Roffey Park is a relatively small academic institute that delivers executive education. There are no major environmental risks or sustainable doubts when undertaking operations. In fact, quite the opposite. Roffey Park and the people here pride themselves on carrying out their daily tasks with the utmost consideration for the environment – it is part of the culture. Energy management, waste management, paper reduction, food waste and food mileage are all part of normal life.
The first thing to note is that Roffey Park Institute achieved the ISO14001 certification dedicated to environmental management, helping to protect the environment whilst meeting our legal obligations.
Perversely, the pandemic had inadvertently promoted environmental management at the Institute. For example the change of paperwork and bookwork to online and virtual classrooms for participants and the significant reduction in staff travel as remote working has become the norm, this is the same with clientele. Although we are now seeing face-to-face classrooms return, we have maintained an impressive reduction in paper usage.
The lack of activity on-site during this period allowed the biodiversity within our astonishing grounds to flourish. We left over 30 acres of meadow to grow wild, encouraging the habitation of many varieties of wildlife. Furthermore, we have seen a significant reduction in energy consumption during this period. We conducted an EPC for the building and were awarded an energy rating of B.
Since the introduction of the ground source heat pump in 2015, the use of oil for heating has virtually been eliminated bar the small backup boiler installed for emergency use in severe winters. After seven years of having this system in place it is now capital free. Roffey Park Institute was not the first to introduce heat pumps but we certainly did so before the trend and now we are seeing some really fruitful results; green, clean and cheap.
The Institute has managed to reduce our use of single-use plastic throughout the site through a significant culture change. The main culprits for single-use plastic were the provision of small plastic water bottles for clients. This has now been stopped and clients are encouraged to drink fresh tap water. Hydration stations are available in refreshment areas and water coolers in every meeting room. We ask our suppliers to limit their packaging as much as possible. Bathroom disposables are recyclable and there is now very little single-use plastic purchased.
We also continue with our sustainable programme by replacing any lights with LED. The BMS system introduced in 2018 helps to control excess use of the air conditioning units in the Hudson area and the heating of hot water (gas) in the bedroom block. The management of gas and electricity consumption will continue to be a priority in the coming year.
The institution’s drive to always be at the forefront of environmental focus can be seen by teaming up and seeking professional advice from independent environmental consultant Anya Ledwith of Eshcon Environmental Management Consultants. Anya also conducts internal audits keeping the Institute up to date with relevant legislation, best practices and improvement opportunities.
Other sustainable efforts include our self-sufficient kitchen garden, which the kitchen often uses in their menus and a Sedum Garden, a hub to attract wildlife and numerous habitats, crucial to the survival of the eco-system.
We look to continue this growth of environmental focus by reducing printouts and paper hand-outs by a further 15% within the next year and further reduce our consumption of electricity through energy-saving initiatives.Tags: Company News, Sustainability