The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has been awarded £3.4million from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), working in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and funded by Salix.
The significant grant – part of the £78million GMCA has distributed to organisations across the region following a successful bid to the PSDS – provides an incredible opportunity for the College to vastly improve the quality and efficiency of its estate and develop a forward strategy around the route to decarbonisation.
Managed by the RNCM’s Operations Team in collaboration with a range of external consultants, the Salix project is already underway, with full completion set for March 2022.
Key projects to be delivered include air source heat pump technology, a full roof replacement of the main building to improve its thermal efficiency, the installation of a solar PV array to generate electricity, high-efficiency chiller technology with heat recovery, a new efficient transformer for the main building and the development of a new energy metering infrastructure to monitor and verify the effect that the technologies will have around decarbonisation of the institution. These practical projects will be supported by the development of a Heat Decarbonisation Plan, which will outline a strategy to deliver a pathway to zero carbon.
Students Beth Machell and Hoda Jahanpour, said:
‘We are so excited for the completion of the Decarbonisation Scheme at the RNCM. Two years ago, we founded RNCM Climate Action, a society with the aim of helping students and staff live more sustainably and for our college to become more environmentally friendly. One year ago, we organised a UK conservatoire-wide climate strike seeking change in our institutions. It means so much to us that student voices are heard at the RNCM. We look forward to working with college further and hope other conservatoires will follow the lead.’
The RNCM has already made significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint and is fully committed to continuing progress. Over the past few years, its Conference and Catering Department has implemented changes such as replacing plastic packaging, containers, glasses and cups with 100% recyclable material, swapping plastic cutlery for wooden options, buying produce from local suppliers, and recycling all cooking oil to make bio-fuel. Now, thanks to this substantial funding, the College is in a position to reduce its footprint further, with some changes set to lower annual energy usage by 41%.
Cllr Neil Emmott, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region, said:
‘Tackling the climate emergency requires bold and meaningful change at every level, and from all of us. Greater Manchester’s Five-Year Environment Plan set a target of becoming a carbon-neutral city-region by 2038, and to meet our goals it is essential that the public sector leads the way and demonstrates what can be achieved.’
Achieving green economic growth was identified as a priority in the Greater Manchester Economic Vision and is supporting Greater Manchester’s ambition to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2038.
The Royal Northern College of Music