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download icon Download Annual Environmental Reports

You can download our annual environmental reports to see what we're doing to minimise our environmental impact.

2008 Environmental Report
2009 Environmental Report
2010 Environmental Report
2011 Environmental Report
2012 Environmental Report

Sustainability bite

Smooth moves.
We make and produce our own lip and hand balms using herbs and beeswax from local sources (including our own garden!)

These can be found in the Castle shop!

The Castle Garden and Café

A key component of our Sustainability Strategy is the integration of our organic garden and café/kitchen into our operations. You can read more about these exciting projects on the Castle Café page and the Castle Garden page and by following their blog. Better yet, come by and see it for yourself!

Sustainability at the Castle Climbing Centre from Tim Ewins on Vimeo.

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Our commitment to sustainability is central to everything we do here…and I mean everything! Every single thing we purchase from electricity and gas to pens and t-shirts is scrutinised with the aim of finding the most environmentally-friendly solution. Everything that leaves our building is equally scrutinised. Literally. We employ a team to go through every piece of rubbish twice a year so that we can learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle more.

When you get stuck into sustainability issues, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and depressed about our future on this planet. We seem to have no common sense when it comes to using limited natural resources.  The issues can be too complex, too scary and too big to handle. Rather than get mired down in doom & gloom, we want to provide a positive alternative, to be an example for others to follow.

This 30 minute video on the work we've been doing may help you to inspire you and help you get started.

Castle Climbing Centre: an Ethical Overview from Dizzy Spell Films on Vimeo.

Our objectives, which we aim to achieve by 2018, are to:

  • Develop and implement an Environmental Management Scheme with external accreditation;
  • Minimise our carbon emissions from all sources and generate as much of our own energy as is reasonably practical;
  • Source all of our electricity from renewable resources;
  • Put in place systems to water the garden without using mains water and minimise our use of mains water throughout the rest of the centre;
  • Regulate the environment within the building (temperature, ventilation and lighting) with the least amount of energy;
  • Reduce the environmental impact of transport associated with the business;
  • Actively encourage our customers and staff to reduce their own environmental impacts through an awareness campaign;
  • Source all of our supplies from companies with high environmental standards;
  • Send zero waste to landfill;
  • Eliminate the use of toxic substances in our cleaning and maintenance processes; and
  • Develop a permaculture based garden on our land that promotes biodiversity and produces food for the Cafe.

We’re making significant progress on all of these objectives which you can read about in our Annual Environmental Reports.

Employee incentives

Eco-days. Travel is a big portion of most people’s carbon footprint- our staff are no different.  The easyjet revolution  when combined with the temptation of climbing in the sunnier climate of places like France or Spain makes it all to easy to book a cheap flight for a week away.  The alternative- travelling by car or train is often more expensive and can take much longer. We try to make it more attractive by allowing staff who qualify for the eco-day scheme to take extra paid holiday to get to their destination. Many of our staff have rediscovered the pleasures of long-distance train travel and learned how to get creative when planning their holidays.

We also offer the Cycle to Work scheme to help employees purchase bicycles for commuting in a tax-efficient way.

Many of our staff have also benefited from our Eco-Grant scheme.

Waste Management

Zero waste to landfill is an ambitious target, but one that we believe is feasible. We’ve been able to reduce our waste to landfill to one household sized bin per week by doing the following:

  • Having clear recycling and composting points next to all landfill bins
  • Reducing the size of the landfill bins
  • Making recycling easy by not forcing customers to sort their waste
  • On-site composting of all organic matter
  • Reviewing our waste streams with six-monthly waste audits and adapting our policies to minimise waste (for example, using re-usable glass bottles for milk instead of recyclable plastic ones)


Sustainability blog

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  • Rushlight - Energy Reduction (winner)



  • Urban Food Awards - Best Eatery - Runners Up


  • Green Thinking Award - Sport & Recreation Alliance
  • Sustainable City Awards - Sustainable Food (winner), Sir Peter Parker Award for Business Leadership (Runners Up), Tackling Climate Change (highly commended), Responsible Waste Management (shortlisted)


  • Hackney in Bloom - Best Food Growing Project
  • Sustainable City Awards – Winner in Sustainable Food Category


  • Sustainable City Awards – Winner in Sustainable Food Category

  • Sustainable City Awards - Shortlisted in Resource Conservation Category

  • Capital Growth – Grow For Gold, Inspiring Gardens Category (Second Place)


  • Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code Awards, Highly Commended (SME Organisation Category)

  • Sustainable City Awards – Sustainable Procurement

  • Sustainable City Awards – Sustainable Building


  • Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code - Gold Level