Thursday, 4 June 2009

Environmental Policy is Launched

EP Launch Festival 2009

On Saturday 30th May, we launched our new Environmental Policy in style with a festival in the garden, DJs and a film powered by bicycles, a free BBQ, workshops, stalls and a surprising amount of organic pear cider! The environment must have sensed what we were up to and been pleased with our new initiatives as the weather was absolutely perfect!

…So where did our journey start? It’s a bit hard to say – it was mostly a dawning realisation that things can’t go on as they are. About 9 months ago, The Castle’s CEO Steve Taylor approached the core managers and the board of directors with his thoughts about the state of the planet. He’d been reading up on climate change, carbon emissions and peak oil and become certain that if he didn’t act now in any and every way he could then he too would be to blame for runaway global warming – the point of no return for human life on our planet.

Needless to say, if we weren’t already switched on to the urgency of the situation (and some had been for years) we all got excited by Steve’s approach that “now is not the time to panic or despair, now is the time to act!” as it became obvious that we can’t rely on governments to help us, and it is not enough to make individual changes in our own lives – businesses like us HAVE to change the way we do things.

Since last September, The Castle managers and staff have been reading books, watching films, debating vegetarianism, planting vegetables, going through the rubbish, looking at light bulbs, writing policy and trying not to panic. Finally around April we came up with our Vision Statement:

Our aim is to make The Castle Climbing Centre a benchmark for environmental and economic sustainability and to demonstrate that there is a place for sport and commerce in a sustainable future without compromising financial success and high standards.

The full Environmental Policy (EP) can be found here

And a thankyou letter to staff from Audrey here.

Included in it are our goals of:
  • Producing our own energy
  • Capturing our own water
  • Zero waste to landfill by 2015

No greenwash here!

Our launch party was to be a celebration of our exciting new policy that has brought about so many changes since we began just talking about it, and with some help from our friends it was one of the best festivals The Castle has ever seen. (We might even do it every year…)

It wouldn’t have been what it was without all the other inspiring organisations who joined us on the day:
Magnificent Revolution (bicycle-powered DJ, film and workshop)
The Energy Saving Trust (info on helping everyone save energy in their homes)
Greenpeace (info on taking action for the environment. And lending us their tents)
Climate Camp (info on camping for climate action)
Growing Communities (organic local veg boxes)
The Pangea Project (veggie BBQ and delicious curries)
AK Press (Anarchist and Environmental literature)
Small Mountains (illustrations of the EP journey)
The Age of Stupid (the film)
Transition Finsbury Park (part of the Transition Towns Network)
Ecoclimber (climb harder, climb greener)
Ecoactive (the worms!)
Sustain London (the alliance for better food and farming and the lovely Ida with a planting workshop)
Capital Growth (2012 new green spaces in London by 2012)
London Plains (seasonal cookery demo. Get in touch with Deborah via Growing Communities)
The DJs: Ed, Mike and Simon.
(sorry if I missed anyone!)

Of course our journey does not stop here – it has only just begun!

Finally – the biggest thanks must go to you, the humble climber. For getting excited, for getting involved, for coming along and joining us in our love of climbing. It’s our love of climbing that has got us where we are and we hope to help preserve our wonderful climbing habitats for future generations.


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