Reasons to Be Hopeful – Fit for the Future

To celebrate this year’s Show The Love campaign from the Climate Coalition, Fit for the Future Network shares highlights from our members who have been delivering practical solutions to tackle climate change.

Fit for the Future is a knowledge-sharing network for practitioners, who want to reduce their organisation’s energy bills and better manage their environmental impacts. Founded out of a collaboration between National Trust and Ashden, the Network enables members to share knowledge and best practice so that they can move forward with energy saving and generation projects.

The Network now has 80 member organisations, including the RNLI, RSPB, English Heritage, Crown Estate, Oxfam GB and Tate, among others. Here is a taste of some of their inspirational work, demonstrating the breadth of experience and knowledge that is being shared.

Historic Environment Scotland

With 27 buildings, 1.5 million visitors in 2015 and spread over 7 acres of land, Edinburgh Castle uses the same amount of energy as 280 average households and is the biggest energy user in Historic Environment Scotland’s portfolio. Major energy efficiency improvements over the past few years have reduced energy consumption by 29%, which is a 31% reduction in carbon emissions compared to 2008-09. Measures included more efficient LED lighting and lighting controls, sheep’s wool insulation, implementation of smart meters and the replacement of gas boilers, controls and pumps. This, alongside behaviour change among staff, is now resulting in real annual savings of £100,000.

Loft insulation at Edinburgh Castle © Historic Environment Scotland

Insulation at Edinburgh Castle © Historic Environment Scotland

Canal and River Trust

In the last 12 months, the Canal & River Trust have invested £340,000 in LED lighting at 16 different sites across the country. Lighting was one of their biggest energy consumers and yet could be a simple step towards cutting their carbon footprint. Their biggest challenge was that their properties and sites are so diverse, with no two sites the same. However, the completed work will now result in savings of up to 490,000 kwh in electricity every year, the equivalent of 226 tonnes of CO2 and a reduction in the whole Canal and River Trust’s carbon footprint of nearly 1.5%. This will enable them to save up to £58,000 in bills – the equivalent of powering two of their most popular visitor centres for a whole year.

© Canal and River Trust

© Canal and River Trust

University of Chester

The University of Chester has installed solar PV panels on ten buildings across the university, including offices, lecture rooms and halls of residence, as well as fitting LED lighting at key sites. Through a mixture of behaviour change initiatives, renewable energy generation and more efficient technology, the University has seen an average reduction in carbon emissions of 20% and an almost 30% reduction in costs for these buildings. They have generated enough power to make 6.1 million cups of tea and are using surplus energy generated from the solar PV in other buildings across the university.

Installing solar panels © University of Chester

Installing solar panels © University of Chester

These are just some of the inspirational stories from Network members, who are sharing lessons learnt and best practise so that they can become more environmentally sustainable. To find out more about Fit for the Future and how to get involved, visit or email

Find out more about the Show The Love campaign here fit-for-the-future-network

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