Savoy Cinemas


October 30, 2023


Carbon Audit, Action Plan, Strategy, Workshops

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At Savoy Cinemas, with our footprint of six unique and individual multi screen cinemas located in the heart of urban communities in the Midlands, we are committed to promoting sustainability in all aspects of our operations.

Sustainability is at the very core of our business values.

We are aware of our joint responsibilities to halve our carbon footprint by 2030 and to work towards achieving carbon net zero by 2050.

To achieve this goal, as a company we are developing, alongside our environmental consultancy Trigage, a comprehensive sustainability plan that encompasses four target areas: Culture, Buildings, Retail and Suppliers. The plan will outline the current state of Savoy Cinemas, the actions we are taking to promote sustainability, and our vision for the future.

Savoy Cinemas Worksop


We have a great staff culture within Savoy and we know that every individual has a role to play in reducing our impact on the planet. As such the plan we are putting in place will entail working together with all our staff to find initiatives that encourage us to adopt more sustainable practices in our operations. We will also have a Director responsible for Sustainability and a Sustainability lead - these roles are important to ensure there is accountability for our actions.

We believe that we all have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet.

We believe it is also our responsibility to help our customers make the right decisions when it comes to sustainability and therefore encourage them to think about the food and beverage they  consume and to recycle where possible.

As part of the preliminary work for measuring Carbon footprint we conducted a travel survey, both with staff and customers, to analyse how everyone travels to our cinemas. We received 1400 responses and now have a good understanding, per cinema, of the travel choices people make. This will help guide our staff and customers to make informed decisions about the choice of transportation they use.

Savoy Staff


Savoy has already invested heavily in energy efficient systems.

Cinema Projection

We  have already taken a bold step by converting all our projection technology from xenon to laser, a first for a UK cinema chain. This move has not only significantly reduced carbon emissions, but has seen a 75% reduction in projection energy costs.

LED Lighting

We have replaced all tungsten with LED lighting -  which is known for its energy efficiency and long-lasting performance - for lighting auditoriums, public spaces, staff rooms and film publicity displays.

Savoy Doncaster
All investment initiatives have to be commercially viable...


We have implemented recycling HVAC, which is a system that recycles air and reduces the need for fresh air intake. Our Boston cinema, a large portion of whose carbon emissions comes from gas heating, is currently undergoing  a significant upgrade to this efficient system over the next year.

Building Management Systems

We have leveraged TMS automation to manage the power on and off of sound and vision equipment.  PIR sensors have been installed to automatically switch off lights. One of the tasks for the coming year is to evaluate what other software and hardware solutions can be implemented to further automate energy consumption through the cinema.  

...and must be relevant and applicable to the company's operations.


A number of our buildings are relatively new and follow recent building regulations. They are thus well insulated and this can be seen in the CO2e charts later in this article. However, we will be further evaluating solutions to find creative ways to further insulate older buildings especially 1930s built Nottingham. There are some challenges to overcome, for example external walls that can not be clad and a ceiling that has air ducts and wiring that need access for maintenance.


We have installed water-saving devices such as low-flow taps and dual flush cisterns to conserve water.


Savoy Doncaster was built with solar PV on its roof from day one and is proving a great success. Nottingham, Boston and Worksop are to have solar PV installed within the next year. Solar energy will significantly contribute to reducing daytime operational energy usage and with the use of batteries will supply a portion of the energy for use in the evening during the summer months.


To ensure that energy consumption is monitored and optimised, we have installed half-hourly electricity meters. This allows us to track energy usage and identify areas where we can further reduce energy consumption.

We are also evaluating energy suppliers, with the ultimate goal of selecting providers that offer a combination of competitive pricing and a provision of renewable energy sources, and investment in such resources. We will make an informed decision that aligns with our values and objectives.

A specific Building Action Plan for Nottingham

The Savoy Cinema Nottingham on Derby Road is the only surviving pre-war cinema in the city. It was the first cinema in the UK to install a licensed bar and opened in 1935 with the Dick Powell film Flirtation Walk. At the time there were 52 cinemas operating in the city! This cinema was built according to the construction norms of that time when sustainability was not a high priority. Nonetheless, Savoy Nottingham now uses modern sustainable technology, HVAC and insulation throughout.

We have therefore prepared an action plan specifically for Nottingham that puts in place a number of measures to improve the sustainability of the building within the commercial constraints of operating an efficient modern day cinema.

The measures are detailed in the three ‘Arts Green Book’ categories of easy wins, maintenance projects and CAPEX projects.

Savoy Nottingham Screen 1


We have thousands of guests visiting our cinemas each year to watch great films and enjoy food and beverages.

As part of our plan we are reviewing food sourcing and to use, where commercially feasible, local suppliers (see suppliers section.)

Single-use plastics have become a major concern for individuals and organisations alike. These plastics, including straws, cups, and popcorn containers, have been identified as a significant contributor to the global waste crisis. Savoy have already taken steps to ensure that many of these items are now, or soon will be, recyclable.

Savoy management has initiated a waste management program that has started with a trial of recycling points at its Boston cinema. These recycling points will be advertised through an on-screen message to  our customers. If successful, these will be rolled out across the estate. The first feedback from the recycling trial  was "we are going to need bigger bins". Sounds like a quote from an infamous film!

Although this topic has become politically contentious, we will start to prepare for the introduction of the deposit return scheme if and when it is introduced to the UK.

Finally, we will start working with food and beverage suppliers to measure and then take actions with them with the aim of reducing  the carbon impact of production and distribution.

Boston Recycling Campaign


We are committed to working towards sustainable sourcing across all aspects of our operations, including films, food and beverage, energy and technology.

Encouraging our suppliers to be sustainable...

We will be working  with film distributors and advertising providers to understand the carbon impact of the production and distribution of content projected on our cinema screens, and displayed on posters and digital signage in our foyers. We will jointly explore how this impact could be mitigated.

...across all aspects of operations and technology.

When it comes to food and beverage, we will be evaluating whether it is economically possible to source locally, and seasonally when we can.

As an industry, we are working closely with technology suppliers to  understand the sustainability of their supply chains and how materials are sourced and assembled. Our joint aim is to reduce our carbon footprint in this respect.

Carbon Footprint

One of the early big undertakings on this project was to assess our carbon footprint. We needed a base point so we could put in place some targets. Carbon footprint is measured in CO2e. CO2e (Carbon Dioxide equivalent) is effectively a measurement of all greenhouse gases that create issues for our atmosphere and have a direct impact on global warming. Usually measured by weight - kgs or tonnes.

The GHG Protocol, set up as a global standards body for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, has three scopes of CO2e:

Scope 1 - Direct Emissions from fuel combustion - either through burning of fuels for heating or cooling or for company owned vehicles.

Scope 2 - Indirect Emissions from electricity you purchase for your own use.

Scope 3 - Indirect Emissions through waste disposal, audience and commuter travel, products purchased, supply chain etc..

For the purpose of measuring our emissions baseline there are two activities that sit within  our Scope 3 emissions which require further work with our supply chain to be able to report on:

1. CO2e from the production and distribution of food, beverage or the embodied carbon for materials used in the cinemas (anything from popcorn containers to steel).

2. CO2e from the production and distribution of filmed content.

The plan is to understand more on these two activities in readiness for  next year's update. What we have included, where others might not, is audience travel. We include because firstly we can make a good estimate of it and secondly there are some small actions we can take to help customers make a sustainable choice when travelling to our cinemas. Nottingham even has its own bus stop!

The CO2e emissions for 2022 across our cinema sites in the Savoy Cinema estate is 836 tonnes.

Action Plan

The final piece of the jigsaw, and the critical part, is to prepare a comprehensive action plan detailing the next steps we are taking. The action plan is work in progress and will be finalised by the Cinema Managers in October at a 'Savoy Sustainability' workshop.

The plan will outline the specific steps to achieve our environmental sustainability goals over the next  years. This includes setting targets for energy consumption, waste reduction, and carbon emissions, as well as implementing new technologies and practices to achieve these targets. The plan is split into our four key areas of focus plus the audit:

  • Culture
  • Buildings
  • Retail
  • Supply Chain
  • Measurement / Audit

The areas will have around 4 or 5 specific related items each with a short description, how they are to be measured, the target, the completion date and accountable staff member at Savoy.

The idea is to have a comprehensive and ambitious plan to promote sustainability in all aspects of our operations.

Once we have agreed at a management level on the plan, we will also engage with stakeholders, including the remainder of our employees, customers, suppliers, landlords and local authorities to ensure that our sustainability efforts are aligned with their needs and expectations.

The ultimate objective is to get to net zero emissions by 2050. Savoy Cinemas' plan will be an ambitious effort to start this journey and to promote sustainability in all aspects of our operations. By focusing on Culture, Buildings, Retail, Staff and Suppliers we are taking a holistic approach to sustainability that will help us achieve our goals and contribute to a more sustainable future for all.

The Consultants View

The journey with Savoy began  summer 2022 when James Collington and Tim Potter met to catch up in London. Tim, having worked in IT and cinema for over 25 years, mentioned to James that he was starting up an energy and environmental consultancy, Trigage, where he could apply his commercial and strategic experience. With three daughters, all growing up fast, Tim felt now was probably a better time than ever to tackle the dual topics of energy costs and climate change for the benefit of their futures and, at the same time, find a way of making a business of it.

Savoy were the perfect first cinema customer for Trigage. They had already invested heavily into new tech, such as laser projectors and solar PV, had the right mindset and knew they had to take action in lowering carbon emissions and energy costs.

The Trigage team for the Savoy project consisted of Tim and his cousin Lynden Potter. Lynden, Chartered Project Professional and Chartered Engineer, who is ex BBC and has a passion for engineering and sustainability. Tim led on the project with Lynden providing consultancy and advice around the Action Plan and Renewables.

Tim's work includes conducting the carbon footprint audit (along with a lot of help gathering data by Helen Vesey, Savoy's Project Manager), producing the action plan and writing up the policy. He will also run a Savoy Sustainability workshop in October.

As well as providing the template for the Action Plan, Lynden helped assess the solar PV offers, inputted into the fortnightly review sessions and has introduced an opportunity to pilot an innovative take on traditional battery tech. On the latter point we look forward to seeing how this pans out - as it could be a big CAPEX saver and a  benefit to the circular economy.

Credit is also due to Julie's Bicycles Creative Green Toolset and to the Theatre Green Book for the building plan for Nottingham.

Trigage have now been appointed as Savoy's environmental and sustainability consultant for the next phase of their plan to get to net zero and we look forward to continuing the journey.

Thank you to James, Mark, Helen and team for your faith in us.

The Trigage Team