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Green Business Network

GBN's Green Auditors hit National Badminton Centre

The National Badminton CentreThe National Badminton Centre is, well, the National Badminton Centre. Top athletes in the sport come to the Milton Keynes based centre to train, use the extensive sporting facilities and stay in residential accommodation. In addition to this, the Centre takes bookings from the general public and other organisations for its conference and event facilities.

It’s not every manager that would willingly subject themselves to a grilling by a group of internal auditors, or allow them to put the venue under extreme scrutiny, but in the interests of helping the Green Business Network (GBN), Mark Burbidge (the National Badminton Centre Manager) did just that.

GBN had organised an Internal Auditing workshop for members of the Network, which comprised a formal presentation to introduce the topic. Mark then bravely stood up to a searching set of questions posed by business people anxious to test out their newfound skills.

“Like most businesses, the Centre has to balance the needs of Olympic standard athletes with those of the environment, and needs to justify any form of investment with a sound payback period.”

Following a Carbon Trust visit, the Centre had already replaced a number of light fittings throughout the building with energy efficient ones, is in the process of renovating showers to push fittings to limit water use, and is looking into the building’s heating and cooling systems in conference areas.

The eagle eyed auditors, however, spotted a number of areas where the Centre could potentially reduce environmental impacts and cut costs without disrupting the service offered to either athletes or conference delegates. Many of these would cost little or nothing to implement but staff training and public notices would make an enormous difference.

Some of the recommendations and observations included:

The All England Room - part of the conference facilitiesMark has now evaluated some of these ideas, and taken action on them. He says: “I’m open to suggestions about the improvements we can make. Since the audit I have moved some areas forward.I am investing over £4,000 in fitting motion sensors for lighting to corridors and toilet areas and in the pool and large gym area.We have also commissioned a firm to review our water usage to identify potential savings.”

Mark has also placed a number of paper recycling bins around the building and is actively reviewing the disposable items the Centre uses in catering.