Judith Owens Titanic

Sustainability: Judith Owens, CEO Titanic Belfast

Provide a brief background on your organisation

Titanic Belfast is the world’s most authentic Titanic visitor attraction, located on the spot where the famous ship was designed and launched.

The iconic building houses the Titanic Experience, nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the city and people that made her. The Titanic Experience ticket includes admission on board SS Nomadic, RMS Titanic’s tender ship and the world’s last remaining White Star Line vessel.

Since opening in 2012, Titanic Belfast has continued to go from strength to strength, firmly establishing itself on the local, national and international stage, having welcomed over 6 million visitors. It is a must-see for anyone with an interest in the fascinating Titanic story and a development that Belfast can be proud of.

Outline the reasons your company are working towards improving sustainability credentials

At Titanic Belfast, we have always been committed to sustainability from our initial conception as a BREEAM Excellent rated building. Whilst we have our own in-house sustainability initiatives in place and have done extensive work in this arena thus far, we are keen to progress this to the next level and are currently developing our Social and Sustainability Strategy which will underpin all we do, enabling us to drive these practices to a higher standard across all areas and futureproof the business as we head into our second decade of operations.

List five things that your business had to adapt to become more sustainable.

1) In recent years we have reviewed and updated our glass, cardboard and general waste recycling policies throughout the business to ensure we are working sustainably across all areas of the business.

2) We have been working with our suppliers on a packaging reduction strategy, particularly in our Retail Outlets.

3) To not only be environmentally sustainable but socially sustainable we have developed ongoing partnerships with charities and social enterprises including Orchardville, NOW Group and USEL.

4) Post-pandemic we also took the opportunity to adapt our marketing and visitor experience collateral in favour of digital/mobile options to reduce printed materials.

5) Our building facilities constantly work to ensure our environmental impact is maintained and optimised using systems like our Building Energy Management System to control all heating and ventilation to energy saving parameters and our Rain Harvesting Unit to provide recycled water for toilets.

Have you received an international recognised accreditation or are you working towards this and how do you think this will benefit the organisation in the future?

We are enthusiastic about our future sustainability journey at Titanic Belfast and in partnership with Visit Belfast we have registered for the Green Tourism Certification to help not only drive forward our own sustainability practices but also support this practice within the wider destination.

What is your advice to a business aiming to improve their sustainability performance and work towards accreditation?

It’s never too late to start! Although our journey to sustainability is far from over, there are small changes which have made a big impact, so a good place to start is with the easy wins and work from there. An audit of where you are now and setting out your strategy to work towards accreditation will provide a roadmap for you to follow. Reach out to other businesses on their sustainable journey too and share ideas and advice – this can also highlight areas for collaboration!