may be leaving the position of executive director, I am not leaving Greenrock itself. I will continue to volunteer my time within the organisation, although for the immediate moment, of course, I am focused on seizing the new opportunities that this transition presents me.”

Mr Starling pointed out that Greenrock was a membership organisation and its work to promote “a more sustainable Bermuda is important to all of us”.

He added: “Sustainability cuts across all aspects of life in Bermuda, environmental, economic and social.

“We will only achieve a sustainable Bermuda by addressing it holistically and with an eye on social, economic and environmental justice.

“With that in mind, I encourage all residents to assist Greenrock by donating or becoming active members to help lead Bermuda towards a more sustainable future.”

The charity said its education for sustainable development programmes would continue along with work to highlight climate change, energy and marine sustainability.

Greenrock is also involved with the island’s long-term power plan, the Integrated Resource Plan, and encouraged people to visit betterenergyplan.bm for information about how it will affect them.

The charity also said it was “actively seeking volunteers and financial donations to ensure that we can continue to change mindsets and work towards a more sustainable Bermuda”.

Anyone who wants to volunteer with Greenrock or would like more information can e-mail info@greenrock.org