This page was last (briefly) updated 18th Dec 2022.
Contact details at the bottom, so please do share your thoughts – collaborate, contribute and/or challenge our ideas and assumptions. This is the beginning of a long and complex process, and we know that we have much to learn.
We believe that the climate crisis is the biggest issue facing our planet and an issue on which there has been a serious lack of decisive action. We believe that as a charity we have an additional responsibility to take action on this issue and that how we do what we do, is every bit as important as what we do.
In our January 2021 Trustee meeting, we decided to commit to becoming a Zero net carbon charity and building, by the end of December 2022. This is an ambitious target date, but we believe achievable based on the work that we have done so far.
Our current environmental impact
We completed our first Eco audit in August 2020, which was carried out by 3 Acorns, and funded by the City Bridge Trust. This was delayed because of Covid-19, and we were the first to restart and complete our audit. The figures we used were pre-pandemic, to give an accurate account of our carbon footprint under normal operating circumstances. We have agreed to do the next Audit in July 2022 as this will give us a full year of ordinary usage post-pandemic.
The full Eco audit document is available at the bottom of this page as we believe in transparency and openness. The following table shows the headline figures:
|Item||Annual amount used||Annual tonnes CO2||% of total carbon footprint|
|District heat system usage||76,052 Kwh||13.2||43.7%|
|Water usage||511,000 litres||0.5||1.7%|
|Waste – recycled||28.6 tonnes||Included overall with non recycled||NA|
|Waste – non recycled||57.2 tonnes||16.5||54.6%|
|Total annual tonnes CO2||30.2|
Some information to highlight
- Our energy emissions are around 15kg/m2, which is just over a quarter of the average for a centre like ours. Our modern building is therefore already very energy efficient.
- Emissions from waste are the largest contribution to our carbon footprint, which is unusual, and an area we need to explore how to reduce.
- This report covers our basic areas of operation, and we hope to create something more detailed in future years, and as our operations and projects grow.
What have we done so far?
- Agreed Zero net carbon date of end December 2022.
- Commissioned installation of Heating Save building management system. Initially, this will save 33% of our heating energy usage and 15% of our overall carbon footprint. Over time it will be integrated with other building systems and technologies to bring further savings.
- Completed feasibility on the solar panels both planning and structural. We are confident of a Summer 20022 installation for a 82 kW Solar Panel Array which will be one of the biggest solar panel installation owned by any charitable company in London. We pledged £14,000 from our own funds towards the Solar PV project as a match fund, to show our commitment towards making this project successful. In partnership with Power Up North London, we have been granted £12,318 from the London Community Energy Fund.
- We have moved to First Mile wastage service as they are zero net carbon company. This will help businesses of any size across the UK to supercharge their sustainability and help combat climate change by reducing their environmental impact. We are able to track our green energy usage alongside the recycling rate in a combined environmental impact report. The report will outline how much waste we have diverted from landfill and the carbon savings that we are making by being supplied by green energy.
- Working with CREW Energy we have begun to explore the concept of air source heat pump for space and water heating from the excess heat from our cafe’ which will heat Hydromix fluid and provide hot water for the centre.
- We are continuing to also explore we can get a heat pump through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme with Barnet council.
- Created a draft Environmental policy, and Environmental statement.
- Created Environmental working group, as a subgroup to the Trustee board. This group includes:
- Gus Alston – CEO. Gus created a project that bought solar PV to the Kentish Town City Farm whilst CEO there and has previously been awarded the “Outstanding contribution to their organisation’s environmental sustainability by an individual” award by the Camden Climate Change alliance when working for the Pirate Castle
- Dan Goodman – Chair of Trustees, and Stonegrove resident. Dan is a Smart City consultant, with connections to a wide range of companies across environmental technologies such as renewable energy, waste to energy, batteries/energy storage solutions, and off-grid solutions.
- Sarah Wardle – Trustee, and Edgware ward councilor. Sarah is an Associate Director at Built Environment Communications group and works with leading energy suppliers and network operators, delivering UK wide infrastructure to work towards net-zero by 2050.
- Rev Francis Adu-Boachie – Rector of Edgware Parish. Francis co-led the development and construction of the first carbon-zero vicarage in Britain which won the BREEAM award for Code for Sustainable Homes 2012, and also one of the first award-nominated Community / Commercial Centres built to BREEAM standards in Wembley Central, Brent.
- Kris(tian) Kemery-Toone – joining us in 2022
- We have co-founded the Barnet VCS Environmental Network, led by Inclusion Barnet & Barnet Together. The network meets monthly, has a newsletter and a 70 members.
- We have joined Fit for the Future, an environmental sustainability network bringing together more than 100 charities, heritage organisations, cultural venues and more, to facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration.
- Our CEO Gus Alston has been appointed to the ACEVO Climate Crisis working group, who on 19th January 2021 launched their Climate pledge and seven sustainability principles for civil society leaders to sign up to.
What comes next?
We are currently devoting our energy mainly to the Solar PV and the electric vehicle charging points in terms of practical actions. Beyond that we are putting lots of time into networking with and supporting others wishing to take action.
For now, we can share here some of the projects we will be working on, and commitments we are making within our larger plan:
- Annual eco audit reports, to be published on our website and shared publicly.
- Environmental sustainability as a standing item at every Trustee meeting.
- Environmental policy and public statement to be signed off in April 2022.
- Creation of advanced recycling points for Stonegrove residents – batteries, printer cartridges, phones, small appliances (subject to space).
- Creation of ethical procurement policy.
- Completion of feasibility for air source heat pump.
- Installation of Solar PV on OneStonegrove roof.
We acknowledge that it may not be possible to get our charity and building to zero net carbon, even with the successful completion of these projects. Therefore, from the end of 2021, we plan to purchase gold standard carbon onsite offset credits, which we will specifically fundraise for locally. Every year we will publish the amount of carbon that we need to offset in this way until we work out how to operate in a way that means this is no longer required.
To collaborate, comment, challenge or ask any questions, email CEO Gus Alston firstname.lastname@example.org