Cultural powerhouse leads the way on sustainability

Collage Arts can be described as a cultural powerhouse. Just look at what is going on up on the roof. Solar panels are generating electricity which contributes to our electricity needs. But it doesn’t stop there.

Steps Collage Arts has taken to be more sustainable:

  • Serving plant-based food in our restaurant helps our customers to eat less meat which has a massive impact on our carbon footprint
  • Eliminate single use plastic in the bar, restaurant and take away service
  • Having our cooking oil collected and processed into fuel
  • Installing a car charging point
  • Buying secondhand furniture in the restaurant and using recycled materials in our building work
  • Installing press taps to reduce water use and waterless urinals
  • Installing movement sensors to operate lights in toilets and corridors
  • Supporting the School Safe Streets initiative – which gets children walking to school
  • Supporting green businesses with space and enterprise support

New initiatives we are exploring include:

  • Moving to low energy lighting
  • Installing battery units to hold solar electricity
  • Using more reconditioned equipment
  • Working to replace our gas boilers

Manoj Ambasna, executive director of Collage Arts, explains: “We have been thinking about ways in which we can lower our carbon footprint for several years now.  We see it is an important part of our contribution to the community. It is also good business.

As part of our Covid protection methods we installed press taps which release a measured amount of water. Our overall water consumption is down by around 50%. Over 2 years we will have paid for the installation of the new taps. The solar panels are now directly contributing to our ability to support community projects because they reduce the cost of our electricity.”

Steve Medlin, who runs Collage Voices, the young people’s programmes, adds: “When we talk to young people about what is important to them, two themes that come up. The first is equity and the second is the environment.  It is important that our actions back up the concerns of young people. We are all proud that Collage is making progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging its users to do the same.”

Manoj concluded: “Collage Arts has a long way to go, but we are making some good progress reducing our environmental impact. Over the coming years the organisation will move away from gas boilers and increase the level of insulation in the buildings it manages. We will review the new greener technologies emerge and build them into our thinking and future building work.”