Towner recognises that its activities have an impact on the environment, especially in relation to energy consumption, material usage, and visitor and staff travel to the gallery. We are committed to ensuring sustainability awareness informs all aspects of decision-making across the organisation. As a major civic institution in Eastbourne - in receipt of annual funding from the Local Authority and occupying a council-owned building - we recognise our role in supporting Eastbourne Borough Council’s commitment to be ‘Eastbourne Carbon Neutral’ by 2030, and their associated Climate Emergency Strategy & Action Plan. We will work with the Council to identify collaborative projects or initiatives that can support this objective, such as developing green power sources at Towner.
This policy provides the overarching framework for Towner’s Sustainable Development Action Plan, which includes specific targets and objectives to deliver the commitments and ambitions below - to ensure that the gallery’s activities are managed in a way that maximises positive impacts and minimises negative impacts on the environment, on people and on the local community, as well as full compliance with relevant legislation.
Employee and Visitor Engagement
· Our commitment to sustainability is articulated in our induction process and through our staff engagement programme – Stop! Think Green - which articulates our expectation for all staff and volunteers to place sustainability at the centre of decision making at both a personal and organisational level.
· We encourage our employees and volunteers to contribute to our action plan. We actively identify opportunities to connect with other ‘green’ organisations and campaigns and promote these to our staff/vols and our audiences.
· A member of the Senior Management Team (Deputy Director) leads on sustainability and reports on our action plan at quarterly Trustee Meetings.
· We aim to increase public awareness of sustainability issues in our publicity materials and also on site, encouraging our visitors to support our work in this area and consider their own impact on the environment.
· We offer subsidised/free venue hire to community organisations presenting events or activities that encourage positive action and debate on environmental issues (in addition to our own programme).
· As an accredited museum with large gallery spaces and an Art Store our energy usage is high. This is primarily due to the need to maintain 24hr/365 environmental controls in these spaces. We proactively monitor and fine-tune this system in accordance to the requirements of each exhibition, identifying opportunities to reduce controls wherever possible whilst still ensuring artworks are protected.
· We actively follow and contribute to sectoral-wide debate on conservation requirements versus energy use.
· We are committed to a complete move to LED lighting throughout the building.
· We are committed to reducing our use of non-renewable energy and are keen to develop our own sustainable energy supply.
· In recent years we have reviewed how we present our exhibitions and other activities with an increased focus on minimising waste, reusing materials and sourcing products with lower environmental impact, alongside more strategic planning of exhibition schedules to reduce the need for additional build.
· We have identified and are now working with community partners who receive and reuse installation waste materials.
· The ethos of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, is promoted amongst employees and visitors, and clearly defined recycling facilities are provided for a range of materials including paper, card, plastics, metal, glass and wood.
· We are Ambassadors for Plastic Free Eastbourne, and we are working towards elimination of any single use plastic across all our activities.
· We encourage use of local, sustainable, ethically sourced products and services, for exhibitions, in our shop and café and for day-to-day operations in the gallery.
· For formally procured work we ask tender applicants to provide evidence of their commitment to sustainability.
· We will favour working with partners/businesses who demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability.
· We will proactively promote details of how to travel to the gallery by foot, bicycle and public transport across all our platforms.
· We carry out surveys of our customers to find out how they travel to the gallery to investigate if any transport means could be improved or promoted further.
· Bicycle racks are provided at the gallery and cycling and walking are both proactively promoted via special trails and events.
· We will identify other ways of encouraging energy efficient travel, such as lobbying for electric car charging points close to our building.
· We offer a Cycle to Work scheme for staff to encourage cycle use.
· As well as practical measures to reduce waste and energy use outlined above, we recognise that our exhibitions and other activities (learning, cinema, talks) offer a powerful opportunity to present and explore environmental themes and to celebrate artists working in this field. We will continue to seek out and support opportunities to present such work across our programme and will encourage visitor engagement with associated themes in a variety of ways.
· In our role as a community hub we will present and promote events that encourage community debate and discussion on environmental issues.
This policy is reviewed annually and updated to reflect new initiatives and developments. If you have any questions regarding the policy, please contact: Niamh Pearce, Deputy Director Niamh.firstname.lastname@example.org