Energy, environment and sustainability


Here you can find information on our electricity use at our building in Kew. Open the document below to view our electricity use in half-hourly intervals, updated every month.

Our electricity use data (CSV, 1.0 MB)

Repository environment

We take 12,614,400 measurements of temperature and humidity levels in our repositories each year.

Our environmental commitment

At The National Archives, we are committed to continually improving our environmental performance – to reducing our energy use and carbon emissions, preventing pollution and reducing our waste streams. On 14 May 2010, the Prime Minister set a target for central government to reduce its carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months. On 6 July 2011, the Cabinet Office and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced that government has achieved this target, saving a total of 13.8%.

During 2019-20, we continued to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. We achieved a 74% reduction in carbon emissions compared with the baseline year of 2009-10, and against the government target of a 32% reduction.

We have worked to meet and exceed our obligations under the Greening Government Commitments, sending no waste to landfill and reducing the overall waste we produced by 51% compared with the baseline year of 2010-11, against a target of a 30% reduction. We also continued to reduce our use of domestic flights and our paper consumption.

In 2019-20, we used 30% less water compared with the 2009-10 baseline year, which represents a 6% decrease compared with the previous year. We continued to support the local community in the following ways:

  • Maintained our grounds and ornamental ponds in accordance with our biodiversity plan, as a local amenity for our staff, visitors and local residents to enjoy. The grounds are open to the public from dawn until dusk, 364 days of the year and remained open during the COVID-19 crisis, subject to social distancing requirements.
  • Maintained our surface water drainage arrangements to meet our obligations to the flood defences of the local area, supporting the Environment Agency and the Port of London Authority’s Thames flood defence maintenance work.
  • Communicated regularly with our neighbours and local residents regarding planned maintenance and project works.
  • Hosted quarterly Police Liaison Group meetings with the Metropolitan Police Service Safer Neighbourhood Team, local neighbourhood watch representatives, residents of the Kew ward, and local councillors.
  • Provided a meeting space for local societies and resident groups’ community-focused activities.
  • Continued membership and participation with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and key employers across the borough.
  • Liaised with the Swan Sanctuary for monitoring the wellbeing of resident wildfowl on our grounds.
  • Supported the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames’ environmental initiatives.

Biodiversity Action Plan

The grounds of The National Archives, Kew, are host to many varied species of flora and fauna.

At the National Archives we are looking at ways in which we can sustain and improve our biodiversity for the future.

Ecological walkover survey report (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Biodiversity Action Plan (PDF, 2.3 MB)