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Arvon and sustainability

Arvon’s environmental sustainability statement 

Arvon is committed to environmental sustainability across the whole organisation. We are actively trying to minimise the environmental impact of our activities and facilities. We also aim to act as a model for other arts companies who work in historic venues, and to disseminate our knowledge and experience across the arts community. We will also communicate our policies on sustainability to our students, tutors, partners and suppliers through our publicity media.

Our objectives are:

1    to minimise our impact on the natural environment by reducing our direct and indirect use of natural resources, our carbon footprint, and waste
2    to have a positive impact on the development of sustainable local economies, communities and networks around our writing centres
3    to be more self-sufficient in energy, food and water
4    to reduce costs

We will:

•    take decisions affecting sustainability, considering the effect on our aims over the short (up to 2 years), medium (2–5 years) and long terms (up to 25 years)
•    make strategic and business decisions, taking into account the environmental, financial, economic and social impacts of Arvon and its local, regional, national and international environments
•    develop a regularly-reviewed strategy for achieving our aims, supported by clear plans for implementation, including measurable targets and timetables
•    ensure commitment and consultation on our aims at all levels of the organisation, including trustees, staff and contractors
•    ensure that our policies, plans and outcomes are communicated effectively and regularly, to contractors, partners, funders and the general public.

Key issues:

We are concerned with all issues of environmental sustainability including but not limited to:

•    energy use – maximising potential for renewable sources and self-sufficiency for heating, hot water and electricity, as well as opportunities for reducing energy needs by improving our buildings

•    water use – re-establishing our own water supplies for each centre (each has access to its own water source but two have also been connected to the mains for reliability) and exploring the potential for water as a source of energy or other benefit

•    pollution – we are not yet consistent in preventing use of noxious chemicals (eg cleaning)

•    other resource use – opportunities for reducing our use of other resources, reusing and recycling, and management of behaviour (eg switching lights off)

•    waste and sewage – general recycling/reuse, but also options for treating sewage on site

•    transport – the impact of both suppliers and visitors

•    woodland management – where we have substantial woodland, we need structured plans to manage it as a potential material resource, as an amenity for our visitors. and to encourage wildlife and a good variety of plant species

•    biodiversity – all the centres have grounds, with a mixture of woodland and gardens, some interesting plants and animal life which we wish to encourage

•    food – our sources of food do not at present include ‘own-grown’, but each centre either has or is planning a useful kitchen garden and this is something we wish to incorporate into the domestic side of our retreats and to reduce our need for outside food sources

•    materials – where we maintain and build to improve our centres, we are keen to explore the use of on-site materials where possible, and otherwise those with good environmental performance in their production and use

In all these areas we wish to consider not only technical and infrastructure solutions, but also changes to our management and ways of working with the buildings and resources, to reduce wastage and our environmental impact.