Our Green Policy

Environmental Sustainability

As Aberdeenshire’s largest multi-arts venue, the Barn is aware not only of its role as a key contributor to the cultural landscape in North East Scotland but also of its carbon footprint. We are committed to minimising the ecological impact of our operations and activities and since inception, have demonstrated a leading role within the Scottish arts scene in championing sustainable energy and environment principles.

The Talk

  • We aim to reduce our negative impact on the environment by
  • reducing the energy consumption in our day to day operations
  • effectively monitoring and measuring our impact on the environment
  • ensuring recycling, reducing, reusing, and repairing is incorporated in our operations
  • at all levels to minimise waste production
  • actively reducing paper usage
  • delivering environment education and healthy living projects that support the wider promotion of our environmental principals
  • ensuring any enhancements to the Barn’s structure and physical environment respect the natural surrounds / landscape


The Walk

To date, we have

  • Invested in the installation of biomass heating, one of the earliest cultural organisations to do so, to provide sustainable energy efficiencies within our building
  • Made capital improvements, installed energy efficient LED lighting and upgraded utilities meters including timed switches for car park lights, to improve efficiency
  • Become a Member of the Green Arts Initiative 2015 (Creative Carbon Scotland) and embraced their principals
  • Established over 100 garden allotments adjacent to the Barn for local people to practice horticulture, developed a wild garden for the diversification and preservation of plants and wildlife and for the enjoyment of many, and additionally, are planning a walled garden using a derelict site leased from Leys Estate which will be redeveloped as a Physic Garden
  • Provided more recycling points for all cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and cans and put up clear signage to show what is appropriate for each bin; we have started using completely compostable, British made, take away cups and lids
  • Switched communication methods from paper to digital and implemented a paperless ticketing solution
  • Ensured the Barn’s creative programme continues to be informed by its environmental, ecological and social focus
  • Carefully planned and meticulously researched any infrastructure development, current and future, building in environmental considerations at all stages


The Way Ahead

Although environmental awareness is an established feature within the Barn, this has not been formally captured. We are committed to finalising our Environmental Policy in 2017 and to ensuring all our staff, volunteers, affiliates, artists and audiences embrace and implement it enthusiastically.

  • We are looking at partnering with bus companies to operate buses to and from Aberdeen and other locations for our bigger sell-out events and festivals to help reduce carbon emissions.
  • We are investigating ways in which to get rid of vinyl banners in the most sustainable way. We know some of you will have some fabulous ideas to reuse these sorts of materials and if you happen to know of a company who recycles vinyl, we’re all ears!    
  • We have commissioned research into a more ethical wedding and commercial hire offering and await the recommendations