Twickenham RC ‘Go Green’ and reap benefits

Twickenham RC Go Green 

Cllr Martin Elengorn (centre) with Twickenham RC members, Sally Owen and James Easton 

Twickenham Rowing Club, located on Eel Pie Island, has been working hard to ensure it operates to the highest environmental standards within such a sensitive part of the River Thames. Richmond upon Thames council has now acknowledged these efforts with the ‘Go Green’ Award at Merit and Advanced level. 

As many rowing clubs are in highly visible and prominent riverscapes, environmental credentials are becoming a key part of club management plans. Futhermore, as the ARA has publicly stated, everyone who participates in rowing is entitled to do so in a safe and enjoyable environment and clubs have begun to take this on board.

In presenting the Merit and Advanced Award, Councillor Martin Elengorn, Cabinet Member for the Environment on Richmond Council, commented: "This is one of the first businesses demonstrating commitment to good environmental practice and responsible stewardship. It gives me great pleasure to present these awards, and to express support for this important local community facility."

The award was the result of an exhaustive independent audit which measured the club’s procedures to monitor and reduce items such as energy consumption, waste production, water use, travel and procurement.

"We felt that there were tremendous opportunities to identify where money could be saved, efficiencies achieved, and an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to this unique location." commented Club President Mark Ormiston, and keen environmental advocate. "What this has also done is enable us to attract funding for new facilities and support for new members, which is an added bonus all around."

Over the last twelve months the club has produced an environmental policy, showing significant decreases in electricity (down 30%) and gas (down 60%) consumption and costs, as well as in waste production. The club’s commitment to reducing their environmental impact is communicated to volunteers and club members on club notice boards, the website and through newsletters. Actions include using clearly labelled recycling bins and implementing procurement procedures such as vetting supplier’s environmental standards.

The club has developed a travel policy with support from Transport for London and South and West London Transport Conference (SWELTRAC) which has in itself paid off through funding bike racks and cycle shelters. A further grant has been provided to increase accessibility to include disabled members.

"All in all, we are pleased with the progress made so far, however; this is the beginning, we have already identified further areas for improvement, and this will be our next target for 2009." adds Mark, "as our membership grows, so will be economies and benefits to all who encounter the club and this unique location."

For further information, http://www.richmond.gov.uk/gogreen/gg_work/gg_awards