Royal Northern College of Music
The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) formed in 1973 from the merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music with the Northern School of Music. As well as an international centre for education and training the College is home to four public venues that host a varied and unique performance programme showcasing student performances alongside visiting artists and ensembles. It is also the only UK Music Conservatoire to receive the award for to establish a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
RNCM has a history of considering the world around them and implementing sustainable practices into their operations. For example the Purchasing Manager has ensured that purchasing from consortia (such as the energy contracts) include criteria for sustainability and consortia contracts for office furniture are sourced from sustainable sources. They have also investigated their use of raw materials to substitute less environmentally damaging options where possible.
Their Carbon Management Plan is a comprehensive report of their practices at the time and objectives for the future. At the time they were already measuring energy usage and engaged an energy consultant to make improvements to building controls and technologies to reduce emissions and costs. The College uses Building Management Systems (BMS) to control heating, humidity, ventilation and air conditioning. Part of the system was upgraded in 2009 to improve control and further developments will be implemented throughout the lifetime of this plan. Systems are web enabled allowing greater access and improved functionality. The last assessment was undertaken in September 2010 and has provided a series of small infrastructure projects that have been approved and with the right funding will hopefully put in place in the not too distant future. These projects include controls, lighting and various pipe/plant projects.
As part of their communications the college have the Environment Working Group which is made up of key representatives from across the College (including the student body), they provide the link to and from staff and students throughout the implementation of the plan. There is a Green Transport Champion on the Environment Working Group and together with University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Central Manchester Hospitals, the college launched the bus route 147 in 2005. The buses are electric hybrid vehicles and are subsidised, providing the cheapest greenest route in Manchester and a vital transport link for staff, students and visitors.
They use a local supplier for recycling and any residual waste is locally sorted, resulting in only 1% of waste going to landfill. Through working with GB Recycling UK they have managed to divert 65 tonnes of waste, with 100% recovery of food waste. Innovation is vital to the RNCM’s sustainability journey. GB Recycling UK supply a new starch-based biodegradable product that is solely available from them, and the catering team have recently introduced travel mugs to reduce the number of takeaway cardboard cups. Catering has also changed from plastic four-gallon milk bottles to cardboard Pergal containers (which can then be recycled). Their supplier for dry goods is ISO14001 certified and as well as using fairtrade products, sourcing products locally they also collect used oil so it can be taken and used for fuel.
The target for carbon management has set the College on a course for a 25% cut in emissions by 2020. If the College is able to leverage external funding for larger projects such as insulation and renewables then the target could be further increased to 25% by 2015 and 35% by 2020.
RNCM is a member of the Manchester Cultural Leaders’ Environmental Forum (MCLEF), a partnership facilitaed by Julie's Bicycle.
MCLEF grew out of a desire to promote and share good environmental practice, and the recognition that good practice can be significantly enabled by working collaboratively. Read more >