An important objective here at the Centre is to work towards carbon neutral or negative by 2030, if not sooner and to also help with sustainability in London. We have a large Victorian building in a city location, which provides its own challenges from a sustainability perspective, but our Operations Team has been putting actions and plans in place for several years with this aim in mind, so we can deliver responsibly and cost-effectively for our charity. Whilst we strive to maximise our positive impact in delivering services and activities to our local community, we want to minimise the impact this has environmentally.
In 2019 we transitioned to 100% green energy for our electricity supply. We have also been investigating ways to reduce our gas consumption and therefore lower our CO2 output through initiatives including zoning our heating for specific areas that are in use and upgrading our plant equipment.
We have a rolling plan to reduce our daily energy consumption with initiatives including switching to LED lighting and replacing appliances with the most energy-efficient versions. These are small changes that for an organisation with a large building, high footfall and long opening hours can have a big impact over time.
We have implemented water-saving practices to reduce consumption across our indoor and outdoor spaces. This ranges from further collection of grey water for watering our green spaces to ensuring toilets do not run continuously and waste water.
Our Food Hub relies on donations from organisations, like City Harvest and Felix, who redistribute perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste. We also run many community lunches and classes at the Centre using this food, saving tonnes of food from the bin.
As well as food redistribution we encourage our community to repair and re-wear clothes at our regular sewing upcycling groups, with our expert tutor on hand to give a helping hand. In conjunction with the Peel we also run regular baby and children clothes and toy swaps, so parents can get items suitable for their growing children without buying new.
We continue to engage staff in the process of becoming carbon neutral and the importance of sustainability. We encourage our staff to reduce their carbon footprint on their daily commute by using public transport, walking, or taking up a loan for a bike.
Thomas Lans, Director of Operations at St Luke’s, says: “We have been looking at our carbon footprint and how to reduce it for many years, and the plans we have in place give us the best pathway to sustainability and ensure our community hub remains sustainable for future generations with a positive impact on our current service users.”
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