Image: National Theatre
The National Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre Wales have all committed to making their shows to the new Theatre Green Book standard for sustainability.
By Isobel Jaffray
Others including Royal Opera House, Old Vic, Scottish Opera and Roundhouse have endorsed the Theatre Green Book with plans to follow suit as quickly as possible.
Spearheaded by Theatres Trust, Buro Happold and ABTT, and led by theatre architect Paddy Dillon, the Theatre Green Book has brought theatre-makers together with sustainability experts to set common standards for theatre. This cross-industry partnership, uniting all the leading theatre organisations, helps theatre-makers respond together to the climate crisis and define shared standards for the journey to sustainability.
Theatre Green Book initiative pulls together existing guidance and creates a shared standard for environmentally responsible theatre across three volumes:
- Sustainable Productions
- Sustainable Buildings
- Sustainable Operations
The project spearheaded by Theatres Trust, Buro Happold and ABTT and led by theatre architect Paddy Dillon builds upon the work of Julie’s Bicycle, Creative Carbon Scotland, SiPA, Ecostage and others.
Theatre Green Book is supported by a wide range of industry partners who, along with dozens of individual practitioners and theatre organisations, have contributed to its development: UK Theatre, SOLT, ITC, Federation of Scottish Theatre, Creu Cymru, Theatre and Dance NI, Community
Leisure UK, Staging Change, the Society of British Theatre Designers, Scene Change, the Association of Lighting Designers, and Stage Sight.
The Sustainable Productions volume has been prepared through an extensive period of interviews, focus groups and consultation with dozens of theatre-makers, as well as a survey of nearly two hundred practitioners and an extensive literature review of guidance on green theatre.
Lisa Burger, Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre says, “We have to seize this moment, and the Theatre Green Book is a brilliant resource for the whole sector. The National Theatre is continuing to make its work as sustainable as possible by committing to adopting the baseline principles of the Theatre Green Book for all productions over the next twelve months.”
Gemma Swallow, Technical Director of National Theatre of Scotland, says, “As part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Green Plan we are strongly committed to the Theatre Green Book. This new guidance sets a common standard for a sustainable production process and we will use it for our 2021/2022 season and beyond. We are excited to be able to share our experience with working groups and colleagues going forward.”
Paddy Dillon, Theatre Green Book Co-ordinator, says, The Theatre Green Book is theatre’s shared response to the climate emergency. During lockdown, theatre-makers of all disciplines have brought their expertise and knowledge to the discussion. It’s fantastic to see so many companies seizing this as a moment of real change.”
Jon Morgan, Director of Theatres Trust, says, “Theatres Trust and the other Theatre Green Book project partners are delighted that so many of our larger theatre organisations have shown leadership in the sector’s response to the climate crisis. We know there are also other smaller theatres, producers and freelancers who will be using the Theatre Green Book in their work and we’d urge organisations and individuals working at all scales to get involved.”