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The Barbican now using 100% renewable electricity

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Barbican arts and cultural venue in the City of London says all its electricity requirements now come from renewable sources.

The switch to 100% renewable, which took place in the last quarter of 2018, was part of a wider City of London Corporation initiative to improve sustainability across the capital through the introduction of a 100% renewable electricity policy and sourcing strategy.

Members of the Barbican team were involved throughout the procurement and planning process to ensure not just value, but sustainability sat at the heart of the process.

The switch marks the latest action by the Barbican’s team in a sustainability drive that saw the venue crowned “Most Sustainable Venue” at the London Summer Events Show.

“The Barbican has been a strong proponent and supporter of all things sustainable for many years,” said the Barbican’s Head of Event Management, Lee Dobson. “We have won many awards over the years for our activity in this area and are delighted to have again been recognised for the environmental measures we are implementing.”

Key elements behind the Barbican’s latest award win were:

  • Ambitious targets for energy reduction: The venue is targeting a 40% reduction in energy usage by 2025, compared to 2008.
  • Zero waste going to landfill and extensive efforts to reduce single-use plastics from the venue. For example; in 2017/18 464 tonnes of waste was generated by the venue, which was accounted for as follows:

Energy from Waste 20%

Recycling 67%

Composting 13%

  • A Staff Sustainability Steering Group and competition to engage employees on sustainability issues for the venue, which have led to very high levels of engagement and involvement from the team in maximising the venue’s sustainability.
  • Extensive efforts to increase biodiversity with the introduction of a bee colony and works to the Barbican’s lakeside area including enhancement of reed beds and planters, much of which has been done as part of wider community engagement activity.

Lee added: “The Barbican will continue to strive for excellence when it comes to all areas of sustainability. As a leading arts and conference venue we sit at the heart of the community, providing a major facility where people can gather, share ideas and above all develop a legacy for the future. This legacy is a core part of our ethos, particularly those elements focused on the environment and community.”