Roehampton Venues is delighted to have received a Gold Award for Green Meetings from the Green Tourism association. Green Tourism promotes greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate, as the importance of sustainability issues takes precedence as the “new normal.” Gaining this affiliation was key in moving forward our sustainability strategy and action plans.
Most of our event documents sent to clients e.g., menus, quotes, contracts and invoices, are sent via email rather than hard copy in order to save paper. Emails are never printed out unless absolutely necessary and we have tag line on emails to remind the team.
The majority of our marketing is conducted via website, online and email to avoid generating paper.
We own most of our equipment for events – wash and reuse – limiting the need for hiring and extra transportation, people and environmental impact generated from hire and deliveries.
Use of linen for events is minimised where possible and quantities required are kept to a minimum.
We use reusable cups, crockery, and cutlery where possible. We minimise the use of single – use plastics where re-use is not practical and use disposable products made from plant-based, compostable materials.
Our guest accommodation uses the Dukes and Dawes toiletries range. Bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic and can be recycled, the liquids use organic ingredients and are vegan friendly and all packaging can be recycled.
We have mixed recycling bins, general waste, charity recycling banks and battery recycling points. We limit the amount of waste generated and reduce waste going to landfill by recycling – we have embedded recycling processes with all bin areas encouraging recycling where possible. This includes positioning bins in areas to encourage recycling such as near printers.
We have implemented a compostable waste stream that allows for the centralised disposal of food waste and catering disposables. The Harp Renewables thermophilic aerobic digester machine means that 80% of compostable waste is converted into compost in just 24 hours. It constantly regenerates microbes, neutralizes ammonia to eliminate unpleasant odours, and heats to 70 degrees to reduce pathogens. Additionally, it prevents the oxidation of carbon into CO2, thereby minimising greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, we are now able to produce nutrient-rich soil products that can be used throughout our campus, eliminating compostable waste in landfills, offsetting our carbon footprint, and contributing to a circular economy with an accredited biofertilizer.
To ensure that the sustainability of our food is considered, sustainable food standards are outlined during catering contract negotiations and also throughout tender processes.
We focus on providing affordable, healthy, and environmentally sustainable food offering across our venues with Fairtrade products, free range chicken/eggs and MSC certified fish.
We carefully specify the correct amount of food we produce for any function to ensure we do not over cater and have unnecessary food wastage.
We are a certified Fairtrade University which shows that we are committed to the Fairtrade ethos and support the use of Fairtrade products.
Working closely with our catering partner ‘Elior’ our event menus are seasonal, therefore the majority of products we source are British and do not involve high air miles. They make a conscious effort to ensure as many ingredients as possible are sourced locally and ethically.
All used cooking oil is recycled via Olleco – it is collected and processed to be converted into biofuel.
Guests and staff are encouraged to use public transport as Roehampton Venues is well connected to the public transport network. Two rapid EV chargers are available in close proximity. The first is situated at 87 Roehampton Lane, SW15 5NL (close to Southlands pedestrian entrance) and the second is situated at on Roehampton Lane, SW15 5PN near to Queen Mary Hospital i.e. between Froebel entrance and the main university entrance.
Staff are encouraged to cycle to work and ride share, There are cycle to work schemes in place and a bus provided by the university from the local train station. Flexible working a couple of days a week with no commute is sustainable business practice. No unnecessary journeys are made, and when possible, video meetings are encouraged to save travel.
Our purpose-built conference centre has achieved BREEAM for its sustainable build with natural ventilation systems, high performance building fabric and specialist water and heating systems.
The solar panels we’ve installed across our buildings ensures we are using 100% renewable energy. We have installed power Perfector voltage optimisation equipment at all venues. By optimising and lowering supply voltage, electrical equipment operates more efficiently, consumes less energy, and has a longer lifespan. This has led to an average reduction in electricity consumption of approx. 9%, equating to a reduction in our Carbon Footprint of more than 300 tonnes of CO2 and savings on our electricity bill of more than £50,000 per year.
We have replaced all lighting with highly efficient LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and motion sensor activated lighting. Typically, LEDs have ten times the lifespan and use less than half the energy of halogen lighting. Quality long lasting LED Lighting with daylight and movement sensors has been by large the main type of energy saving project in the last 12 years we have invested in total £2.2million to replace over 14,000 luminaires which saves us annually 2,100 MWh i.e., the equivalent of powering 534 UK homes, £280,000 of electricity and just over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
We are committed to the protection and conservation of biodiversity and are lucky to have a considerable range of species and habitats across the university campus. Within our 24 hectares of land our habitats include an old and new orchard, three artificial lakes and an acid grassland. We also have a badger set, beehives and a cave-like habitat which supports one of the largest species of spider found in the UK: the European cave spider.
We also have an array of birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians including green woodpecker, nuthatch, whitethroat, and smooth newt. Our proximity to Richmond Park, a National Nature Reserve and Wimbledon Common provides us with the potential to be connected to an array of important species through a network of ecological corridors e.g., hedgerows, roadside verges. We are currently looking to further monitor and understand
the species we have on our campus in our Biodiversity Team.