My name’s Lizzie and I’m Head of Technical Resources at Midlands Arts Centre. I’ve been a member of MAC’s Green Group for several years and occasionally I’m asked to speak about the environmental work that MAC is doing. Although I’m happy to act as a spokesperson for all the work around sustainability that we do, it’s in our regular group meetings that a lot of the ideas are created and finalised. We’ve recently had a rebrand: members of this group champion the environmental agenda throughout the organisation and beyond, so rather than a plain old Green Group we are now known as the Green Champions!
Members of the Green Champions are from across the organisation, and each bring their own different skills to the group. Recently members from MAC’s Communications Team have made some great improvements to the Sustainable MAC page on our website which makes it much clearer and easier to navigate. Our Catering Department are very environmentally conscious; bagging up used coffee grounds and making them available to gardeners and allotment holders was an initiative from their Green Champion. The Arts Team regularly programme events with environmental themes, and all of this is brilliantly administered by our Administration representative.
In my role I’m responsible for MAC’s electricity and gas use, so I’ve led on things like a rolling programme of replacing lighting with low energy LED alternatives, and adding extra insulation to boiler room pipework (I realise it’s not the most exciting of things, but all the extra little jackets around the pipework do look nice and cosy, and our gas bill this winter should be all the better for it). I’m also responsible for ensuring that MAC recycles as much as possible, and it was great to be able to support the Catering Department’s choice to make nearly all of our disposables Vegware™, by 'closing the loop' and setting up a special waste collection so that the used Vegware can be composted properly.
All of the Champions really come together at our annual EcoFest event, where we can showcase the work that MAC does and well as linking up with other local organisations. There’s a review of this year’s event coming up in a future blog. We also organise events for staff such as our Plastic Free Lunch Challenge, which this year will be coinciding with European Week for Waste Reduction 16-24 November. For every meal that MAC staff bring into work over the week, we ask them to try to avoid single use plastics, which we hope will help them to reconsider their everyday plastic use.
The Green Champions meet roughly every quarter. It’s a fairly informal meeting where everyone can share ideas and insights. One thing that’s always on the agenda is to review MAC’s Environmental Action Plan; this is a live document where we note all of our objectives across the different areas. At each meeting we look at each item to make sure it’s on track, archive things which have been completed and add new suggestions. This blog was a new suggestion for the action plan at our last meeting, and we hope it will give a regular insight into our work from the perspective of a few of our Green Champions.