Sustainability and CSR

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Friends House

At Friends House, we are committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. We want to reduce our impact on the environment and promote an inclusive workplace and society for all.

We take action to reduce our carbon emissions, cut our waste, and procure goods and services in an ethically and environmentally responsible way.

We value our staff and want our venue to be a safe working environment where everyone is offered the same opportunities.

We strive for an inclusive society where disadvantaged groups are considered and given opportunities to be part of the community.

Our sustainability and CSR policy has had some very visible results and a positive impact on our business. We are one of just a few London venues to receive a Green Tourism Gold accreditation. With us, events don’t cost the earth. Find out more by downloading The Company Annual Review 2018 [PDF: 1.58 mb - new window].

Sustainability in action

Green energy

  • We use 100% renewable energy, provided by Good Energy.
  • Our energy is free from any form of fossil fuels or nuclear energy sources.
  • We use LED lighting in the venue.

Carbon reduction

  • We started working with Carbon Smart to capture our carbon footprint in 2009.
  • We have reduced our carbon footprint by 29% since 2009.
  • We are Carbon Smart Gold Certified.
  • We use biogas from Ørsted to heat the building and have reduced our heating emissions by 91% since 2017.
  • The carbon footprint per delegate per day has been reduced by 30% since 2017.
  • We are one of the founding members of the Camden Climate Change Alliance, and were given an award for reducing our carbon footprint year on year in 2019.

Sustainable business practices

  • We created the Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030 for Friends House.
  • We will consider the three P’s – People, Planet, Profit – equally in our decision-making process.

Catering and procurement

Cruelty-free food

We were one of the first venues to gain a Good Egg Award and a Good Chicken Award, given by Compassion in World Farming. All our eggs and poultry products served for our event catering or in our cafe come from farms where chickens were cage-free.

Waste minimisation

  • We have a zero waste to landfill policy and have managed year on year to maintain our zero waste objective.
  • All our waste is recycled and treated by our supplier First Mile.
  • Our staff are encouraged to recycle in the building. There are recycling points on every floor of the venue and in every office space.
  • We signed the MIA 20% less pledge – committing to reduce our use of single-use plastics by a further 20% by 2025.

Water management

  • In 2016, we installed a rainwater harvesting system in our garden.
  • Our toilets and wash basins are equipped with short flush and tap control systems.

Conservation and ecosystem

  • We have three beehives on our roof. The bees contribute to the Euston ecosystem by pollinating the flowers and trees in the area, beginning with our own garden.
  • Find out more about beekeeping at Friends House in this Eustontowner article.

Travel

There is a cycle to work scheme available for all our staff.

Corporate social responsibility at Friends House

Treating staff fairly

  • We are a Living Wage Employer and pay staff above the London Living Wage, that currently stands at £10.55.
  • There is currently a 1:4 ratio between the highest and lowest paid member of staff

Working with disadvantaged groups

We launched the Bake The Difference programme to help ex-offenders integrate into society through practical and theoretical cooking and baking skills.

Helping those in need

  • Friends House customers can buy a hot meal for someone in need through our Suspended Soup Scheme. When someone buys a Suspended Soup, the Company matches it like for like.
  • With the help of Toilet Twinning, we have twinned our toilets.