Leeds aims to be carbon neutral by 2030: Here’s how the City’s Independent Venues are making a difference

Choosing Leeds for your next event means choosing a city that is working to reduce its carbon footprint, reduce pollution and noise, promote cycling and walking and the use of public transport whilst building sustainable infrastructure for the future. 

Leeds City Council’s Energy and Carbon Plan has set 2030 as a target to be carbon neutral, and as the conference industry sets out its own aim for carbon neutrality by 2050 Conference Leeds’ independent venues are leading the way to reach the joint goal. 

Reduce, reuse, and recycle 

Recycling, or using recycled materials, is a simple and effective way that venues and delegates are minimising waste to help reduce carbon emissions. However, Leeds’ independent venues have taken this a step further by implementing waste reduction practices to shrink their carbon footprints. 

The Terrace operates a ‘no waste to landfill’ policy. This means on the rare occasion waste cannot be recycled or reduced, The Terrace will instead convert it into energy that ensures their facilities continue to run safely and securely all whilst doing good for the planet. 

Shine has also implemented a recycling programme, which so far has diverted over 10 tonnes of waste away from landfill as a result of replacing all plastic beverage bottles with glass since 2018. 

Buy locally sourced food 

With over a third of the population claiming to shop locally where they can, buying locally sourced food is a small change that can have a mighty impact on reducing carbon emissions, because of reduced transportation. Catering Yorkshire supplies The Terrace and Horizon Leeds with local produce, served in 100% biodegradable, reusable crockery. Even if you can’t finish the delightful tastes of the North, all spare food is donated to local non-profit organisation St Georges Crypt and food waste heroes, Olio.

Hot drinks at The Terrace taste even sweeter too, with coffee coming from Yorkshire roasters Balmforth and Co. and Yorkshire Tea products which are carbon neutral certified. 

Switch off 

Improving energy efficiency is key to building a more sustainable and greener future. It also provides an opportunity for independent venues to cut costs by reducing their energy consumption.

Across Leeds, nearly 4,500 social and private properties have been retrofitted to improve energy efficiency and once completed, the project will reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 5,000 tonnes. 

The Studio Leeds was also awarded its Gold EcoSmart Sustainability Accreditation for its efforts in monitoring and reduce energy consumption, and for making changes such as removing single-use plastic and palm oil-based products.

Independent venues in Leeds are committed to ongoing reduction of energy consumption to minimise their carbon footprint and to ensure their venues are as sustainable as possible, with The Terrace installing lighting and air-con controls in every room to avoid unnecessary power usage whilst Shine’s lights are low wattage LEDs that will reduce the venues energy consumption by 75%. 

Travel by foot, bike, or public transport 

Encouraging sustainable travel whether by foot, bike or public transport is an easy and effective way for individuals and venues to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Leeds has a vision to become a city where residents don’t need to own a car. Leeds City Council alongside its partners is transforming the public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure in Leeds through a £270 million investment that will reduce CO2 emissions by 15,947 tonnes. 

Shine uses 100% electric vehicles to transport its food to your site, saving over 12 metric tons of CO2 to date from being released into the atmosphere, whilst funding from City Connect, has enabled Duke Studios to offer three pool bikes that guests can hire for free. Duke Studios also offers plenty of bike storage and shower facilities to encourage their staff and residents to make greener commutes and to travel more sustainably wherever possible. 

To meet the 2050 carbon neutral target set by the UK event industry, Leeds’ independent venues have committed to implementing a range of sustainability initiatives and practices to reduce their environmental impacts and to contribute to securing a greener future. 

If you’re a conference organiser looking for an environmentally conscious location to hold your next conference or event, learn more about the sustainability of Leeds and visit our interactive map to take a tour of Leeds’ Green Accredited venues.