Grassroots music venue becomes carbon neutral by using renewable energy and reducing waste

A grassroots music venue in Sutton with a pop up venue in Morden has become the first of its kind to become carbon neutral.

The Sound Lounge in Morden received official carbon neutral certification on July 1.

Musicians Hannah White and Keiron Marshall, who founded the venue, said that being a small business serving the local community comes with responsibility. 

Ms White said: “We can’t claim to be making a positive impact on people around us if we are actually causing harm, even if it’s in an indirect way.” 

The non-profit organisation has been running in various South London locations since 2015.

Now in its current location on Sutton High Street, it hosts live music up to six nights a week.

The venue also has a pop up in Morden on London Road.

The community-based space hosts a variety of acts including new talent, emerging artists and world-famous Grammy, BRIT and Ivor Novello Award-winners.

By day it is also a plant-based café and restaurant with a programme of community workshops and training for local people suffering from disadvantage. 

Hannah White and Keiron Marshall

The Sound Lounge is providing takeaway packaging that is compostable, using energy from 100 per cent renewable sources and sending none of their waste to landfill to reduce their impact on the planet.

All cleaning products used at the venue are non-toxic and plastic free and all furniture is upcycled, re-used or vintage.

The organisation’s commitment to the environment extends to food and drink too.

The venue serves a 100 per cent plant-based and seasonal menu, locally brewed beer and carbon neutral wine.

All food waste is either composted in The Sound Lounge garden or recycled by a local 100 per cent green waste company.

The Sound Lounge founders believe their responsibility is to make the right choices accessible. 

Ms White said: “If we can do it, anyone can do it. If a small independent on a competitive high street can make the changes not only does it illustrate that it’s possible for the big brands, but it shows that other independents can do it too. And I believe that independents will lead the way.” 

Ms White and Mr Marshall are committed to going even further, and say that current targets do not go far enough to make the changes needed to slow down the pace of global warming. 

Ms White added: “Councils are not going far enough, corporates are not going far enough. Our government is certainly not  going far enough.

“But if the will is there, we will do everything  we can to support the change at every one of those levels. We will not stop  here and will continue to measure, review and reduce our carbon footprint in every way we possibly can.”

Pictured top: The Sound Lounge founders Hannah White and Keiron Marshall



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