Today is #EarthDay. A day of action to change human behaviour and create global, national and policy change in the fight for a clean environment and to tackle climate change.
The RCP London Events is constantly striving to minimise our impact on the environment and coming up with innovative ways of doing so. Sustainability is a key part of our everyday operations across all areas of the business including catering, waste management and energy. Our strategic objectives have been to look at all areas of our business to ensure all of our suppliers and service partners are environmentally conscious and committed to helping to improve our waste streams and lowering our carbon footprint substantially in the next three years.
In recognition of #EarthDay, we’ve put together 5 ways we are helping to minimise our impact on the environment.
1. Eco-friendly fire logs
We recently formed an exciting partnership with bio-bean, the world’s largest recycler of spent coffee grounds, to transform our 3,500 kg of waste coffee grounds a year into sustainable bio-products. Our coffee grounds, which formerly went into the RCP’s food waste and were processed by anaerobic digestion (AD) into compost, will now be diverted and recycled into eco-friendly fire logs, saving 70 % of the CO2e emissions versus the grounds being sent to AD.
Recycling waste coffee grounds into coffee logs not only saves on emissions but also harnesses the untapped energy contained in the grounds to give them a second life as a useful product. This new initiative will further add to our sustainable efforts this year and in years to come.
2. Partnership with First Mile Recycling
We work with First Mile Recycling to facilitate a range of recycling solutions. These include implementing a robust waste management programme throughout the venue to significantly reduce plastic waste and increase recycling, working with energy efficient technology, such as Multi-Functional Devices, to drastically reduce paper consumption and switching our electricity provision entirely to 100% renewable energy and uses.
We also use eight wormeries to recycle kitchen and garden waste. The resulting liquid feed is then fed to our plants and the fine vermicompost is used as a top-dressing. And we hot compost our garden waste which is then used as a mulch and soil improver.
3. Local and seasonal produce
We use local and seasonal produce to support British businesses, reducing haulage costs and the environmental impact of transport. We also source fairly traded produce to ensure farmers in the developing world have access to a trade system based on justice and fairness. Our meat and dairy products are high welfare and we serve sustainably caught fish to ensure the future of fish stocks and marine environments.
We put sustainable food at the heart of our menus and have increased the proportion of vegetable led dishes on our menus to combat environmental damage, introducing plant-based menus and reducing the use of beef.
4. Educating new generations
We partner with Global Generation, an educational charity, working with local children and young people to create healthy, integrated and environmentally responsible communities and combining creative practice with practical hands on bio-diversity projects.
By inviting them to visit and learn about our medicinal garden (our garden contains over 1,100 plants, all with links to medicine), they can become catalysts for change in their communities and grow a new vision for the future.
5. Employee advocacy and engagement
We run a Green Champion initiative throughout the business which encourages colleagues to share best practice within their own departments. This can be as simple as ensuring people are recycling and not wasting paper to monitoring unnecessary usage of power. Each department has a nominated ‘green champion’ who is passionate about the environment and contributing to the cause.
Pledging to sustainability, not only on #EarthDay
As the first and only royal college to achieve The Carbon Trust Standard which is the world’s leading independent certification of an organisation’s achievements in reducing environmental impact we are proud of our commitment to sustainability on #EarthDay and every other day of the year.