Sustainability at The Forum

Image of The Forum, with pink tulips in the foreground

We’re making the environment a priority in all the work we do.

Working Towards Net Zero is one of The Forum’s four strategic pillars – ensuring that it is at the centre of our mission.

We’re committed to minimising the carbon footprint of our building, events, and operations. At The Forum Trust we are working with our tenants, visitors, and other stakeholders to reduce the overall impact of running a landmark building built at the turn of the Millennium.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation, which means that we use any additional income to put on free events and invest in our building: whether that’s installing a low energy lighting scheme, refurbishing the toilets to use less water, or prioritising sustainable materials (even when that comes with an extra cost).

We’re committed to reaching Net Zero and developing an effective response to climate change. We know that it won’t be easy, and that there are more opportunities to do better – but we are continuing our journey with dedication and determination and will share this with the community.

What we’ve done so far:


  • Our electricity comes from 100% green/renewable sources within the UK

  • Since 2005, we have reduced our kWh consumption by 30.6%

  • We have reduced energy consumption in our car park by 80% by installing a smart LED lighting system

  • We use automatic lights throughout the building so they are only on when they need to be

  • We provide electric car charging points



  • We have recycling points available throughout the building, and our staff areas also have food waste bins

  • We use environmentally friendly cleaning products

  • Our washrooms use FSC certified paper products

  • We work with local companies wherever possible, reducing shipping and storage and supporting our local economy

  • Wherever possible, we print our marketing materials on recycled paper, and have reduced our print runs to reduce waste

  • We print our signage on environmentally friendly and recyclable materials

  • We have built in environmental criteria in our procurement procedure

  • We order our milk for staff in glass bottles

  • We’re trialling green reusable materials within our Venue Hire activity to reduce waste

  • We monitor our waste generation and recycling

  • We monitor our mains water usage, to detect leaks and help identify more efficient use of this resource


  • We have set up a Green Team, to champion and implement green practices and work together to make The Forum more sustainable

  • We promote sustainable travel for employees, with a Cycle to Work scheme

  • We are working with a sustainability advisor to look at further improvements to the way we run our organisation

  • We continue to encourage our staff to become more environmentally conscious by funding environmentally-focussed training and courses

  • Our Head of Finance has recently qualified in Environmental Management  


The Forum & Our Activity

  • On The Forum grounds there are 107 trees (mainly Himalayan Birch and a few London Plane), which we maintain and care for. This acts as a small green lung in the city centre.

  • We work with local caterers who source their food locally wherever possible. One of our key caterers is The Feed, a social enterprise business who use their profits to help people in Norwich who are facing issues like poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

  • We promote climate friendly behaviour through our own events, like Norwich Science Festival

  • Our public water refilling station has saved 53,094 plastic bottles so far

  • Any partners or hirers who use the building are expected to follow our environmental policies including not offering single use plastics or decorating their stands with balloons

  • We communicate with our tenants to ensure they are invested in and part of our environmental journey


What we will do:

  • Give staff the option of investing their pensions in ethical funds

  • Our new toilet facilities will use less water

  • Install more electric charging points for cars

  • Update all our lighting to energy efficient LED bulbs

  • Encourage biodiversity throughout our site, with bug hotels and other initiatives

  • Ensure any equipment, machinery, and facilities upgrades are sustainable and that their environmental impact is as low as possible

  • Encourage, facilitate and participate in public discussions around environmental issues

  • Work with contactors to ensure they follow our environmental policies


What we hope to do: 

  • We are currently scoping solar panel installation –unfortunately our iconic glass roof is not suitable for solar panels so we will look at alternative solutions

  • Work with partner organisations to present an event which is focussed around sustainable and environmentally friendly practices

  • Investigate the possibilities of retrofitting green environments, such as a living wall or roof

  • Encourage biodiversity on our premises, whether through planting, beehives or bird-friendly adaptations such as swift boxes