The main house at the Lodge RSPB reserve, UK headquaters of the RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire

Green living at the RSPB

Find out what we're doing in our offices, visitor centres, cafés and nature reserves to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Action for energy

  • We buy green electricity and mains gas from Ecotricity
  • We monitor our energy use by installing smart meters at our workplaces for electricity and gas
  • We are making our workplaces cosier and more efficient e.g. by increasing insulation in walls and roofs, putting in LED light bulbs and replacing open fires with woodburners
  • We continue to put in renewable energy installations, focussing particularly on photo-voltaic (PV) panels and air-source heat pumps
  • New buildings inspired by green design, which capture the best of natural light and energy, have been built at Rainham Marshes, Essex, Saltholme, Yorkshire and now South Stack in Wales
  • Video-conferencing units at all our main offices and shift from PCs to laptops means staff have access to video-conferencing wherever they are, greatly reducing travel

Action for waste

  • Staff are always looking for new ways to reduce waste and/or recycle more – for example, note pads from scrap paper, Terracycle crisp bag recycling at offices, and we run projects to raise awareness and encourage people to re-use and recycle 
  • We use our waste monitoring data to target workplaces for detailed waste audits – a fun day going through the general waste bin
  • We accept donations of binoculars and telescopes, which we supply to our partners and projects in countries overseas
  • RSPB shops offer a variety of wonderful gifts for sale, made from recycled and/or sustainable materials. For example, using the RSPB keepcup helps to cut waste from single-use cups and is itself made from recycled single-use cups

Action for water

  • We’re climate change proofing our wetlands by increasing the amount of water we hold on site in wet winters to survive drier summers
  • We save water with rainwater collection systems at our UK headquarters by for flushing toilets, topping up ponds and watering gardens and other workplaces, such as Snape, Flatford Mill Gardens and Newport Wetlands
  • We install water efficiency measures, such as low-flush or dual-flush toilet cisterns, infra-red sensors on urinals, and spray or percussion taps, water butts, etc
Flower borders in front of the Lodge RSPB reserve, Bedfordshire.

Action on food

  • When you visit an RSPB nature reserve café, you can be sure that what you’re eating and drinking is good for the planet and that you can make healthy choices.
  • All eleven of the RSPB’s nature reserve cafés have gained at least the Bronze award in the Soil Association’s Food for Life Served Here scheme, with two achieving Gold.
  • The award scheme celebrates locally sourced, additive and GM free, sustainable food which meets animal welfare standards and makes healthy eating easy.
Newport Wetlands cafe staff

Action to reduce plastics

  • Introduced a new policy in 2019 building on work we were doing
  • Eliminated wrap for youth magazines and switched to compostable potato starch wrapper made from waste for Nature's Home
  • Eliminated glitter from Christmas cards and decorations
  • Introduced a range of re-useable sandwich boxes, mugs and bottles and available in our shops and cafés, alongside recycled picnic blankets
  • We’ve started the process of changing our seed laminate packs to PE/PE that’s recyclable and have trialled paper sacks without a plastic liner 
  • PV water purification system installed on Ramsey Island so we can offer water bottle refills
  • Switched scarves in our shops from polyester to organic cotton