Royal Household joins the UK Fit for the Future Network

The organisation supporting the British Monarchy, the Royal Household, has joined carbon cutting network Fit for the Future, launched by the National Trust and sustainable energy charity Ashden in 2013.
Royal Household joins the UK Fit for the Future Network

The addition of the Royal Household to the Fit for the Future Network marks the successful one-year anniversary of the carbon cutting organisation that seeks to bring together some of Britain’s biggest landowners. It now has an international membership of 85 land-owning, charitable and sustainability organisations, providing a model of change where leading organisations can share practical tools and techniques to help achieve their own cleaner energy targets, thereby contributing to the UK’s climate change target of 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The Royal Household operates from Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Queen's Galleries. Other key members of the network include the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Church of England, RSPB, Oxfam, YHA (England and Wales), Northern Rail, the University of Oxford and Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Several local authorities and schools have also signed up. Together the Network’s member organisations look after 18 world heritage sites and more than 665,000 hectares, which equates to around three per cent of all British land – or roughly the area of Devon.

A system has been developed by the Network so that members can share advice and offer feedback on energy saving and generation projects. This is carried out through workshops to evaluate best practice, site visits and regular conversations between members.

“After carrying out an energy audit we began to implement ‘quick wins’ – that is to insulate, replace lamps and manage our properties in a more efficient way” said Andrew Muskett, Building Projects Officer at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. “Once this was achieved we started to install more sustainable heating systems and solar panels. We have put the lessons learned from the Fit for the Future Network into practice and that’s helped us to reduce energy bills and be a more sustainable Authority. The great thing about the network is that you learn about what didn’t go so well, as well as the success stories; by sharing this information it prevents us from making the same mistakes.”

Helen Ghosh, Director-General of the National Trust added that the UK needs to do everything it can to reduce carbon emissions in order to look after the landscapes, wildlife and heritage treasured by the nation. The Fit for the Future Network provides a real opportunity to harness the power of many for the benefit of our landscape. It helps the National Trust and other organisations share innovative solutions and work together to achieve greater things. In addition, by sharing learning and expertise, the Trust can also reduce costs and that means more money for charitable objectives.

The National Trust operates an award-winning marine source 300 kW heat pump scheme which heats the 18th century Plas Newydd mansion on Anglesey. This also provides a learning resource for network members and was initially constructed as part of the Trust’s Renewable Energy Investment Programme, after sharing knowledge with the RNLI on its existing water source heat pump at the Lizard Lifeboat Station in Cornwall. The Trust is now helping to inform and support similar future projects planned by Ullapool Harbour Trust and Historic Scotland.

“At Ashden we’ve learned that peer-to-peer learning is invaluable in spreading best practice in saving energy, cutting fuel bills and reducing carbon emissions, and the rapid growth of the Network demonstrates that many others feel the same” said Ashden Founder Director, Sarah Butler-Sloss. “The fact that such a diverse range of organisations is now on-board gives us renewed hope that heritage buildings can dramatically reduce their carbon emissions.”

While it has made great strides in its first year with funding from the National Trust and Ashden, the Network’s fast-growing appeal means further external funding is needed to ensure it can continue to thrive.

For additional information:

Fit for the Future Network

The Royal Household

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