Sustainability strategy

Our sustainability strategy sets out our commitment to make a positive impact through our environmental sustainability performance. It covers several key themes where we can make the biggest difference to the environment and our customers.

This includes:
• reducing our overall energy consumption
• considering the use of energy-efficient resources including renewable energy systems
• maximising reuse and recycling in all of our waste streams
• reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other harmful emissions
• reducing our water consumption
• maintaining the HRP grounds and buildings in an environmentally sensitive way
• embedding good sustainable procurement practice

Sustainability strategy

Download the Sustainability strategy

Sustainability performance

We are committed to publishing our performance and we do this within our Annual accounts.

Sustainability Energy management in historic buildings and estates is always challenging, but Historic Royal Palaces continue to carry out a number of energy saving initiatives across our sites. A summary of our performance for 2018/2019 is below.

Greenhouse gas emissions

In 2018/19 there was a decrease in the amount of Greenhouse Gas produced. The overall carbon footprint is lower than the year before, reducing from 4,989 tonnes of CO2e to 4,668 tonnes of CO2e.


As HRP’s activities grow, it is not surprising that we consume a lot of energy; in 2018/19, our total energy consumption was 16.9 million kWh, an increase of 1.2 million kWh on 2017/18. The carbon emissions associated with our energy use (known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions) represent one of HRP’s biggest areas of environmental impact, in particular those arising from our electricity use.


We are committed to continue the progress that has been made over the years with water consumption and this is now supported by regular environmental audit and impact assessments for all of our sites. However in 2018/19, HRP saw a 29% increase in water consumption. The increase is due to infrastructure at the Tower of London and greater usage at the Kensington Palace Pavilion. The weather conditions during the summer also had an impact on water usage.

Waste management

We continue to focus on waste management, increase reuse and recycling of plastics with our waste management contractors. Total waste arising has decreased by 63 tonnes in 2018/19 compared to 2017/18. A higher proportion of the waste continues to be sent for energy recovery (c60%).
Under the current waste management processes, we also continue to achieve zero waste to landfill and as part of our five-year strategy, we are looking at options to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic across our estate.


We remains committed to the aim of biodiversity conservation to ensure that all life forms prosper through sympathetic, sustainable management. Biodiversity is a key area of the HRP Sustainability Strategy that recognises the need to consider the conservation of biological diversity in all that we do within the gardens, estates, and the built environment.

We have carried out a wide variety of strategic biodiversity work, including Environmental Impact Assessments, tree Surveys and Ecological Survey Reports. This allows us where possible, to create new habitats or enhance existing ones to encourage local wildlife to flourish.

Read our financial statement to find detailed information on our sustainability performance in 2019/2020.

2019/2020 financial statements

Biodiversity at our palaces

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An exterior photo of the South facade of Hillsborough Castle on a sunny September day. Framed by greenery.

Blog: Renewable energy meets conservation: the Hydro House at Hillsborough

Historic Royal Palaces restored and re-commissioned the Hydro House at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens in 2017 as part of conservation work, installing a hydro generator which powers the visitor centre.