Sustainability | boulderbrighton.com

Sustainability and ethics

Our aim is to run an ethical and sustainable business. Below are some of the things we are doing to try and achieve this. This is an ongoing work in progress and we hope to improve where we can in each area every year.

Transport

We substantially upgraded our bike parking at the centre in 2020 and now have 30 bike parking spaces available to encourage more people to cycle to the centre. We offer staff a daily incentive to walk or take public transport into work rather than use a car where they can. Default Alt Text

Waste

We use Recorra for our commercial waste management. We have improved our recycling processes over the years and now separate out more waste streams than ever, with separate recycling streams for:

  • Carboard (including supplier delivery boxes)
  • Dry mixed recyclables (including aluminium cans we sell in our café)
  • Compostable waste (including coffee grounds from our café)
  • General waste (goes to energy from waste site rather than landfill)

We also recycle our printer ink cartridges and use La Sportiva's partnership with Soex to recycle old climbing shoes.

Recorra is currently trialling a Tetrapak recycling scheme for our oat milk bottles; as of Jan 2024 this is still not live but we continue to press them for this option.

Energy

We have made several changes over the years to improve our energy usage in the centre:

  • replaced fluorescent lighting tubes throughout building with LED lighting panels (2017)
  • replaced old sodium-bulb lighting with LED high-bay lights (2018)
  • replaced convection heaters in café with radiant ceiling panels to heat people directly rather than the air, improving efficiency when doors continually opened (2019)
  • decommissioned old gas heaters in main climbing areas in parallel with increased mechanical ventilation (2021)
  • installed solar-powered lights for building side returns (2021)

We monitor our energy use over time and aim to maintain or lower our energy usage per visitor where possible: Default Alt Text

Supply chain

Wherever possible we look to minimise the environmental impact by choosing suppliers and products carefully. We use local suppliers for our café supplies across coffee, cakes, and the majority of our packaged café goods.

Over recent years we have pushed for changes with our suppliers including pushing for chalk balls to be delivered without being individually plastic wrapped - this was successfully achieved in 2019, since when we have already sold or used over 10,000 packaging-free balls!

We now refill our rental chalk bags using refillable chalk socks and sustainable chalk bought in bulk (2021). This chalk is made from the seawater desalination process, with no ecologically damaging mining involved.

Our in-house merchandise (t-shirts, sweatshirts, vests) are all Fair Wear accredited to ensure good working practices during their production.

Single use products

Since 2013 when we opened, we have tried to change our business practices where possible to minimise our impact on the environment, including reducing or eliminating our consumption of single-use products. So far steps we have taken include:

  • removed plastic drinking straws from our café (2017)
  • installed a free water bottle filler and offered customers free recycled lost property water bottles when available (2017)
  • signed up to the "Plastic Free Pledge" (2018) to commit to reducing single-use plastic waste
  • stopped selling drinks in plastic bottles (2019)
  • switched from disposable cleaning cloths to re-usable cloths, laundered locally (2019)
  • stopped issuing single-use takeaway cups for coffee; replaced with re-usable recycled cups available to purchase (2019)

Living Wage Employer

We are a Living Wage Employer, and are committed to paying our staff at least the Real Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation. This is a voluntary commitment that we make because our staff are awesome and deserve to be treated right. See the Living Wage Foundation website for more details.

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