"The Sustainability Centre Case Study" By Mary Lewis


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"The Sustainability Centre Case Study" By Mary Lewis

  1. 1. Presentation by Mary Lewis: Sustainability Centre Manager
  2. 2. The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The next best time is now. Chinese proverb
  3. 3. HMS Mercury derelict Navy communications and training centre Earthworks Trust was set up in 1998 as a charity to manage the Sustainability Centre Inherited a lot of old 60s buildings, plantation woodland, recreation grounds, dangerous waste etc. Restoring native woodland and chalk grassland, converting the buildings, bringing back the joy! An Exercise in Recycling
  4. 4. ‘ To be known, recognised and sought out as a leader in sustainability and as a source of inspiration, resources, expertise, learning and solutions for building a sustainable world . ’
  5. 5. “ Climate change is for real. We have just a small window of opportunity and it is closing rather rapidly. There is not a moment to lose.” Dr. Rajendra Pachauri. Chairman, IPCC
  6. 6. Sustainability is about treating the Earth as if we intend to stay. But it’s not just about ‘green’ living, it is about making decisions that are fairer, healthier and environmentally sound. It has three key strands: Social: ensuring a strong, healthy and just society for existing and future communities Economic : where environmental and social costs fall on those who cause them, and resources are distributed fairly and efficiently Environmental : respecting and protecting the limits of the planet's environment, resources and biodiversity. By acting in a more sustainable way, based on thought, fairness and understanding, we can develop a world that future generations will thank us for.   What is Sustainability?
  7. 7. Climate Change Biodiversity and loss of species Pressures on water supplies Pollution Desertification Over fishing Etc... … Environmental Sustainability
  8. 8. Restoring chalk grassland Sustainable woodland management Green building with local materials Renewable energy Retro-fitting Compost toilets and low water use fittings
  9. 9. Social Sustainability Integration, information and participation Equal access and opportunities Diversity Learning and skills Fair distribution of resources
  10. 10. Learning Activities for schools KS 1-4 Residential school visits including the South Downs Experience Work with young people Family learning Adult courses Accredited and professional courses Woodland Classroom
  11. 11. Community and Diversity Diversity is not just about culture, race and disability – it is about involving all different types of people in sustainability Babies and toddlers Elderly people People with drug and alcohol problems Young people with behavioural, learning or emotional difficulties Ex-offenders People with mental health problems Urbanites, surburbanites, village folk….. Events, Green Fair, training, talks, corporate team building, community projects Partnerships with organisations: MIND, Catch 22, Family Learning teams, pupil referral unit, Portsmouth Outdoor Education, Elizabeth Fitzroy Support
  12. 12. Protecting the human People are: versatile, creative, resilient, vulnerable, flawed People are our most important and powerful resource in effecting change Teach, inspire, empower, address fears, change behaviour
  13. 13. Equitable Participatory Viable Including: Economic viability Environmental costs falling on those that cause them Integration, information and participation Reinvesting resources in skills and awareness raising Ethical banking and ethical investment Recognition of the inherent value in nature, life, humanity, habitat, diversity etc. Economic Sustainability
  14. 14. Financial position of the Sustainability Centre Generates own revenue Has no core funding Uses grants and donations for capital projects Employs 13 staff Hosts 3 other sustainable businesses and 1 other social enterprise We are not yet rich and we have a lot of capital works to complete, but we are stable and financially viable 2008-2009 Turnover increased by 27% to £241,049 (EWF) South Downs Natural Burials generated £76,000 profit and increased income by 18% Adult courses income increased by 69% Accommodation income increased by 15%
  15. 15. How are we economically sustainable? Not for profit including the only not for profit natural burial site Invest in skills, education and training – profits made from commercial activities subsidise educational activities and support core staff Ethical banking and pensions Enrich and maintain natural capital – timber, biodiversity, aesthetic value, amenity value, carbon sequestration, climate change mitigation Provide services for the local community Financially viable
  16. 16. Social – low-cost, personal approach, creating a beautiful woodland for recreation, reflection and meditation, do-it-yourself, reinvesting profit in young people and education, woodland becomes a collective memorial Environmental – composting, using biodegradable materials, no headstones from imported stone, planting native trees and plants, creating a carbon sink, leaving a legacy, increasing biodiversity, use of wood for fuel Economic – generates revenue, affordable, people can feel ‘ownership’ of site, all the profits are reinvested in skills for the future How are natural burials sustainable?
  17. 17. Staying at the Sustainability Centre Accommodation for schools and people coming on courses Eco-tourism and the South Downs National Park Experiencing how to live a greener life
  18. 18. Collaboration Working with Permanent Publications and Undercurrents to co-publish book and DVD
  19. 19. Woodland Classroom
  20. 20. Media and Communications New website Corporate Image Social networking Blog Voice
  21. 21. Looking beyond our boundaries South Downs National Park Natural Burials on other sites A part of the local community Virtual Sustainability Centre
  22. 22. The problem is the solution! Challenges become opportunities Creative solutions to big problems Forward looking and using what we have Dynamic process, this job will never be finished! Mary Lewis [email_address]