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As part of an ongoing drive to maintain the Barbican’s status as a leading sustainable and environmentally conscious venue, all electricity consumed is now renewable. The switch, which took place in the last quarter of 2018 was part of a wider City of London Corporation initiative to improve sustainability across the City Corporation through the introduction of a 100 percent renewable electricity policy and sourcing strategy.  Members of the Barbican team were involved throughout the procurement and planning process to ensure that not just value, but sustainability sat at the heart of the process.

The switch marks the latest action by the Barbican’s team in a sustainability drive that saw the venue crowned “Most Sustainable Venue” at the London Summer Events Show.

The Barbican has been a strong proponent and supporter of all things sustainable for many years,” says Barbican’s head of event management, Lee Dobson.  “We have won many awards over the years for our activity in this area and are delighted to have again been recognized for the environmental measures we are implementing.”

Key elements behind the Barbican’s latest award win were:

  • Ambitious targets for energy reduction: The venue is targeting a 40 percent reduction in energy usage by 2025, compared to 2008.
  • Zero waste going to landfill and extensive efforts to reduce single-use plastics from the venue.  For example; in 2017/18 464 tons of waste was generated by the venue, which was accounted for as follows:
    • Energy from Waste—20 percent
    • Recycling—67 percent
    • Composting—13 percent
  • A Staff Sustainability Steering Group and competition to engage employees on sustainability issues for the venue, which have led to very high levels of engagement and involvement from the team in maximizing the venue’s sustainability.
  • Extensive efforts to increase biodiversity with the introduction of a bee colony and works to the Barbican’s lakeside area including enhancement of reed beds and planters, much of which has been done as part of wider community engagement activity.

These represent just a part of the Barbican’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility work.

Lee concludes: “The Barbican will continue to strive for excellence when it comes to all areas of sustainability.  As a leading arts and conference venue we sit at the heart of the community, providing a major facility where people can gather, share ideas and above all develop a legacy for the future.  This legacy is a core part of our ethos, particularly those elements focused on the environment and community.”

A world-class arts and learning organization, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theater and visual arts. Its creative learning program further underpins everything it does. More than 1.1 million people attend events annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and 300+ staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned center opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, The Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery, The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre. For more info, visit www.barbican.org.uk/

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