“It is commercial, not ‘save the planet’.”
David English, Restore, Redhill

Case Study Visit – Roffey Park

September’s tour of Roffey Park Institute continued the series of Case Study Tours to showcase sustainability best practice. The event was organised by Sustainable Business Network on behalf of the Green Growth Platform.

DSC06710 croppedRoffey Park is an international leadership and management institute, with large grounds and until recently – a very high energy bill. In recent years they have become engaged with becoming more environmentally sustainable. This led to several actions such as recycling, reducing printing, installing a green roof and planting a kitchen garden. Last year they had a 400 kW ground-source heat pump installed by Baystar Energy Efficient Systems, which has had impressive economic and environmental benefits.

Powering the central heating as well as an indoor heated swimming pool, the heat-pump has reduced energy costs from £55,000 to £20,000 or 60% per year. It has also cut carbon emissions by 30 tonnes per year. The payback period is between 5 and 6 years.

DSC06712 croppedRoffey Park is particularly well suited for this type of renewable energy technology because it has a large open field to house the underground system. Trenches 1.2m deep over an area the size of two football pitches are dug and filled with coiled hose. This hose, containing water that is warmed by the stored solar energy in the ground is used to evaporate a refrigerant which is compressed to produce thermal energy. After the installation, the soil is replaced and replanted with grass and within a year the site shows no sign of the heat-pump and the surface can be used for something else.  For organisations that do not have access to a large space such as this, ground-source heat pumps can also use a vertical bore-hole – however it usually needs to be over 100m deep so the installation costs are considerably higher.

Today’s visit started with a welcome talk from Nigel Dean from Roffey Park before he led us on a guided tour of the heat-pump site, the two plant rooms and the kitchen garden. We then returned inside for refreshments and networking, followed by a talk from the Baystar directors about the technological and financial aspects of the project.

Presentations from the event can be found here.

This was the last Case Study Tour of the year, but our Industry Insight Tour series continues on Friday 18th September at Arlington Reservoir and Water Treatment Plant.


The Green Growth Platform supports a thriving and innovative green sector in Sussex through a unique menu of business services delivered by a team of industry specialists, business advisors and university experts. The Platform offers businesses 1-2-1 coaching, events and networking, innovation and R&D support and skills and training. For more information and free membership, please visit:

The Sustainable Business Network is pleased to be working in partnership with the Green Growth Platform to run a series of networking events, site tours and specialist seminars:

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