Environment and Sustainability

Welcome to our new column talking about the Club’s initiatives on Environmental and Sustainability activities. As you may be aware, the Board has set a strategic ambition for the Club to be operating with a net zero carbon footprint by 2030. This is a massive undertaking and will almost certainly require significant changes. Many of these changes will be ‘under the skin’ i.e., as Members you may not notice much of a difference, but others will require the support and agreement of the membership to ensure they are effective.

An initial assessment suggests that around 80% of our current carbon footprint relates to energy use. As a result, we have instigated an energy audit looking at how we use energy at the moment, how we might reduce our usage, how we might generate our own electricity, how we might reduce the carbon emissions of that energy etc. In the longer term it is likely we’ll move our energy source away from gas to using more electricity and, as the UK energy supply gets greener with increasing amounts of renewable energy in the generation mix, this will automatically lead to a reduced carbon footprint. We can also be more proactive by using solar energy to supplement our supply from the Grid

You may be aware that in September 2019, as part of the refurbishment and re-insulation of the indoor swimming pool roof, we incorporated two small, PV solar arrays into the roof. Our conservative estimate was that the annual yield of electricity would mean that we would reduce our electricity bill by £1,000 per year, – giving a payback in 4 years for a system that, with little maintenance, should have a 30-year life. In the event, we saved over £1,300 in the first year reducing the payback time to a little over three years if we continue to get the same yield each year. But this was before the dramatic electricity price rise we have seen recently. Marc Newey, CEO and the finance team have reduced the impact on the Club by judiciously negotiating and signing a three-year contract with our electricity supplier.

This makes our solar array even more valuable and brings our payback period to around two and a half years – going green responsibly can really save us money and we expect to introduce much more solar in the ensuing months.

We aim to share our initiatives with the membership over the coming months and years, starting with this column. This will be supported by a series of seminars on various subjects. We’ll start with one on our outline plan and then currently we are preparing seminars looking at

♣ renewable energy and the UK energy mix,
♣ making the most of living with Electric Vehicles
♣ sustainable operations for the Club grounds
♣ how to reduce your personal carbon footprint
♣ sustainable fashion
♣ solar arrays, heat pumps and renewable hydrogen

Furthermore, we aim to have displays around the club exhibiting data on items such as current CO2 emissions, solar panel electricity production, electricity usage, gas usage, EV charging/CO2 savings etc.

We want you to be involved and welcome any ideas that you may wish to share. Please contact me; David Burditt – or Simon Baker, General Manager (simon.baker@roehamptonclub.co.uk) if you would like to know more.

David Burditt, Director responsible for Environment and Sustainability – david.burditt@roehamptonclub.co.uk