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With the arrival of the Royal Baby – now known as Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the resources going into tracking the activity of the Royal Family and what it must take for them to maintain their level of lifestyle. While the rest of the world is consumed and entertained by the celebrities in the royal family I’m wondering things like:

  • Does the Royal Family consider their impact on the planet?
  • How much energy must it take to run the Royal Household?
  • Do they really need a new designer or custom outfit for each appearance? What happens to the clothes after the general one-time wear?
  • What does the Family do for the community? And, why is the community voluntarily elevating the idea of a royal class?

It may be weird that my thoughts are drawn to the level of consumerism that surrounds an event like the birth of the Royal Baby but I’ve learned to embrace my weird side. To satisfy my curiosity, I began to investigate efforts made by the Royal Family to be environmentally conscious and found that they have a section on their official website dedicated to such concerns. It turns out that The Royal Household has a variety of green efforts implemented on their properties.

To begin with, they installed a 150 metre deep bore hole at Buckingham Palace to help combat the local risk of severe flooding and have utilized the bore hole as a resource to air conditioning and potable water. To generate clean energy, a small 1MW scale hydro-electric generator located on the Balmoral Estate contributes power to the National Grid and additional hydro-electric plants are being installed at Romney Weir with the expectation that they will be connected to the Castle by year-end. Furthermore, energy saving audits are performed at Buckingham Palace every 5 years to identify areas where improvement can be made since there are approximately 600 residents in addition to the many events that are hosted there each year. Finally, the Queen’s gardens are maintained with ecological methods in that the plants are native, habitats are left to decompose naturally and honey bee hives have been positioned in the middle of the gardens.

It pleases me to know that they are even the slightest bit conscious of their own environmental impact and are implementing sustainable solutions. However, I challenge the Royal Household to release a public sustainability report for their domestic and business impact on the environment. That would be cause for celebration!

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Sustainability reporting is a great way for consumers to have a better understanding a company’s of the environmental, economic and social impact. When done right, which generally means that it is certified by a regulatory organization, this is an important tool that many companies can use to showcase their efforts to participate in global change.

Elephants in the Glass House: Contextualizing Sustainability and Integrated Reporting | Sustainable Brands.