Heritage Lottery Fund first major grantgiver to require carbon footprints in funding applications

Heritage Lottery Fund first major grantgiver to require carbon footprints in funding applications

Announced as HLF sets out its new strategic framework for 2013 – 2018, HLF will now ask all applicants requesting funding above £2m to measure the carbon footprint of their projects.

With so many HLF-supported projects involving building expansion and a growth in visitor numbers, HLF’s Board of Trustees felt it was increasingly important that calculating the environmental impact of projects should form part of their decision-making process.

HLF is working with sustainability consultants Best Foot Forward to provide applicants with a footprinting tool* so that they can measure their environmental impact. As part of an HLF second-round application they will be required to calculate the carbon footprint of the utilities consumption and visitor travel associated with their projects, and encouraged to pursue reductions. The tool will help calculate the impact of making changes in order to achieve reductions in carbon emissions through energy efficiency, better buildings and renewable energy and by encouraging visitors to switch to public transport, walking and cycling.

HLF and Best Foot Forward have already piloted the tool with a number of grantees, including Britten 100, the British Museum and the Whitworth Art Gallery.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “The projects we fund provide lasting benefits to local communities but they also have a carbon impact which can’t be ignored.  The Heritage Lottery Fund is doing what it can to reduce the effects of climate change upon heritage by leading the way to ensure that carbon footprinting is a key part of the development process so that the projects we support are environmentally sustainable for the future.”

Jacob Wallace, Consultant at Best Foot Forward, added: “Carbon footprinting can’t just be an afterthought anymore and the Heritage Lottery Fund is right to make it an integral part of the funding process. This exciting development is significant in scope: it will influence millions of pounds worth of funding and the behaviour of millions of visitors.”

Notes to editors

  • The Best Foot Forward’s carbon footprinting tool, Footprint Reporter, is a quick and easy carbon footprinting tool which has been customised for HLF. 
  • Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK. 
  • Best Foot Forward is a sustainability consultancy which helps organisations to cost-effectively reduce their environmental impact in a world of limited resources. The company offers help with sustainability metrics, software solutions and strategy and communications advice. 

Further information

  • Katie Owen or Lydia Davies, HLF Press Office, on 020 7591 6036 / 6032 or mobile: 07973 613 820.
  • Cat Hobbs, Communications Manager, Best Foot Forward, on 01865 250 818.