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Carbon Trust praises our energy efficiency efforts

Posted on 4 July 2012

A report undertaken by the Chamber of Commerce’s Carbon Trust has commended the steps the venue has taken to reduce energy consumption and to implement a robust environmental policy.

In a bid to address climate change and reduce its impact on the environment, the Belgrade Theatre introduced its own green policy, ‘Striving to be Green’ in 2008 and established its own in-house Green Team, which includes a representative from each department.

A number of initiatives have already been implemented which have helped to save energy, manage natural resources and cut these kinds of overhead costs, which as a charity, is key to the theatre’s sustainability and allows it to divert more resources to the work itself.

Taking into account the work done so far, the Carbon Trust report estimates that a saving of 240.6 tonnes of CO2, 485,301 kWh of electricity and £29,989, can be achieved in just over 18 months. Between 2009 and 2010/11 the theatre has already seen a reduction of 100,000 kWh of energy.

Amongst other things, all lighting in the theatre has been converted to low energy, with approximately 1500 to 1600 bulbs replaced, and all offices have been fitted with split switches allowing the lighting to be used over working desks only. Also, sensor lights have been fitted where appropriate and scheduled procedures are in place for ‘summer lighting’ between May and September when natural light is sufficient.

To ensure that energy continues to be managed efficiently a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) has been installed that is able to monitor and control the services in the building, including gas and electricity.

All brochures produced by the venue are done so using 100% recycled paper and all stationery used in the Belgrade offices is recycled, which diverts reams of paper from landfill sites and saves CO2. Any paper or print that is not 100% recycled is sourced responsibly from an FSC accredited source.

The Belgrade’s Executive Director Joanna Reid said she was initially spurred into action by Al Gore’s climate change film An Inconvenient Truth.

She added: “The Belgrade is a ‘can do’ organisation and we have always been good at stretching financial resources as far as they can go so that we can produce more plays, so it was a small step to take this attitude and apply it to striving to be greener. When I suggested the formation of the Green Team I had instant support from all departments as everyone wants to do something about this huge challenge. The staff continue to bring creativity and enthusiasm to the work of further reducing our impact on the environment.”

Following the report from the Carbon Trust enquiries have been made into the possibility of installing a suitable renewable energy system for the theatre, such as photo-voltaic or solar thermal panels, which would utilise the venue’s flat roofs. A heat pump and a CHP installation are other possibilities.

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