Green Chapter

We’re committed to making Chapter greener and integrating sustainability into the management and fabric of the building. As a vibrant, innovative, multidisciplinary centre we want to promote the benefits of sustainable living to everyone who comes through our doors.

Our current green initiatives include:

1.    Recycling

We have over 800,000 visitors every year and over 200 staff, volunteers and artist tenants based at the centre. All those people create a lot of waste - 119 tonnes each year! We recycle 42% of our waste but we know that we can do better.

We currently recycle: paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, waste electrical equipment, printer cartridges, cooking oil, lightbulbs, paint, clothing, batteries.

By the end of 2014 we will also recycle food waste.

Food waste

In April 2014, Green Gain undertook a review of Chapter’s waste and we were surprised to learn that food waste makes up a whopping 51% of our general waste stream. We’ve set ourselves a target for the end of summer 2014 to send all of our food waste to Cardiff Council for recycling.

In May 2014 we received funding from WRAP Cymru (Waste and Resource Action Programme) towards a Chapter project to minimise, manage and responsibly dispose of our biodegradable waste. As part of the project we will be putting in new systems to recycle food waste, enhancing our kitchen facilities and upgrading our onsite recycling centre.

We have signed up to the Hospitality and Food Service Voluntary Agreement developed by WRAP to help us to reduce food and associated packaging waste. Working with all four UK Governments, WRAP has designed the agreement to be flexible enough to allow any size business to sign up. It aims to achieve two collective targets by the end of 2015:

  • A prevention target – to reduce food and associated waste by 5%
  • A management target – to increase the overall rate of food and waste being recycled, sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to at least 70% (currently 50%)

Recycling stations

We’ve installed new recycling systems into our public spaces and hire rooms with thanks to support from Western Power. The next step will be to put new recycling systems into the performance spaces, public toilets and the communal areas of Market House our creative community hub. We’ll also be making sure that all wastepaper bins in our staff offices are replaced with recycling systems.

Recycled paper

We use recycled paper in all of our staff offices, printers and photocopiers. All of our toilets across the Main Building, Stiwdio & Market House are stocked with 100% recycled toilet paper.

2.    Reducing energy consumption

Solar panels

In March 2014, local supplier Urban Solar installed solar panels on our roof. This was only made possible thanks to funding from the Scottish Power Green Energy Trust and the Waterloo Foundation. Now they’re up and running we’re anticipating that the panels will generate 20% of our energy, substantially reducing the pressure we place on the national grid and cutting down our annual utility bills – allowing more money to be allocated towards artistic and community initiatives.

Sensors & switches

Across the building we’re starting to install movement sensors and timer switches on lights, we’re replacing standard bulbs with LED lighting, we have automatic tap sensors in our toilets and power saving devices on office equipment.

Double glazing in rehearsal/hire rooms

We have received support from Biffa Award to upgrade a number of our spaces with double glazing. In April 2014 we installed double glazing in the Common Room and by the end of 2014 we will also install double glazing in the SWAS Room and Media Point, hopefully keeping everyone who uses these spaces a little bit warmer in the winter months!


Since January 2014 we have been gradually reducing the amount of magazines we print – our monthly print run has reduced from 15,000 to 8,500. As part of our new membership scheme we encourage our customers to read the magazine online, but customers can still opt in to receive a hard copy. A smaller print run is already reducing waste, costs and the environmental impact of printing. 

3.    Sustainable transport

Getting to Chapter

We actively encourage customers to leave their cars at home and travel to the venue on bus or by foot/bike. We run a green points scheme to encourage our visitors to use sustainable methods of transport when travelling to the venue. Customers who can prove they have done this receive Green CL1C card points which they can spend on cinema & theatre tickets.

In 2013 we received a grant from the South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA) which has allowed us to provide shelters for our staff & customer bike hoops, helping keep bikes drier in our Welsh weather.

Electric van

We recently won the Arts, Business & Environment Category at the Arts & Business Awards 2014 for our partnership with Renault Cardiff. Up to six times a month we borrow an electric van which we are then able to use to distribute our monthly magazines as well as use for transporting artwork for exhibitions and equipment to offsite cinema events.

4.    Green Spaces

Community Garden

Our dedicated Community Gardener & Outreach Officer Roger Phillips tends to our beautiful community garden and bees. As well as nurturing the garden he also recruits local schools and groups to attend weekly planting sessions in our garden. These sessions also look at recycling and composting and offer food growing, community participation, schools projects, training courses and volunteering opportunities.


We collect fruit & vegetable peelings from the Caffi Bar and compost them for use on our Community Garden flower beds. 

Water butts

The plants in the Community Garden are well watered thanks to 3 large water butts. This helps us to keep our water consumption down, especially in the summer months.

Chapter Bees!

We have two active hives at Chapter nestled away in our staff garden at the back of the building. They’re part of our partnership with Canton Community Gardens and are looked after by Roger our Community Gardener with a little help from Pete at Nature’s Little Helpers. They’re very happy bees and produce lots of honey. 

5.    Green Film

Most of our films are screened and distributed digitally, saving on the creation, transport and recycling of 35mm prints. We also raise awareness of environmental issues through our film programme, every year in June we host the UK Green Film Festival as well as screening environmental films throughout the year.

6.    Green Schemes & Awards

Chapter is part of the Creu Cymru Emergence project: developing the environmental, social and economic sustainability of theatres and arts centres in Wales, in a partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. This work is funded by the Welsh Government SSL scheme, delivered by Environment Wales and Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales.

Chapter is a proud signatory on the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Charter which is Wales’ highest profile commitment to sustainable development.

Our efforts to make the building greener have been recognised by:

  • Arts & Business Awards 2014: Winner in the Arts, Business & Environment Category
  • Welsh Business Awards 2014: Finalist in the Environmental Category
  • Wales Green Energy Awards in 2013: Finalist in the Community Initiative Category


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