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Industry News

Green Tourism Gold accreditation for Friends House

Published: 30 Jul 2019

Improving our green venue credentials
Could a green venue expect better recognition? We have just received a Green Tourism Gold accreditation. Friends House's assessment happened in May 2019. We were judged on the areas listed in the table below.

We achieved an overall score of 87%. This is a great accomplishment for our team. Our score puts us as one of the leading green venues in the UK.

 Areas of assessment  Sustainable or CSR actions
Management

We created the Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030

We will consider the three P’s – People, Planet, Profit – equally in our

decision-making process

Marketing and communication

We held a presentation at Confex 2019 on the keynote stage discussing

‘Are we green enough? How to make a difference in the events industry’

We share tips and advice on our blog to event organisers and delegates,

such as ‘Top 10 tips to run a sustainable event’

Social responsibility and equality

We launched the Bake The Difference programme to help ex-offenders integrate

into society through practical and theoretical cooking and baking skills

Friends House customers can buy a hot meal for someone in need through

our Suspended Soup Scheme. When someone buys a Suspended Soup, the

Company matches it like for like

Energy saving

We use 100% renewable electricity provided by Good Energy

We use biogas from Ørsted to heat the building and have reduced our heating

emissions by 91% since 2017

We have reduced our carbon footprint by 29% since 2009

The carbon footprint per delegate per day has been reduced by 30% since 2017

Water issues In 2016, we installed a rainwater harvesting system in our garden

Our toilets and wash basins are equipped with short flush and tap control systems
Purchasing Our catering is organic, Fairtrade and locally produced where possible

Our purchase of good and services are delivered under conditions that should not involve the abuse or exploitation of any persons and have the least negative impact on the environment
Waste minimisation We have a zero waste to landfill policy

Our staff are encouraged to recycle in the building. There are recycling points on every floor and in every office space

We signed the MIA 20% less pledge – committing to reduce our use of single-use plastics by a further 20% by 2025
Travel and transport  There is a cycle to work scheme available for all our staff
Nature and culture We have installed three beehives on our roof

Our staff volunteer at Organic Lea during the year
Innovation We are launching Seed Kitchen, a meat-free, vegetarian and vegan restaurant in the Autumn

We purchase seasonal produce directly from the farm/grower (within 100 miles of Friends House) where possible

A green venue in action
We have implemented a series of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies. Recently, we integrated the UN sustainable development goals to our strategy. We also launched Bake The Difference, a programme to help ex-offenders integrate into society through practical and theoretical cooking and baking skills. Examples of our eco-friendly initiatives are listed in the table.

We intend to carry on working with Green Tourism in the future. We will build on their recommendations to be a beacon of sustainability for the events industry.

Another green credential coming?
To add to the good news, we have just been shortlisted for the London Venue Awards 2019! We are delighted to be one of the finalists in the Best CSR or Sustainability Initiative category.

We have already received two Bronze awards in the past:

- Best Venue Customer Service 300 plus attendees, theatre-style in 2018
- Best New or Refurbished Venue in 2017

We highlighted our commitments to sustainability and disenfranchised groups in our entry. The awards will take place in October. We will, of course, let you know of the outcome.


Posted by: Friends House

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