Dovecot Studios is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance as part of a wider commitment to sustainable development.
Our role within the community is to sustain, advance and make accessible to all, the art and heritage of studio tapestry weaving in Scotland and to preserve and promote the use of the building known as ‘Dovecot’. We aspire to demonstrating and communicating best environmental practice in order to reduce our impacts on the environment and promote resource efficiency both for ourselves and the wider community, in Scotland and globally.
Dovecot is housed in a state of the art building. The building itself was recycled from a former Victorian Bath house that was facing demolition and had been derelict for some years, before a two- year refurbishment transformed the baths into the new Dovecot Tapestry Studios in 2008.
Many of the materials used in the building were reclaimed; natural materials were used where possible; such as bamboo flooring and hemp insulation. The heating we have is from a ground source heat pump, which is an energy efficient heating system that takes free, renewable heat energy direct from the ground. It also supplies the hot water to the building.
The main activity of the building is Tapestry Weaving and largely all the materials used in Tapestry are natural wool, silks and cottons. Another key activity is the creation of exhibitions where we use environmentally sustainable materials wherever possible, for example using low/zero formaldehyde MDF and eco board alternatives to MDF. We take care to select suppliers that have a robust and active environmental policy and comply with environmental legislation and regulations. The design brief for new exhibition elements requires contractors to ensure that they can be reconfigured and reused in future displays to reduce waste.
We have a recycling ethos of reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Currently we are able to recycle glass, tin, plastic, paper and cardboard - staff and visitors are encouraged to do so and we provide recycling points throughout the building. We have sensor lighting in many parts of the building that saves energy and we encourage switching off lights and computers when not in use. We also try to use local supply chains and contractors where possible.
Our marketing strategy has deliberately moved away from paper-based communication and promotional campaigns where possible. By putting more concentrated efforts into SEO and digital advertising, we are reducing our print advertising and embracing digital reach. We have reduced the amount of paper promotional material we create and favour our website and downloadable PDF brochures to promote our tapestries, public programme, and other activities. Another key paper- reduction is sending event invitations digitally rather than physically.
The Dovecot shop highlights Scottish designers and makers and, where possible, encourages local suppliers to deliver their work by hand. The Dovecot café subscribes to this environmental policy and focuses on locally sourced ingredients to celebrate the best of Scottish produce.
There are dedicated cycle racks close to the building that staff and visitors can use. Our travel for employees is largely UK based at this stage and 80% of travel is by train. We have no staff car fleet.
We care about the welfare of staff, visitors, volunteers, neighbours and Dovecot offers a vibrant and interesting cultural centre for the community, which is at the heart of Edinburgh city centre.
The Role of Building Officers & Duty Managers
Designated Building Officers are the Head of Finance & Resources, Head of Commercial & Operations, Front of House Coordinator and the Buildings Coordinator & Front of House Officer.
Where possible environmental and sustainability concerns should be reported directly to a Building Officer but if that is not possible (e.g. at weekends) then concerns should be reported to a Duty Manager.
Designated Building Officers and Duty Managers are responsible for:
- Complying with relevant environmental legislation
- Raising and maintaining awareness by encouraging active participation as an organisation and individually in sustainable practices
- Continuing to adopt and promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources throughout all our operations
- Preventing or minimising waste and maximising reuse and recycling opportunities
- Minimising our consumption of natural resources and procuring sustainable materials and services
- Promoting awareness and conservation of the natural world and cultural heritage through our internal operations, exhibitions, education and research activities
- Encouraging the adoption of more sustainable modes of transport
- Ensuring our use and management of hazardous materials is controlled responsibly and seeking less harmful alternatives
- Providing the necessary resources and training needed to deliver this policy
- Achieving continual improvement of our environmental performance through regular monitoring and reporting.
The Trustees and senior management team acknowledge their responsibilities in delivering this policy and securing the commitment of our stakeholders, both internal and external, in its implementation.
In addition to managing the Sustainability Policy, Building Officers will meet on a regular basis to monitor, review and develop the work of Dovecot in delivering its commitment to environmental sustainability, to help keep abreast of good practice initiatives and changes to legislation, and to provide written updates to the Lead Building Officer. The Lead Building Officer is the Head of Finance & Resources.