Battersea Arts Centre is part of the London Theatre Consortium (LTC) which consists of fourteen producing theatres across London. The LTC made a three-year commitment in 2010 to address their environmental impacts, along the way becoming exemplars of a collaborative approach to sustainable business. This was achieved in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle, a non-profit company providing expertise in environmental sustainability to over 1000 arts organisations in the UK and internationally.
Julie's Bicycle has developed an environmental certification scheme called Creative Industry Green, awarding 1 to 3 stars to festivals, venues and offices committed to improving their environmental performance covering energy usage, waste, water and travel.
In the first year of monitoring, 2010/2011, Battersea Arts Centre was awarded 1 star, and in 2011/2012 was awarded 2 stars. For the 2012/13 year, and every year since, we have attained and retained the full 3 star rating, in recognition of our strong commitment to managing our carbon footprint and continually improving our environmental impacts.
As part of our Building Project, we have examined our reliance on fossil fuel energy and water use. We work with consultants, energy industry professionals, architects, staff, artists and building users to understand changes needed to our infrastructure, processes and culture to reduce our carbon footprint.
When Battersea Arts Centre’s building was constructed in 1893 as a town hall, it was not connected to electricity as cables did not extend far enough up Lavender Hill. The whole building was heated through warm air vents and lighting was provided by gas lamps, one of which still exists in an office corridor to this day. Cooling was achieved by opening windows and roof vents, focussing the building around the Courtyard which acted as the ‘lungs’.
During winter you'll find wood burning stoves, new efficient radiators in public spaces, and under-floor heating in the Scratch Bar, as well as double- and secondary glazing. Other solutions include using timers, thermostats, and targeted radiant heaters.
Light fixtures have motion sensors and use ultra-low-power dimmable LED fittings and we have a stock of LED theatrical lighting. We monitor our printing and copying and use a waste provider who sends nothing to landfill. We have moved to a paperless system within our Finance department, and are starting to examine how we can make more of our administrative processes less paper-reliant.
Every member of staff is encouraged to consider how we can reduce our impact and cut costs, and our Environmental Policy and Action Plan, and Sustainability Vision are designed as living and provocative documents so all of us improve our impact on the environment around us.
We try our best to switch off non-vital lighting and appliances when they're not needed, recycle/re-use as much as possible, purchase recycled products, use local suppliers for the Scratch Bar, Building Facilities and Production to cut down on transport miles, commit to public transport, walking or cycling, and encourage all suppliers, artists, hirers and contractors to do the same.