Climate Change

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens releases first Sustainability Strategy

Kew Royal Botanic Gardens yesterday (24 May) released its first Sustainability Strategy that sets out a number of commitments to reducing the organisation’s carbon emissions, as it aims to become ‘climate positive’ by 2030.

The organisation, which is based in London, Sussex and Madagascar, will seek to take action against climate change in three ways: by changing the way it operates across its sites and activities, by collaborating with others and by educating and informing visitors about sustainable choices.

Kew GardensKew Gardens has also joined the UN-backed campaign ‘Race to Zero’, which lobbies for a decarbonised economy with support from businesses, governments and investors.

Director of RBG Kew, Richard Deverell, commented: “This new strategy and commitment to be climate positive by 2030 is the culmination of many years of work.

“Tackling the environmental emergency must sit at the very heart of everything we do and as a global plant science institution and visitor attraction we have a unique responsibility to act now.

“Failing to take urgent action will cost us severely and will leave us unprepared for the unprecedented challenges of the decades to come. This is just the start of a journey in which we will all need to play our part.”

In its strategy, RBG Kew lays out how it intends to make the necessary changes to meet its climate commitments.

These actions, which are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, include working with local governments within borough and county regions where it operates, supporting nature-based solutions to capturing carbon and protecting ecosystems, and managing the risks of climate change at each of its sites.

Furthermore, visitors to Kew Gardens and Wakehurst will be able to visit the new Family Kitchen and Shop, which is due to open in Kew Gardens in autumn 2021.

The Family Kitchen and Shop will offer plant-based food and drinks options, incentivise visitors to bring reusable cups, and encourage them to visit by bike or public transport. 

Rachel Purdon, Head of Sustainability at RBG Kew, said: “The environmental emergency requires more rapid and significant changes to the way we do things at Kew, at home, and across society.

We cannot do this alone.  We want everyone to share the urgency and the commitment to change that underpins our ambitious new strategy.  Cross-sector partnerships and collaborations are vital, as is the engagement and action of our supporters and visitors in bringing about the change we desperately need to see to save our planet.”