I’m desperate to see a daffodil, I’m scanning for swallows, and I’m aching to put my watch forward that emblematic hour. It has been a tough winter across many fronts. The Greenway Centre is feeling the pinch when it comes to the rapidly rising cost of energy and everyday items affecting all UK businesses and households. Whilst it is hard to assign blame for this crisis, we also know that it isn’t an accident. The ongoing dependency on fossil fuels and a rapidly warming planet are combining to make unpredictable events more common. Many of us are frustrated by what seems to be slow progress on taking action.
But within the power of our small community there are plenty of actions we can take. Here at Southmead Development Trust we have found adapting to rising costs a significant challenge. However, we have embraced the opportunity to build a more sustainable, comfortable and less wasteful Greenway Centre. We are super-charging our existing plans for this. Not just on energy, but across a range of issues including transport, single-use plastics and biodiversity.
The first step we have taken is to improve the insulation in Greenway’s roofs and walls. It can be drafty here! We have also achieved some quick-wins in our heating and hot water controls. We have been slowly rolling out the change to LED lighting which we are now looking to accelerate in the coming months – Main Hall users and Christmas Panto attendees may have noticed this already! With our 476 solar panels already on the roof, reducing our energy use means our green-generated energy can go further.
Visitors to our meeting rooms may have noticed that we are phasing out single-use items for refreshments. We’ve replaced individual milk pots with refillable jugs of fresh milk. Our next move is to do away with coffee and sugar sachets, and disposable coffee cups.
There is more in the pipeline for investing in reducing our emissions, and we appreciate there’s a long way to go. We are urgently fundraising for double-glazing which will make the building a warmer, more accessible space for all our visitors. This will help us to reduce our use of gas heating and for Greenway to thrive as a welcoming place for all. Watch this space for how we are creating a Greenway fit for the future! We are also thinking about the support of the long term future of buildings in Southmead. Renewable energy and affordable bills are a focus for the Glencoyne Square community-led housing project. The new flats will be heated using Air Source Heat Pumps.
We are also excited for the theme of this year’s Southmead Festival to be Green Southmead! And we need everyone’s ideas and input.
Would you like to know more about our sustainability at Greenway? Get in touch!
tel: 0117 950 3335