Assembly Rooms is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance as part of a wider commitment to sustainable development. In our role as a City of Edinburgh Council multi-purpose venue, we recognise that we have a clear responsibility to help Edinburgh to become Carbon Zero by 2030.

Improving resource efficiency and sustainability is a long-term commitment at the Assembly Rooms and every member of the team is involved in living its sustainability plan.


  • To align with the Scotland Outlook 2030’s key priorities; 
  • Our passionate people
  • Our thriving places
  • Our diverse businesses
  • Our memorable experiences.
  • To promote fairness, equality and diversity in our workforce and partnerships.
  • Adopt and promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable resources throughout our venue. 
  • Use environmentally friendly or fully biodegradable cleaning materials.
  • Review and introduce emerging technologies as soon as practicable.
  • Promote and encourage the adoption of more sustainable modes of transport.
  • Assist and encourage suppliers to operate more sustainably through effective supplier engagement.
  • Participate in green initiatives and activities including Green Tourism Business Scheme that educate our staff and community and indicate our sustainable practices.
  • Maximise reuse and recycling opportunities, prevent or minimise waste.
  • Continually monitor and review our performance on a quarterly basis.

Sustainability initiatives and energy efficiency

Action – work with organisations to promote sustainability 

Result – Assembly Rooms holds a Gold Green Tourism Business Award and has achieved accreditation in the Resource Efficiency Pledge plus have been a finalist and winner at the VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards

Next steps – Achieve ISO accreditation, work with VIBES Awards and maintain Gold Green Tourism Business Award accreditation.

Energy Efficiency 

Action - Assembly Rooms upgraded their Building Management System and installed LED bulbs lighting throughout the venue as part of the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland Programme which aims to identify and implement energy saving measures.

Result – Assembly Rooms switch to LED bulbs and heating and water system upgrades have led to significant savings of 90% of the previous energy consumption - an estimated 75,000 kWh in electricity, and 50,000 kWh in gas each year. This is equivalent to over 5,000 days of energy usage.

Next steps – work with colleagues to continue to identify and implement energy saving measures at all Council cultural venues 

Waste management

Action - Assembly Rooms changed its waste management processes working with a local supplier to sort waste at source.  This waste management approach includes regular training with staff on this waste management approach, the importance of circular economy and actively promote this with all clients and venue users. 

Result - Assembly Rooms has achieved a 90% closed loop recycling rate

Next Steps –increase reuse of waste utilising local partners including Edinburgh Remakery and sign up to Edible Edinburgh Food Charter 

Staff engagement and behaviour change

Action – Assembly Rooms identified benefits for staff to be proactively involved in creating sustainable solutions for their venue.

Result – Assembly Rooms worked with Edinburgh University to set up a Living Lab at the venue for 12 months to identify challenges and opportunities surrounding behaviour-based energy use. The whole of the Assembly Rooms team was involved in the Enhance project and were integral in the co-development of the projects outcome which was a game which can be used to educate staff on how behaviour can impact energy use.  

Next steps – work with colleagues across cultural venues to educate staff in how they can impact energy use.


Action – Assembly Rooms is with their Catering partners to implement and promote their sustainable solutions including uses local produce and reducing their food waste.



Next steps – progress a Circular Economy pilot project for Food Waste with the Catering panel members.

Supplier and product choices

Action – Assembly Rooms aims to work with companies and brands that share the same sustainable values.

Results – some of our current supplier’s sustainable activities

Belu Water - charitable company that donates 100% of profits to WaterAid

Mackies – a Scottish farming company who produce Ice Cream & Crisps are heavily supportive of renewable energy with a wind farm and solar energy plant at their farm in Aberdeenshire

Coffee Conscience, is an ethical Fairtrade coffee brand which also supports local community environmental initiatives

Eteaket Tea, is ethically sourced and a Member of the Ethical Tea Partnership - which supports The Princes Trust and helps provide education for children in India

Bioware PLA cups are used for all disposable cold drink containers – made from corn starch they are fully compostable. Vegware compostable cups are used for hot drinks as well as disposable food containers and drinking straws. 

Additional policies

Useful reading for event organisers