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Here’s how RNCM are embarking on a journey towards a greener future

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is orchestrating a symphony of sustainability to help keep our planet healthy. 

The iconic Manchester institution embraces a mission that places climate and environmental impact at the core of its decision-making, showing that it can make a significant difference even as a smaller organisation.

With a resounding commitment to creating a future that is green, sustainable, and in harmony with our planet, the RNCM is redefining the role of musicians and artists in addressing the global climate crisis.

You can find out more about what they’ve got planned here

Declaring a Climate Emergency

The RNCM has taken a bold stance by joining organisations in Greater Manchester and worldwide in declaring a climate emergency.

Their commitment includes divesting from fossil fuels and working towards full heat decarbonisation by 2038.

Their goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 13% annually, aligning with Greater Manchester’s net-zero carbon targets.

The RNCM’s Sustainability Mission

Two years ago, RNCM Climate Action was founded by students and staff to foster sustainability and eco-friendliness.

The RNCM believes in the power of student voices and is dedicated to nurturing a sustainable ethos within its community.

Their commitment extends beyond their own institution as they set an inspiring example for other conservatoires to follow.

Speaking to I Love MCR, RNCM Students Beth Machell and Hoda Jahanpour said: “Two years ago, we founded RNCM Climate Action, a society to help students and staff live more sustainably and for our college to become more environmentally friendly.

“It means so much to us that student voices are heard at the RNCM. We look forward to working with the college further and hope other conservatoires will follow the lead.”

RNCM’s journey toward sustainability is not new.

They have had a Carbon Management Plan since 2010 and adopted a Sustainability 2032 Framework.

With dedicated efforts, they’ve already saved 877 tonnes of carbon by 2020 and successfully secured funding for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

The Future is Green

RNCMS de-carbonisation project

From September to July, RNCM is set to take center stage with a series of public performances that shine a spotlight on climate change and the natural world under the banner of “The Future is Green.”

This year, the RNCM continues its mission to Define the Future of Music, directing its focus toward the global crisis at hand. It poses a vital question: What roles can and should musicians and creative artists assume in response to these pressing issues?

They affirm, “While acknowledging that our organisational impact is modest and that there is much work ahead, we are determined to leverage our platform to raise awareness and stimulate meaningful discussions. We aim to explore what both the collective and individual efforts within our sector can achieve.”

This exceptional initiative extends opportunities to students, staff, audience members, and the broader community, inviting them to learn, understand, and contemplate their roles in this endeavour.

In addition, we will shine a light on the efforts behind the scenes, showcasing the vital work within our curriculum and the sustainable measures integrated across our campus.

To explore the captivating lineup of The Future is Green events presented by RNCM, please click here.

You can check out the RNCM’s awesome The Future is Green gigs by clicking here with additional events in the line-up to be announced in December 2023.

One standout performance not to be missed is Terje Isungset’s exceptional ice concert, featuring an ensemble of ice instruments: voice, ice harp, ice horn, iceophone, ice percussion, and ice bass.

Isungset, the innovative inventor of ice music, returns to the UK with a mesmerising quartet that pays homage to the most precious entity on our planet—nature.

The concert draws from his albums “Winter Songs” and “Beauty of Winter,” along with fresh, unreleased compositions.

These unique ice instruments are meticulously crafted by the award-winning ice carver Bill Covitz during Isungset’s annual Ice Music Festival in Norway, using only natural ice from the lakes. Prepare to be transported by the extraordinary, ethereal sounds that these ice creations produce.


  • Terje Isungset: ice drums, ice percussion, ice horns, iceofone
  • Amalie Holt Kleive: vocals, ice percussion, and water
  • Julie Rokseth: ice harp
  • Toivo Fjose: ice bass
  • Mathias Grønsdal: sound design
  • Ina Charlotte Moe: ice logistics

Leading the Way in Environmental Sustainability

In 2021, the RNCM took a significant step forward by becoming the only Higher Education Institution in Greater Manchester to receive funding under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

This funding has allowed them to make substantial enhancements to their facilities, significantly lowering their carbon footprint.

RNCM’s Net Zero Emissions Commitment

In line with Manchester City’s targets, RNCM has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2038, highlighting their alignment with local goals and their dedication to the planet’s well-being.

Innovative Sustainability Projects

Under this initiative, the RNCM implemented innovative projects that cut down energy consumption and promote sustainability:

  • Solar PV Array: An impressive solar panel array, combined with a state-of-the-art battery storage system, optimises electricity storage and consumption, significantly reducing energy costs.
  • Battery Storage: A 1MW battery storage system has been installed, ensuring efficient energy usage and contributing to environmental friendliness.
  • Gas Boilers: The RNCM reduced its gas boiler requirements by utilising high-efficiency boilers, significantly reducing carbon emissions.
  • Air-Source Heat Pumps and Chiller Plant: The RNCM implemented a hybrid air-source heat pump system for heating and cooling, efficiently transferring heat from the outside air to water.
  • Building Energy Management System (BEMS): A central component of the project, the BEMS enables real-time monitoring and control of energy use for heating and cooling the estate.

Supporting the RNCM Green Fund

To support the RNCM’s commitment to music and sustainability, you can contribute to the RNCM Green Fund.

Your donation will fuel initiatives such as sustainable building improvements, eco-conscious touring, carbon literacy training, and student-led projects to tackle climate change.

You can find out more by clicking here

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