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Sustainability

Respect for the environment

At Church House Westminster, in partnership with our owner, The Corporation of the Church House, we are committed to working in a sustainable way.  We recognise that by working in a sustainable way, it brings significant benefits to our business, the community in which we operate and our supply chain. As a formal recognition of our ongoing commitment to operating in the most sustainable way we can, we are part of the Green Tourism scheme and have been accredited with a Silver award.

The following is a list of some of the things we do to minimize our impact on the environment:

Venue:

  • All new installations and refurbishments fit the most energy-efficient and sustainable products and devices as possible.
  • We have some digital signage to guide guests around the building.
  • Cleaning products used at the venue are 94% biodegradable. 
  • All towels and tissue supplied in Church House are made from at least 95% recycled paper.
  • Church House has in-house water bottling facilities that uses reusable glass bottles. Water jugs are also used if preferred by clients. Only 100% compostable cups and recycled glass bottles are supplied on the rare occasions they are requested.
  • Windows and door seals are regularly maintained to help prevent unnecessary heat loss.
  • Motion-sensitive lighting is used in the venue.

Event spaces and venue designed with well-being in mind: 

  • Most rooms offer plenty of natural daylight and stunning views of Westminster Abbey. 
  • Our location in tranquil Dean's Yard offers peace and quiet to conference delegates
  • Event spaces provide flexibility for a great variety of layouts including informal setups. Event organisers can theme the venue and our in-house audio-visual team can offer plenty of ideas to transform the rooms with lighting.
  • Church House Westminster also makes a charitable donation for every wellbeing working lunch sold. Catering menus can be designed according to client requirements which reduces wastage. 

Energy and water:

  • The venue now uses ‘green’ electricity
  • All toilets are fitted with water reduction devices to reduce the amount of water used by the building.
  • Sensory taps and toilet flushing systems have been fitted in areas of the venue, with plans to roll out to the entire venue over the coming years.
  • The venue’s energy and water usage are recorded and monitored on an annual basis.

Sustainable business practices:

  • All members of staff are trained to work in the most sustainable way possible, minimising the use of energy and production of waste wherever possible.
  • All printers are set as default to print on both sides of the paper and in black and white.
  • All paper used in-house is 100% recycled.
  • All headed stationery is printed in-house as and when required to minimise wastage.
  • All sales and marketing materials are printed on paper that is 80% recycled and 100% chlorine-free and colours used for printing are all vegetable dyes.
  • We recycle all: glass, paper, ink/copier cartridges, batteries, plastics, cans, and food.
  • Supplies provided for delegates, such as pens, note pads, flipchart paper, and coasters are all made from recycled materials.
  • We have replaced individual desk bins with centrally located collection points on each floor throughout the building.  We have thereby increased the amount of material we send to be recycled and zero waste is sent to landfill. Waste is taken to an energy-from-waste facility in South East London where it is used to generate electricity for local homes.

Travel:

  • For business travel, public transport is used wherever possible. For out of hours of travel, only ‘green’ taxi companies are used.
  • The use of public transport by visitors to the venue is encouraged. Full information on local public transport can be found on the company website and brochure.
  • Bike racks have been fitted in the venue’s garage for use by staff and delegates and information on local ‘Santander bike’ stations available.

Catering and procurement:

  • Seasonal, local produce is used wherever possible.
  • Reducing meat dishes by 20% to offer more vegetarian options; at least a quarter of our menus are plant-led
  • Food is procured from sustainable sources wherever possible.
  • Only fairly traded tea and coffee are served.
  • Leftover food is sent to a local charity for the homeless when appropriate.
  • All food waste is collected and sent for recycling.
  • The catering equipment used is energy efficient.
  • Used coffee grounds are being collected and sent away to be made into briquettes for use as fuel
  • Used crip packets are recycled into garden furniture utilising a Terracycle scheme
  • Very few straws are used and if they are required, only paper straws are supplied
  • In 2019 we signed The mia's #20percentless pledge to go plastic-free
  • On the few occasions that events require non-glass drinkware, we use 'vegware'  

Treating our people fairly:

Working with the Investors in People standard, we follow the guidelines set out in our ‘Inspiring People’ document to ensure all members of the team are treated in a fair and respectful manner.  We ensure that all staff working on-site including the staff working for the catering and cleaning contractors are paid a minimum of the London Living Wage.

A safe working environment:

All work stations are fitted with fully adjustable chairs, computer screens, and footrests to ensure a comfortable working environment for the team. All members of the team take part in compulsory safety training for the working environment.

Supporting the community in which we operate: 

  • Every year we select a charity we actively support throughout the year. Our charity for 2019 was the British Heart Foundation and we raised close to £1,500 for the BHF on our Justgiving page by means of a variety of activities including bake sales, donations for every Well-being lunch sold and swapping promotional merchandise for charitable giving at client events. 
  • We also hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning and a Wear-It-Pink BreastCancer Now Breakfast event during 2019. 
  • Our charity for 2020 is Re-engage, a charity that tackles loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in the UK. Re-engage helps thousands of older people in desperate need of companionship through their free, regular friendship groups which bring together lonely older people and local volunteers of all ages. Re-engage’s groups provide valuable opportunities to make new friends at a time in older people’s lives when they have often lost partners, dear friends, and family. The small, friendly groups have an immensely positive impact on the lives of older people and volunteers alike. This year we will be fundraising in the number of different ways such as making a donation for every Well-being menu we sell and after every internal showcase we hold, as well as bringing our team together for office fundraisers throughout 2020. We hope to raise as much as £2,500 this year. If you are visiting our Justgiving page for Re-engage, please consider donating to this worthy cause.

Read more about our newest activities promoting sustainability and reducing our venue's impact on the environment: