Glasgow Science Centre - case study
Glasgow Science Centre is the first Science Centre in Scotland (and the UK) to secure Green Key certification. There is an excellent environmentally sustainable culture present and well-established procedures for well-coordinated environmental management.
We were delighted to hear more about Glasgow Science Centre's journey to Green Key certification from Joshua Brennan, their Environmental, Health and Safety Advisor.
Q. Why did you make environmental improvements a priority in your organisation?
A. Our mission at Glasgow Science Centre is to engage and inspire people to discover science and technology and the relevance it has to their own lives. This includes the science and technology behind sustainability. We hope by engaging people in these topics, that our mission has a positive environmental impact. However, we recognised that by delivering on our mission our operations were having a negative environmental impact because of the energy we use, emissions from our business travel and from the waste that we dispose of.
We acknowledged that we had to make environmental improvements in our organisation, we owe it to our visitors, our staff, our local community and quite simply it is the right thing to do.
Q. Why did you choose Green Key?
A. The way in which organisations interact with the environment is becoming an increasing concern for many people. At Glasgow Science Centre, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and want to demonstrate to our staff, our visitors, partners and the public that we are operating responsibly and working hard to reduce our environmental impact.
Green Key is an internationally recognised programme and requires that organisations meet a high standard before being awarded and we knew that achieving this would give our visitors confidence that we are committed to our sustainability journey.
Q. What were the outcomes from your Green Key certification?
A. Working through the audit criteria as part of our Green Key accreditation, we were able to identify areas where we were performing well and areas where we could improve. As part of the process, we found that there were less harmful options for our cleaning products and so we changed the products that we used. The accreditation process also helped us improve our recording processes for energy, waste and water and the way that we record environmental projects and initiatives.
Q. What support did Keep Scotland Beautiful provide?
A. Keep Scotland Beautiful were always available to help guide us through the process. The support provided ranged from setting up video calls to answer questions and detail what was required, to providing ongoing email support. The support provided by Keep Scotland Beautiful meant that the process was clear and we knew exactly what to expect.
Q. What were the benefits?
A. Working through the Green Key materials meant that we were able to identify areas of our operation that were harmful to the environment and take action to reduce the impact. For example, substituting our cleaning products for less harmful products meant that we were both reducing our impact on our environment and ensuring our workplace became slightly safer and healthier.
Achieving the Green Key also means that our visitors, staff and partners will have confidence that we are committed to, and making real progress with, our sustainability journey.
Q. What’s next?
A. We plan to continue working through the Green Key guidance to ensure we retain our accreditation following our next audit. We are already meeting some of the requirements, which has put us in a good position for success.
We will also continue working on our sustainability plan and working with colleagues, visitors and partners to make a real and positive impact.
What's the process to apply for Green Key certification?
Please see our Green Key webpage, or get in touch with our Senior Officer, Awards, Jamie Ormiston to discuss your requirements and timescales.