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Our Meetings and Events Green Story : Friends House
As a Quaker run venue, our commitment to sustainability and green meetings started a long time ago.
In 2009, we decided to drastically reduce our carbon emissions here at Friends House. More than ten years down the line, we have reduced our carbon footprint by 29%. Taps, bulbs, energy provider, we changed everything in order to be as green as possible. Our energy is free of any fossil fuels. We have also installed a rainwater harvesting system in our garden to minimise our water use in the garden.
A few years ago, we also installed some beehives on our roof top. This has been a great experience for staff and for the bees too (we'd like to think!). We can see them pollinate the flowers of our garden and every year we can enjoy some delicious honey. We used some of it in our vegetarian restaurant Seed Kitchen, in our "roof to table" approach, the urban pendant to "farm to table". And it doesn't stop there, we're now thinking about greening our roof, and why not produce some herbs and vegetables?
In order to make our events even greener, we also ditched single-use plastic. We don't use it in our venue and use ecofriendly compostable or recyclable packaging and materials. Take our event catering bento boxes for example, they are biodegradable and compostable. And what's inside is locally sourced. We think that reducing meat and fish in our catering also helps tackle climate change. We try to encourage customers to have either vegetarian or vegan meals (but they can of course have meat). And they don't cost more, if not less, so it's a win-win situation for our venue, customers and the planet.
We believe in the triple bottom line or 3PS: people – planet – profit. The profit we make should not negatively impact people or the planet. Before the pandemic hit, our profit had grown year on year. So, being sustainable was profitable and will still be profitable. There's only one way forward: with us, events still won't cost the earth.
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