News: Leading theatre companies across the UK adopt Theatre Green Book

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, while other leading companies, including Royal Opera House, Old Vic, Scottish Opera, Manchester International Festival, HOME, Royal Court, Unicorn, Roundhouse and Tinderbox Theatre Company have endorsed the Theatre Green Book with plans to follow suit as quickly as possible.

Created during lockdown, 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 sustainable theatre. A cross-industry partnership, uniting all the leading theatre organisations, it has helped theatre-makers think creatively about theatre’s response to the climate crisis, and define shared standards for the journey to sustainable practice.

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 12 months.

Gemma Swallow, Technical Director of National Theatre of Scotland, said: “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 21/22 season and beyond. We are excited to be able to share our experience with working groups and colleagues going forward.”

David Evans, Technical Director of National Theatre Wales, commented: “We’re strongly behind the Theatre Green Book initiative. We are incorporating the theatre green book’s baseline standard in all our future productions and aim to progress to carbon neutrality as soon as possible.”

Alex Beard, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House, said: “We strongly support the Theatre Green Book as a common standard for more sustainable working across the industry. We will implement it progressively over coming Season, starting with data gathering and trialling its principles in forthcoming new productions.”

Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of how we operate at HOME, and so we warmly welcome the Theatre Green Book as a way to embed best practice across our whole sector. The climate crisis is the most important and dangerous challenge of our time, and we must all work together to safeguard the future of the planet.”

Kate Varah, Executive Director, Old Vic Theatre added: “We are keen to begin using the Theatre Green Book as a common standard for more sustainable working. We will be using our 2021/22 season to collate data, and take positive action where we can, which will inform our plans to meet baseline Green Book standard for our 2022/23 season.”

Lucy Davies, Executive Producer, Royal Court Theatre commented” “We were embarking on our transition to net zero at the Royal Court in March 2020 when the pandemic closed our doors. The time out has deepened our understanding, strategies and commitment to make this just and urgent transition and the Green Book is an incredible rallying resource to transform our practice sector-wide. The Royal Court is adopting Green Book standards from now where possible, with the revival of postponed work, and commits to producing new originated work in 2022 to Green Book baseline standards as a minimum.”

Jack Thompson, Technical Director of Manchester International Festival, said: “As we journey towards the Factory – the place where we invent tomorrow, together – we will progressively implement Green Book standards, as part of our wider sustainability initiatives. MIF’s approach is that achieving sustainability is a journey. We may stumble occasionally and not always get things right, but we will not stop making progress. We invite all those we work, and engage with, to join us.”

Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Roundhouse says, We’re completely behind the Theatre Green Book. Sustainability is vital to the Roundhouse, and we’re developing detailed plans to work to the Green Book standards.

Jennifer Taillefer, Production and Technical Director, Unicorn Theatre says, The Unicorn Theatre is incredibly proud to have been involved with the Theatre Green Book from the outset, and is committed to adopting these new principles. These standards build upon the work we began with our Greening Productions guide for creative teams, published in January 2020. We will continue meeting our own Green standards across all of our productions, so that all of our shows are made more sustainably, and we look forward to trialling the Green Book standards across three major productions in our October 2021 – June 2022 season.

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.


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