Sustainability

The Silk Street building and lakeside terrace at night

Sustainability

We recognise the impact that our operations and activities can have on the environment and are committed to reducing these impacts by setting and achieving clearly defined objectives, and developing frameworks to achieve continual improvement. 

Over the years much work has been undertaken to improve environmental sustainability at the School and through our collaboration with the City of London Corporation’s Energy team we are delighted to have recently been awarded £2.6 million to upgrade our lighting, heating, ventilation and controls through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. 

Our efforts have been recognised in the People and Planet University League, having risen to joint 50th place of 154 institutions, a 2:1 classification. The School is ranked top independent* conservatoire and features in the top 20 overall on commitments to Carbon Management.

Our operations and activity are covered by our recently reviewed Environmental Sustainability Policy which is supported by a number of other policies and strategies including the recently created Education for Sustainable Development Strategy Statement and Staff and Student Engagement Strategy. Additionally, we have also written a new Carbon Management Plan for the School to take us to Net-Zero on our Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions by 2027 and by 2040 on our Scope 3 emissions.

We’ve also devised a new Education for Sustainable Development Strategy, implemented from autumn 2021. Our approach is to consider the environmental, social and economic impacts that students will have in their working lives. Many of our students will go on to be professional musicians and actors, with associated impacts such as travel. Production Arts graduates will be the stage managers and production managers of the future, where they will have the opportunity to effect positive environmental and social impact in areas such as event planning, procurement, use of resources, disposal of waste and the potential for the use of hazardous substances. We already deploy Green Captains – student production managers whose role is to ensure a sustainable production.

Our current environmental strategies and policies are written in line with the current legislative framework, best practice and with close reference to the City of London’s relevant strategies such as Climate Action and Responsible Business to ensure alignment with City of London Corporation aims and objectives. We maintain close links with the relevant City of London teams to ensure our voice is heard and our strategies are aligned.

The School’s strategy and associated action plan is overseen, developed, coordinated and communicated by the Sustainability Steering Group which, under our alliance, is made up of members of staff from both Guildhall School and the Barbican Centre and includes representation from the School’s student body. In 2019, due to an increasing appetite from students and staff to be more involved we set up an additional more informal group to enable further consultation.

*Guildhall School is ranked top independent conservatoire, other conservatoires are featured in the league table as part of larger institutions

Sustainability Steering Group

The Sustainability Steering Group is a forum for dealing with sustainability and environmental concerns at Guildhall School. It includes staff, student and senior management representation and recommends actions to Operations Board and/or Senior Management Team as appropriate. Working within the City of London’s Sustainability Policy and in liaison with similar groups at the Barbican Centre, the group will develop the sustainability strategy for Guildhall School by which it will endeavour to improve the School’s practices.

Find out more about the Steering Group below.

Students' Union and sustainability

Sustainability is an important part of the work done by the Students’ Union (SU) at Guildhall School. The SU President and the Vice-President (Welfare) take the lead on sustainability within the Union, and both also sit on the School’s Sustainability Steering Group.

Find out more about student involvement in sustainability.

Meet the Team

Read about the team leading on sustainability at Guildhall School.

Sustainability policies

Guildhall School is owned, funded and governed by the City of London Corporation. We are a department of the City of London and not a legal organisation in our own right. All staff working at Guildhall School are employees of the City of London. We therefore comply with all overarching City policies relating to Sustainability, share their staff and resources, and input into their developments. Guildhall School is also situated immediately adjacent to the Barbican Centre, also owned by the City of London and with which we have some shared services such as IT, Engineering, Finance and HR.