We are doing what we can to limit the damage and encourage good practice with reference to the environment.
Unfortunately when we restored this listed building we were prevented (by the regulations) from putting double glazing into our new windows so we improved the insulation somewhat by using thicker glass than that which we replaced.
Also sadly there was no support for people in our position who were re-roofing to install any solar or PV panels and the listed status would have prevented us from doing so even if we could have afforded it without support. These kinds of local government responses are counter productive and exacerbate the climate problems.
We did however use recycled plastic materials for the interior walls and insulated the roofs as much as possible. We insulated the new roofs as much as we possibly could.
Since we have been operating the following policies have either been in place or added to our systems:
- We favour occupants to our studios who can walk or cycle in from their homes, we provide a cycle parking rack.
- We encourage all occupiers and hirers of the gallery to minimise the use of single use plastic until such a time as it is generally biodegradable. This is included in our studios as well as our gallery hirers risk assessments.
- The building is heated with the most energy efficient electric panel heaters that we could find. These were installed to enable us to use power sourced from alternative energy as and when that is possible.
- Our electricity is supplied by Bulb who are a wholly green electricity supplier from solar wind and hydro.
- The lighting in the shared spaces of the studios is largely movement sensored.
- We actively encourage the people who occupy our studios to carbon offset their travel (especially but not only air travel) with Climate Stewards whose easy to use app facilitates this.
- We do not allow the use of plastic straws and actively discourage the use of disposable plastic food vessels for gallery hires. These policies are stated in the documentation that people receive when they engage with us.
- When people advertise their events we discourage the use of paper (or plastic, eg banners) media and have good digital systems in place to mitigate the need for this.
- In terms of waste we recycle as much as is currently possible.
- Our cleaner uses refillable eco-products.
- Now that we have a licence to hold weddings at the Silk Mill we have set up a private facebook group for couples to join specifically to facilitate the sharing and reusing of materials as well as ideas.
- We underwrite and encourage events in the gallery which promote environmentally friendly behaviours.
- We are absolutely open to ideas and suggestions as to other things we could be doing. By publicly stating our policies we hope to set good examples that individuals may be influenced by.
Building the staircase!