Across WWT we are committed to minimising our negative environmental impacts and ensure continuous improvement in our sustainability across the organisation. We aim to embed sustainability into everything we do. London Wetland Centre is no exception, and we have a huge range of sustainability initiatives across all areas of the site.
All of the electricity used on site is 100% renewable. A proportion of our electricity (equivalent to the electricity use of around 10 medium sized houses) is now provided by solar panels on the roof of the visitor centre, installed last year and saving over 19 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. Any additional electricity we buy is renewable and our gas comes with a frack-free promise.
You may have noticed our raised ponds in the courtyard? These are part of a Sustainable Drainage System (SUD) here at London Wetland Centre. Rainwater collected in guttering is captured and diverted into these ponds, creating mini habitats for a variety of species. We even had ducks nesting in them last spring!
We have three sustainable gardens onsite, including the Rain Garden, which is specially designed to collect and conserve rainwater. The majority of hides on our site have green roofs (made up of moss and succulents) these save rainwater, insulate the buildings below and provide a habitat for insects.
Across the site we use low flow taps and toilets, minimising the amount of water we use. We’ve also replaced paper hand towels in the toilets with energy efficient hand driers which create no waste in the form of used hand towels.
In the café, all of our takeaway packaging is certified compostable, and all food waste and packaging from the café is composted. We don’t sell drinks in plastic bottles – only recyclable cans or cartons for children’s drinks. There is also a water fountain in the courtyard to fill up your own reusable bottle, or the café will fill up bottles for free too. The café also offer a discount on hot drinks if you bring your own coffee cup.
We offer a range of vegetarian and vegan options, as a meat-free diet is associated with a reduced carbon footprint. In January we took part in ‘Veganuary’ offering a range of new vegan dishes. The most popular will be added to the permanent menu, alongside the existing range.
The shop sells a range of eco-friendly products encouraging visitors to live a more sustainable lifestyle. The range currently includes beeswax wraps, reusable bottles and coffee mugs and even children’s clothing made from recycled plastic bottles!
As well as sustainability, we’re all about biodiversity. Our reserve is managed in a way to maximise biodiversity on-site i.e. provide a suitable home for as many different species as possible. This work has been going ever since the site was created, and the centre is home to 2,399 species today.
For more information about sustainability at WWT see here: https://www.wwt.org.uk/who-we-are/sustainability