Top award in green tourist scheme.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust in Shropshire has attained a Gold Award in the Green Business Tourism Scheme, recognising the sustainable way that it manages the ten museums in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The Green Business Tourism Scheme is the world’s leading sustainable tourism accreditation scheme.
The gorge is well known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and with the introduction of the mass use of fossil fuels in the eighteenth century, some might suggest that it was also the birthplace of global warming. Now in a picturesque valley, the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, understands the need for sound sustainable business practices and has a strong green policy covering many aspects of its business.
Anna Brennand, chief executive of the trust explains: “Working in such a beautiful and historically important part of the world, the staff, volunteers and trustees are passionate about ensuring that we operate in an environmentally sensitive fashion. Over the last six years we have worked hard to change the way we operate, to ensure that we reduce our carbon footprint and we are delighted that all our efforts have been recognised with this award.”
The judges were impressed that, given the trust’s many historic buildings spread across the different sites, it still demonstrates excellent practices in carbon reduction management, such as the extensive use of low energy light bulbs, purchasing energy on green tariffs and a culture of turning lights off and thermostats down.
The Museum has its own paper and cardboard recycling skips at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron that are also available for the local community to use and its refuse is sent for mixed waste recycling. Products for the catering outlets are sourced locally and the museum also stocks many locally produced goods in its shops.
The trust works with many partners in the World Heritage Site. In partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council it aims to reduce traffic movements in the Gorge by encouraging visitors to use the Ironbridge Park and Ride and Gorge Connect Bus. It has also taken advice from the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust and introduced bird and bat boxes to help support the local wildlife.