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Who we are

The Corporation of the Church House was founded as a charity in 1888 by Royal Charter. Located in Dean’s Yard, the building was designed to be a home for the Church Assembly (now the General Synod) of the Church of England. The multi-purpose events venue, Church House Westminster, was launched in 1990 and is a wholly-owned trading subsidiary of the Corporation.

The policy has been created to reflect the operations of the whole of the Corporation of the Church House, including its subsidiary. It further follows that the commitment to the future development of the policy is supported by the entire team of the Corporation, including its subsidiary.

Background

We are conscious of our social responsibilities with regards to helping the environment through our working practices. Our objective is to sustain our environment for our descendants and rehabilitate any damage previously done. We believe that our corporate responsibilities go beyond our property borders and therefore every effort will be made to conserve resources throughout our operations.

We will not only meet existing environmental laws and regulations but will endeavour to go beyond the status quo, seek out and adopt techniques and approaches that position us ahead of our fellow industry peers.

The Grade II listed building from which we operate was built in 1937, which does place constraints on us regarding what can be achieved from a technical perspective.

Our growth depends on our abilities to minimise or eliminate our impacts on our surroundings. Our ultimate success depends on the environment of England, without a beautiful country, our clients and tenants will cease to come. Our future and the future of our environment are interconnected.

We actively seek to minimise and manage the environmental impact of our operations and offerings.

We wish to...

  • Integrate environmental management into our everyday operations
  • Improve our environmental efficiency
  • Help our clients and tenants reduce their carbon footprint using our building

1. Awareness and commitment

Our policy towards the environment will be readily available and promoted to tenants, clients, staff, and stakeholders.  We will endeavour to make sure staff and clients are familiar with and implement our environmental commitment and objectives.

  • The Environmental policy will be available on our websites
  • The Environmental policy will be shared with all clients, tenants, and wider stakeholders
  • The Environmental policy will be included as part of any agreement with a third-party supplier including our catering partner, cleaning company, and security team.
  • We commit to monitoring and complying with all relevant environmental laws and relevant standards and practices
  • We pledge to continue to actively seek out and adopt new sustainable and green technology
  • We will have an open line of communications with other corporate institutions to share ideas and look at centres of excellence.

2. TRANSPORT

Wherever possible, we will look to reduce the impact on the environment with regards to transport.

  • For out of hours of travel, only use ‘green’ taxi companies are used
  • Bike racks have been fitted in the venue’s garage for use by staff and delegates and information on local ‘Santander’ bike stations are available
  • We offer an interactive virtual tour for event organisers to explore the venue online, saving travel miles to and from the venue.

We will

  • Seek and employ local products and services to reduce transport costs
  • Our team will avoid unnecessary travel and will use energy-efficient vehicles and driving styles, where possible
  • Encourage the use of public transport, cycle, or walking
  • Limit, where possible, the use of motor vehicles
  • Look for ways to support the expanding electric vehicle’s network
Location

3. WATER

We will look to reduce water usage in all of our operations.

  • Sensory taps have been fitted in key areas of the building and this will be extended to all areas over the coming years
  • Urinals have been updated to the latest water-saving technology.

Future projects will include

  • Reducing the buildings infrastructure water used, with smart installations and monitoring
  • Recording and monitoring the water usage on a regular basis

4. Energy and carbon 

We will recommend all new installations and refurbishment of our spaces, as well as spaces utilised by tenants, fits the most energy-efficient and sustainable products and devices as possible. Our major goal is to have a carbon-neutral building by 2030 at the latest. This will include a major renovation of the fabric and ornaments of the building as well as renewal of energy and mechanics of the site. Future activities include

  • Replacing gas equipment with green-energy appliances
  • Sourcing of certified green energy only
  • Temperature control in all areas of the building
  • Measurement and metering of all office space
  • Motion-sensitive lighting
  • Exclusive use of LEDs
  • Reducing lift use through signage and staff and client behaviour change
  • Reducing heat loss by increasing thermal insulation within the systems
  • Implementing heat reclaim systems to reduce energy usage
  • Looking at cutting-new-edge technologies to support the policy
  • Integrating smart-energy management systems to improve the overall control
All change in the kitchen

5. FOOD 

Church House Westminster has looking after our planet at the heart of the way of working as well as the sourcing and cooking of food. The catering partner will commit to

  • Utilising an in-house water bottling facility that uses reusable glass bottles. Water jugs will also be offered to clients.
  • Sourcing seasonal and local produce, wherever possible
  • Banning the use of straws
  • Eliminating the use of plastic
  • Increasing the range of plant-based menu options on offer
  • Procuring food from sustainable sources and only using high welfare meat
  • Offering only fair-traded hot beverages
  • Diverting any surplus food to the local community
  • Collecting used coffee grounds, to be sent away to be made into briquettes for use as fuel and recycling used crisp packets into garden furniture utilising a Teracycle scheme
Plant-based day delegate menu launch

6. MATERIALS AND WASTE

Our teams are trained to work in the most sustainable way possible, minimising the use of energy and production of waste wherever possible.

  • All printers are…
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Our teams are trained to work in the most sustainable way possible, minimising the use of energy and production of waste wherever possible.

  • All printers are set as default to print in black and white and using both sides of the paper
  • All paper used in-house is 100% recycled or sustainably sourced
  • All paper, ink/copier cartridges, batteries, and cans are recycled
  • Supplies provided for clients, such as pens, note pads, flipchart paper, and coasters are all made from recycled materials
  • Towels and tissues are to be made from at least 95% recycled paper
  • Cleaning products are to be 94% biodegradable
  • Materials used in building fabric and engineering repairs will be sustainably sourced
  • All new installation for refurbishments of infrastructure materials will be responsibly disposed of by us, as well as our suppliers and contractors
  • All waste that can be recycled, will be.

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WELL-BEING

Our event spaces are designed with well-being in mind with most rooms offering plenty of natural daylight and stunning views of Westminster Abbey and tranquil Dean’s Yard, providing an oasis of peace and quiet to visitors. Event spaces also offer great flexibility for an array of informal layouts and event formats, and with 19 rooms the opportunity is there to allocate quiet rooms for your event for use during breaks or for meditation. Event organisers can theme the venue spaces and our in-house audio visual team can offer plenty of creative ideas to transform our rooms with innovative and ambient lighting options.

Our Head Chef has created a well-being working lunch menu featuring good mood foods that are healthy with sustained energy-giving properties to avoid that dreadful energy slump in the afternoon.

Well-being and mental health

COMMUNITY

We care deeply for our Westminster neighbourhood and actively participate in local community activities, from giving children’s toys to local nurseries to donating food items to local food banks. We realise that we are stronger when we work together and collaborate, as we continue to partner with other Westminster venues and local hotels to secure conferences and events in Westminster.

We undertake a number of charity fundraising causes every year. Our charity for 2020 is Re-engage, a charity based in Westminster that tackles loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in the UK.

We commit to providing an inclusive welcome and accessibility to the largest audience possible.  We have made all reasonable efforts to comply with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 to provide an accessible venue for those attending events at Church House.

We have clear guidelines in place detailing how we use your data in line with our privacy policy and we have also detailed our website’s cookie policy.

We provide a safe working environment for our teams including work stations fitted with fully adjustable chairs, computer screens, and footrests to ensure a comfortable working environment. All members of the team take part in compulsory safety training for the working environment.

We treat our team fairly and in a respectful manner following the guidelines set ou

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We care deeply for our Westminster neighbourhood and actively participate in local community activities, from giving children’s toys to local nurseries to donating food items to local food banks. We realise that we are stronger when we work together and collaborate, as we continue to partner with other Westminster venues and local hotels to secure conferences and events in Westminster.

We undertake a number of charity fundraising causes every year. Our charity for 2020 is Re-engage, a charity based in Westminster that tackles loneliness and social isolation amongst older people in the UK.

We commit to providing an inclusive welcome and accessibility to the largest audience possible.  We have made all reasonable efforts to comply with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 to provide an accessible venue for those attending events at Church House.

We have clear guidelines in place detailing how we use your data in line with our privacy policy and we have also detailed our website’s cookie policy.

We provide a safe working environment for our teams including work stations fitted with fully adjustable chairs, computer screens, and footrests to ensure a comfortable working environment. All members of the team take part in compulsory safety training for the working environment.

We treat our team fairly and in a respectful manner following the guidelines set out in our ‘Inspiring People’ document. We ensure that all staff working on-site including the staff working for the catering and cleaning contractors are paid a minimum of the Real London Living Wage.

We respect and value differences. We understand that when people from different backgrounds and with different points of view work together, the value we create can be powerful. We always strive to be inclusive but there is always room for improvement, whether it is taking the time to listen, offering better support or increasing diversity. We will never stop driving this change.

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INNOVATION

We pledge to continue to actively seek out and adopt new event technology applications as and when these are developed to enhance the guest experience of events.

We encourage organisers to choose digital for event marketing in order to reduce the impact of events on the environment. Dedicated event websites, event apps, online registration and virtual check-ins can provide real data-driven events.

With new Covid-secure events we continue to evolve our in-house virtual and hybrid event technology and we also recommend using contact tracing tools such as the miaTrusted Trace tool.

ECOLOGY

We grow herbs for our kitchen and we have a plan to plant wildflowers and keep bees in the little garden on the 1st floor, next to the Bishop Partridge Hall.

We offer a range of live natural plants for hire which is not only cost-effective but great for well-being. Where floral arrangements are a must, our florist will use seasonal flowers.

3 Positive outcomes for sustainability, post-Covid   

The pandemic showed us that we are all interlinked. How will we rebuild with this lesson in mind?

Accessibility    

We commit to providing an inclusive welcome and accessibility to the largest audience possible.

Autism Friendly 

Find out how we provided an inclusive and accessible venue for delegates attending the AT-Autism conference.

Food Trends 

Our Head Chef talks sustainability, zero-waste and well-being on World Food Day 2019.

CHURCH HOUSE NEWSLETTER

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