The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, within the National Forest, has installed 250 solar panels on the roof of its award-winning Remembrance Centre building, delivering on its pledge to reduce the site’s carbon footprint. The solar installation has saved over 10,500Kg of CO2 emissions since going live in mid-March, equivalent to the same amount of CO2 absorbed by 583 trees on an annual basis or would be produced while circumnavigating the globe by car more than one and a half times.
Reflecting the Arboretum’s commitment to using local suppliers when practical, the 99KW system was installed on the flat roof by solar specialists The Energy Box Ltd, a family-owned business based in Staffordshire. The 250 solar panels exemplify how the Arboretum is delivering on its pledge to adopt additional sustainable practices to safeguard the 150-acre woodland and garden site for future generations.
“Our sustainability pledges are embedded into our daily operations and long-term planning to ensure that the Arboretum is showing leadership through an improved environmental footprint,” said Mark Ellis, National Memorial Arboretum Lead. “The hundreds of memorials within our 150-acre site encapsulate thousands of incredible stories of service and sacrifice, and as their custodian, we have a responsibility to ensure that they are protected from the destructive impacts of climate change. The installation of solar panels is just the latest example of how we are delivering on our commitment to adopting and advocating for ethical and sustainable practices whilst maintaining a first-class visitor experience.”
In 2021, as part of its 20th anniversary commemorations, the National Memorial Arboretum made a series of pledges focused on sustainability as it outlined its vision for modern Remembrance. They include efforts to reduce the site’s carbon footprint, and encourage the use of public transport, alongside a commitment to be an ethical buyer and plans to work with partners to encourage sustainable living.
Recently several members of the Arboretum team have undertaken Carbon Literacy training to increase their awareness of the impact of various activities and ensure that sustainability is a key consideration in day-to-day decision-making. This follows the introduction of several other more sustainable practices including the use of electric buggies and grounds maintenance equipment on site, the ethical sourcing of materials where possible, reducing food waste and achieving zero waste to landfill, and campaigning for better local public transport links allowing visitors to be less reliant on travel by car.
Earlier this week, the Royal British Legion, parent charity of the Arboretum, announced the introduction of a new easily recyclable plastic-free poppy. The new plastic-free poppy is 100% paper sourced from renewable sources, reducing carbon emissions by 40%.
For those wanting to find out more about our efforts to create a green environment can find more information here: https://www.thenma.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/sustainability