Quakers’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprint have been rewarded by Camden Climate Change Alliance who have recognised Friends House as Carbon Champion.
The award is given for reducing carbon footprint and influencing the local and wider community to live a more sustainable life. Organisations are required to produce a carbon footprint report and an action plan with a carbon reduction target.
Friends House, opposite Euston Station, reflects Quaker values of simplicity and sustainability. It has been a place of worship and an administrative hub for Quakers in Britain since 1926. As well as the award-winning restaurant and café, there is an historic library, bookshop and worship space, and a well-established lettings business which generates income for charitable work.
Paul Grey, Head of Facilities at Friends House said: “We are delighted to receive this award and feel it is a testament to our Quaker concern for the earth and the well-being of all who dwell in it, which leads to our commitment to working sustainably and to our role encouraging others in the wider community.”
Quakers have made significant strides in reducing their carbon footprint:
- In 2011 Quakers in Britain made a corporate commitment to become a low-carbon, sustainable community.
- In 2013 Quakers disinvested their national funds from fossil fuel extraction companies, followed by some local Quaker meetings.
- Friends House and more than thirty Quaker meeting houses across Britain formed a group purchase consortium to source 100 percent renewable electricity from Good Energy.
- A Sustainability Toolkit, published in 2012, included a climate impact calculator and around 40 percent (about 180) of local Quaker meetings in Britain completed this in 2012. They are now using the toolkit to try to reduce their carbon footprint.
- The total carbon emissions of Friends House have been successfully reduced by 10 percent between 2013 and 2014, with an overall reduction of 21 percent since 2009.
- Friends House is zero to landfill. Waste has been recycled through Paper Round since 1997. Over a three-year period, the volume recycled equates to an approximate saving of 357,380kg of CO² and the preservation of 753 trees. Any waste that cannot be recycled or anaerobically digested through Paper Round is sent to a waste-to-energy plant.
- Friends House restaurant has been highly commended by the Sustainable Restaurant Association as London Restaurant of the Year. Through the Food Save scheme, food waste has been monitored and reduced. Local produce is sourced to minimise energy consumed in the production, transport and storage of food.
- Among many energy saving systems around Friends House, automatic tap sensors have achieved18 percent reduction in m3 consumption over a three-year period.