As the home for music in Ireland, we are committed to playing our part in creating a more sustainable future for our staff, musicians, audience members, supporters, and community.
The National Concert Hall Environmental Policy 2023
The National Concert Hall (NCH) environment comprises of the buildings on the Earlsfort Terrace site, the staff of the NCH and National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), our three choirs and several resident organisations including Music Network, Crash Ensemble, Irish Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir Ireland. Bars and catering at the NCH is operated by With Taste, a third-party hospitality company which is governed by its own sustainability policy. We host over 1,000 concerts and events annually and welcome over 300,000 visitors each year.
The NCH Environmental Policy applies to all activities and operations across the Earlsfort Terrace site and to all our employees, suppliers, third-party suppliers, volunteers, working partners and visitors.
The NCH is fully committed to reducing its carbon emissions and its impact on the environment and to embedding sustainable business practises across our organisation.
Our aim is to be a leader for environmental practice within Ireland’s artistic and cultural sector. We seek to understand, measure, improve and communicate our environmental performance, and reduce our carbon emissions and the negative environmental impact of our activities on the environment. We will encourage new and ground-breaking initiatives addressing climate and ecological emergency, and the societal and planetary risks that accompany it, within the framework of NCH’s vision and values.
We are committed to protecting our environment and enhancing the biodiversity of our site. As a corporate supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (aligned to ISO144001:2015 and the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals) since June 2022, we prioritise the integration of recommended actions from the pollinator plan within our day-to-day site management and to inform future site investment decisions.
We will continue to examine and review our business models, operations, systems, and structures to operate more sustainably, including planning actions and monitoring our outcomes in the following areas:
Biodiversity – enhancing our external landscape
Communications & engagement – engaging management, staff and visitors and building awareness of our environment and the ways in which we can all act more sustainably
Energy & emissions – particularly the operational running and maintenance of our buildings including the energy, water and materials used in our public spaces, offices and store facilities
Reduce, reuse, recycle - tackling waste through a reduce, reuse and recycle approach, using and promoting recycled and environmentally friendly products where possible
Staff business travel
Our areas of focus for 2023 include:
- The development and delivery of an annual cross organisational action plan which seeks sustainable improvements, encourages innovation and ensures our environmental commitments are embedded across the organisation
- Biodiversity: Identifying, protecting and increasing areas which protect biodiversity, wild pollinator nesting habitats and ecosystems which are friendly to pollinators. Increasing the number of our native locally sourced pollinator-friendly plant, tree and shrub species and reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides across our property
- Energy & emissions: Maintaining our use of an 100% renewable electricity supplier, investing in LED lighting in public and back of house areas, reviewing our carbon emissions targets, objectives and baseline measurements, and establishing and embedding our onsite SEAI energy team.
- Communications & engagement: Encouraging staff through sustainability-themed workshops, training and regular internal communications, to work in an environmentally responsible manner. Promote more sustainable actions and options to visitors on our website and in our event programmes.
NCH actions to-date
• Switched energy supply to 100% renewable energy source
• Water bottle coolers replaced with main-supplied water
• Cycle-to-work scheme made available to all staff
• Additional covered bike stands constructed for staff and visitors
• Converted all main auditorium house lighting to LED, resulting in an 87% decrease in energy consumption
• Light fittings in foyer and other public areas also converted to LED fittings
• Installation of LED occupational sensor lighting in infrequently used areas
• Building management system (BMS) provides electronic control of heating set points and schedules
• Joined OPW Optimising Power@Work scheme which provides resources and monitoring services
• Report annually to Sustainability Energy Authority of Ireland on our energy consumption
• Signage displayed at manual light switches reminding users to switch off lights when leaving the room
• Reduced staff printing through system of swipe card access to printers
• Eliminate single-use plastic in NCH building
• Reduce printed tickets and other printed collateral where possible, opting instead for digital
• Add organic brown bins to the building’s waste management
• Re-wild NCH grounds by converting more space to bee-friendly gardens, flower boxes and bug hotels
• Encourage visitors to the NCH to cycle and/or use public transport where possible
• Incorporate sustainability agreements into artists’ and suppliers’ contracts
• Provide staff training and engagement opportunities to embed strong environmental awareness, performance and practice
• Develop sustainability policy to oversee our action plan and seek international accreditation to assess our impact
• Upgrade Orchestral Overhead Platform Lighting to LED