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Mainstreaming Tool
for civil society


Global Focus and our members have designed a sector-wide tool to support civil society organisations in mainstreaming climate and environment action.

The tool has three purposes:

To enable you to engage in conversation with colleagues and management on existing gaps and possible actions.

To enable your organisation to self-assess its level of climate and environment mainstreaming and take action to improve it

To enable you to engage with other organisations in mutual learning and knowledge-sharing,
and to feed your results into a sector-wide learning and advocacy effort led by Global Focus.

The tool consists of

A checklist of 10 benchmarks for change in organisations, projects, and partnerships. The benchmarks allow you to make a self-assessment of your organisation’s level of mainstreaming

A catalogue for inspiration with ideas, resources and best practices. In the catalogue, each benchmark has a section with ideas for action, and a section with links to external resource. The link sections can be found online.

An action plan template to help your organisation get up to speed and to assess progress throughout the coming months and years.


Climate change is one of the greatest and most urgent challenges of our time. It poses a threat to all ecosystems and livelihoods, to peace and to the fulfillment of human rights globally, and risks undermining all collective effort to alleviate poverty and build resilience, not least in developing countries and for poor and climate vulnerable populations.

If we are to build sustainable and resilient societies in the midst of the climate and biodiversity crises, we as civil society organisations need to urgently become climate and environmentally sustainable and resilient ourselves and lead the way for other sectors and stakeholders. We need to limit our own climate and environment footprints, and make sure our projects and partnerships do no harm to the contexts we work in - be they in Copenhagen, Johannesburg, or Dhaka.

How to

get Started

Mainstreaming climate and environment in an organisation means that climate and environmental considerations are systematically integrated into organisational structures, projects and partnerships, rather than only taken into account on an ad hoc basis. Climate and environmental concerns will not only be considered internally, but also in external actions and relations. And finally, climate and environmental mainstreaming means to not only ‘do no harm’ to the environment and climate, but to also actively look for synergies between existing projects and sustainable solutions.

This means that all parts of your organisation – from finance to service to programmes to country offices to partners to procurement – will need to be included and take an active role at some point. Before you even start mainstreaming, we highly encourage you to appoint a project manager or focal point and ensure support and adequate resources from management.

Further down the road, you will need to bring in people from different departments – some organisations set up a ’green team’, others have a more network-based structure. And finally, you will need to decide what kind of changes have the highest priority in what areas – be they low-hanging fruits that quickly show how mainstreaming leads to tangible results, or greater impacts that may be more difficult to implement.

Read more about this in the tool and find inspiration from other organisations in the inspiration catalogue.



Throughout 2022 and 2023, Global Focus offers inspirational seminars on specific benchmarks and solutions. Here you will meet other organisations who have already taken steps to mainstream, as well as organisations that are only taking their first steps. We highly encourage you to take part in the seminars and link up with other organisations to share knowledge and experiences.

Contact Climate Advisor Sigrid Bjerre Andersen (Denne e-mail adresse bliver beskyttet mod spambots. Du skal have JavaScript aktiveret for at vise den.) for information about upcoming seminars, or if you have questions about the tool or mainstreaming in general.

OTHER resources

The Climate Responsibility Project:

Global Focus has together with the Footprint firm carried out the Climate Responsibility Project with the aim of assisting civil society organizations with process of accurately accounting for greenhouse gas emissions, setting targets, and making a climate action plan. The project relates directly to the completion of benchmark 3 of the Climate and Environment Mainstreaming Tool.

The project consists of two main outputs:
1) A practice oriented how-to guide that walks through the key steps of how organizations can run an engaging and solid process for accounting for GHG emissions, setting targets and making a climate action plan. ACCESS THE GUIDE HERE.

2) An excel template to assist in the GHG emission accounting in scope 1-3. DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE HERE.

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