The recognition in the ‘energy’ category of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards was announced at a special ceremony last night with the judges saying that the Trust “shows that heritage shouldn’t stop sustainability – their approach was challenging and broad ranging – very large energy savings, moving towards energy independence, while preserving national heritage.”
Keith Jones, National Trust Environmental Practice Adviser for Wales, said “Winning this award is a great honour and recognition for all of the hard work of staff and volunteers across Wales.
“Our work in Wales is all about getting the balance right in terms of generating our own energy but perhaps more importantly about using less energy in the first place. It’s a mixture of the big ticket measures that can generate clean and green power as well as the simple measures that can reduce our energy footprint.”
In Wales the Trust manages sites as diverse as the beautiful medieval fortress at Chirk Castle and crofts on the magical Llŷn Peninsula. It encompasses visitor centres and bunkhouses, a Tudor merchant’s house and old coastguard cottages, along with the 19th century neo-Norman Penrhyn castle and Tredegar House in south-east Wales.
National Trust Wales has already reduced its energy use by 40 per cent in two years and is well on the way to generating all of its energy needs from renewable sources at its properties.
There has been a major investment in 190 separate projects across Wales using groundbreaking technology as varied as modern light bulbs to the UK’s first marine source heat pump. It has explored biomass boilers and solar energy.
Photovoltaic panels and Hydro alone will supply more than half of the energy needs for the National Trust in Wales by the end of 2013.
In the last year the National Trust has also been recognised for its environmental and energy work by winning the prestigious Ashden Gold Award 2012, UK Water Efficiency Awards 2012 and the Cooperative Community Energy Challenge 2012.