The MAC's Progress on Sustainability

Today is Climate Action Day so what better time to fill you in on the progress the MAC is making to help improve our sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment and climate crisis.

We're working together with the sector to identify specialist help and funding levels required to reduce energy consumption and improve our organisation’s general sustainability. Our sustainability plan is always evolving, but to date, we have sought funding for or have implemented the following.

Energy Monitoring System

We have received funding to install an Energy monitoring system. This system will monitor energy usage in real-time e.g., gas, electricity, water etc. Any unusual energy consumption will be flagged up instantly. For instance, if we have a leaking toilet cistern, or if our heating or air conditioning was left on outside our normal operating hours.

We can also use this system to benchmark our current energy usage, and how much energy is saved when we make changes to reduce consumption, e.g. when we fit led lighting, additional insulation, or change the opening times of our building.

Atlas World has recently been awarded a tender by the Strategic Investment Board to cover energy monitoring for all Northern Ireland government buildings and is happy to apply those existing rates for the Arts Sector in Northern Ireland.

Sustainability building survey

We have sought funding for a building sustainability expert from Troup Bywaters and Anders to carry out a sustainability building survey based on the Theatre Green Book's sustainable buildings guide.

This survey will identify suitable energy saving project for the MAC building, which will likely include the installation of:

  • Solar electric panels
  • Heat pumps
  • LED light in upgrades
  • New building management system to control our plant more efficiently
  • New efficient theatre equipment

When the building report is complete, we will

  • prioritise the projects
  • seek additional funding for specialists’ consultants to fully design and make tender packs ready

The projects will be fully costed, and in a position to proceed, when funding becomes available from Westminster, Stormont, or from other funding sources.

MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development Student Placement

In early 2022 the MAC facilitated an 8-week student placement from Queens’ University Belfast - MSc Leadership for Sustainable Development. The student helped to work on our sustainable building plan. We found this very beneficial and hope to facilitate a 24-week placement this coming academic year to progress our sustainable operations and production plans based on the Theatre Green Book. Find out more here.

We have appointed a new waste management company, RiverRidge Recycling.

There is 0% waste to landfill. Materials are sorted at their recycling centre. Items then can be recycled or separated. Food waste is used for anabolic digestion – to produce gas etc.. All other materials are used for biomass to create electricity, heat etc..

Members of Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC)

The GCC is an international community of arts organisations working to reduce our sector’s environmental impacts. The primary goal is to facilitate a reduction of the sector’s CO2e emissions by a minimum of 50% by 2030, as well as promoting zero waste. Find out more about GCC here.