Strategic Framework


The next five years are critical for action on the climate and biodiversity emergency.

It is vital that there are enough people with the skills, knowledge and understanding of the solutions to allow them to be rolled out at the scale and speed demanded by the urgency of the environmental crisis.

With this in mind, CAT has ambitious plans to greatly expand our research and education work over the next five years.

Our new Strategic Framework provides an overview of the vision, mission and values that will drive this work, outlining our key objectives and who we will be working with to help turn our vision into reality.

Strategic Framework

Who we are

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is an educational charity dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change.

Our vision

CAT’s vision is a sustainable future for all humanity as part of a thriving natural world.

Our mission

Our mission is to inspire, inform and enable humanity to respond to the climate and biodiversity emergency.

WISE Building at CAT

How we work – we are:


We spark the imagination, helping people to envisage a future in which humanity has risen to the climate challenge.


We provide people with the tools they need to play their part in creating a positive future.


Whilst acknowledging the scale of the environmental challenge, we remain optimistic and hopeful about the future, providing people with the motivation to make change happen.


We move quickly from challenges to solutions, focusing on the changes that can provide the greatest positive impact.


From understanding the scale of the challenges to being realistic about the effectiveness of solutions, all of our work is informed by scientific evidence and expert research.


We believe in the transformative power of diversity, inclusion and equality. Only by actively engaging different perspectives can we challenge and stretch our thinking and empower people, policy makers and organisations to make the radical changes we need to deliver a sustainable and regenerative future as well as to enrich the experiences of our employees and volunteers and members.

Strategic priorities 2020 – 2025

  1. Public engagement, both on-site at CAT and through outreach work

  2. Providing skills and knowledge for a zero carbon future

  3. Influencing the development of policy

  4. Supporting communities and local authorities to make the transition to a zero carbon future

  5. Building a financially resilient organisation

  6. Building the capacity and capability of the organisation to deliver its objectives now and in the future

CAT students
CAT students working

Key audiences

CAT is for everyone, and we believe that everyone has their part to play in building a Zero Carbon Future.

Within this broad outlook, our main target audiences can be summarised as:

Our visitors

CAT has operated a visitor centre since 1975, informing and inspiring thousands of visitors. We reach hundreds of thousands more through our website and social media. Over the next five years we plan to advance our vision for these sites, here and on-line, helping ever more people to learn about environmental solutions.

Our students

CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment opened in 2007 and moved into the WISE building in 2010. In 2019 the Graduate School welcomed its largest ever intake of over 200 students, making a total of nearly 500 registered full- and part-time students.

Learners of all ages

From our parent and toddler group, through the numerous school and university visits that we host each year, to the wide variety of participants of all ages who join our short courses, learners are – and have always been – one of our most important audiences.

Councils, communities, companies

The transition to a Zero Carbon Future will, in large part, be driven by communities and their elected representatives. CAT will support councils, communities and companies as they translate climate emergency declarations into action plans.


CAT works with policymakers at all levels to help bring about the urgent changes needed to address the climate and environmental emergency. Over the next five years we will be scaling up this work through a new Zero Carbon Britain Hub and Innovation Lab.

Members, supporters and alumni

Underpinning everything we do, CAT’s members, supporters and graduate school alumni are the lifeblood of CAT and part of our shared history.

Their commitment to our core mission is a source of inspiration and hope in challenging times and their contribution to CAT is vast and varied – as donors, fundraisers, friends and ambassadors. The backing of thousands of individuals helps amplify our voice and provide financial security and academic independence. We’ll be focusing on expanding and building these networks significantly over the next five years.

Strategic Framework 2020-25