Complaints Policy

Policy statement

Receiving feedback and responding to complaints is an important part of improving Cool Earth’s accountability. Ensuring our stakeholders can hold us to account will improve the quality of our work in all areas.


This policy provides a means for a complaint to be made by any volunteer, supporter, partner organisation, contractors, beneficiaries, supplier, community or individual with whom we work, or any member of the public whether an individual, company or other entity, in the UK for anywhere else in the world. This policy applies to Cool Earth and is global in its application.

Complaints by staff are governed by Cool Earth’s procedures for dealing with problems in the workplace, e.g. the Grievance Policy and Anti Bullying and Harassment policy. Complaints relating to serious incidents such as fraud and corruption or safeguarding concerns will be dealt with through the relevant policy and procedures.


A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the standards of service, actions or lack of action, by Cool Earth or its staff and associated personnel. It is a criticism that expects a reply and would like things to be changed. Complaints could include the following (which is not an exhaustive list):

  • Concern from someone we work with about the quality of programme delivery
  • Concern from a member of the public or supporter about a particular fundraising approach or campaign action
  • Concern about the behaviour of staff or associated personnel

A complaint has to be about some action for which Cool Earth is responsible or is within our sphere of influence.

A complaint is not:

  • A general inquiry about Cool Earth’s work
  • A request for information
  • A contractual dispute
  • A request to amend records e.g. to correct an address or amend personal details
  • A request to unsubscribe from a Cool Earth service e.g. a campaign newsletter or email

The complaints procedures do not apply to complaints that are subject to current investigation by any regulatory body or other legal or official authorities in the UK or other countries in which we operate. Such issues will be dealt with by the relevant regulatory body.

The Procedure

It is hoped that most complaints or concerns about Cool Earth’s work or behaviour can be dealt with informally by our staff. However, it is recognised that not all issues can be resolved in this way and that a formal complaints mechanism is required for those occasions when an individual or organisation wishes to make their complaint a matter of record and to receive a formal response.

All formal complaints should be made in writing either directly from the individual or organisation making the complaint or via someone acting on their behalf. Complaints can be made via the following method:

  • Form submission
  • Telephone 01326 567200
  • By letter to Lauren Howard, Senior Manager Fundraising & Communications, Cool Earth, Tremough Innovation Centre, Penryn TR10 9TA

At the point of making a complaint or raising a concern, it would be helpful to Cool Earth for you to use the Complaints Form at the bottom of this page stating:

  • The reason for your complaint
  • What has actually happened? Provide notes of dates, times, people and places.
  • Who is involved?
  • Whether anyone is at immediate risk of harm?
  • How do you know about it? When were you first concerned about it?
  • Have you told anyone about it?
  • Was any action taken?

We will aim to respond to your complaint in the following way:

  • Acknowledge your complaint within 48 hours (two working days) from the date received
  • Make a decision on whether it is appropriate to handle your complaints under this policy.
  • Report issues of malpractice to the relevant Director, who will initiate an investigation.
  • Assess whether it is sufficiently serious malpractice or safeguarding matter to instigate the critical incident procedure.
  • Deal with complaints in an efficient and timely manner
  • Respond in writing within 30 days

If you are unhappy with the response, the complainant can ask for the issue to be escalated to the Director of Cool Earth. The Director will aim to respond within ten days from the date received.

The Board of Trustees has a monitoring role and will receive and consider a quarterly update regarding complaints.

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