WHAT IS THE THEATRE GREEN BOOK?
We’re living in a climate crisis. The Green Book is an initiative by the whole of theatre – working with sustainability experts Buro Happold – to work more sustainably. In three volumes it sets standards for making productions sustainably, for making theatre buildings sustainable, and for improving operations like catering and front of house.
If theatre is to be part of the most vital conversation humanity faces, then it has to change its practice. The Theatre Green Book sets out the path to a sustainable future.
77% of audience members expect theatres to address the climate emergency: see the 2023 audience research here
DEC 14 PRESS RELEASE:
Announcing details of The Theatre Green Book’s future structure and plans for a new edition to support theatres in their journey towards sustainability. Read the release here.
Making Theatre in a Time of Climate Crisis: The Resources
“The National Theatre is committed to decarbonising its business and achieving net zero by 2030. From 2024, all productions will be contractually required to achieve the baseline standard established by the Theatre Green Book as a major step towards our sustainable ambition.”
Rufus Norris & Kate Varah, Director & Executive Director, National Theatre
“As part of National Theatre of Scotland’s Green Plan we are strongly committed to the Theatre Green Book. This guidance sets a common benchmark for a sustainable production process and we have been committed to the Intermediate standard since 2021. It is embedded in our contracts and our work and we are dedicated to sharing the journey with colleagues, stakeholders and audiences going forward.”
Gemma Swallow, Technical Director of National Theatre of Scotland
“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.”
David Evans, Technical Director of National Theatre Wales
“We strongly support the Theatre Green Book as a common standard for more sustainable working across the industry. We are working to the guidelines set by the Theatre Green Book for Royal Opera House productions going forwards, gathering carbon data and recording decisions with a conscious commitment to continuous improvement.”
Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House
“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.”
Lucy Davies, Executive Producer, Royal Court Theatre
“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.”
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME
“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.”
Jack Thompson, Technical Director, Manchester International Festival
“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.”
Marcus Davey, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Roundhouse
“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.”
Jennifer Taillefer, Former Production and Technical Director, Unicorn Theatre
“Oxford Playhouse strongly supports the development of the Theatre Green Book as a common standard for more sustainable theatre industry practice. The Playhouse is already beta-testing the initial, sustainable productions phase with ThisEgg’s Me and My Bee, an outdoor touring production this summer, in partnership with Staging Change. We are also consulting with Buro Happold to develop a five-year plan to decarbonise our building and trial recommendations within the next iteration of the Theatre Green Book.”
Vanessa Lefrancois, Executive Director, Oxford Playhouse
“Tinderbox Theatre Company are delighted to announce our commitment to the Theatre Green Book baseline standard for our upcoming season of work, OFF THE GRID. The Theatre Green Book initiative has recently developed an industry-wide standard for creating sustainable productions in response to the urgent issues posed by the climate crisis. We’re excited to be a part of the trial process in creating our Autumn production and look forward to collaborating with other local companies and theatre makers as we explore this new model of sustainable working.”
Tinderbox Theatre Company
“2022 will be an opportunity to reimagine theatre, as we look to rebuild our relationship with audiences. It will also be a real opportunity to make changes to our buildings, artistic productions and working processes. We know it won’t be easy and that we can’t do this alone. But we also know that with the right tools and guidance, our commitment to a truly sustainable theatre sector can become a reality by 2030. That’s why we’re so excited to support the vital work of the Theatre Green Book.”
Heidi Wiley, Executive Director, European Theatre Convention
“The Theatre Green book is an essential resource and commitment for anybody who produces theatre in the 21st century. It has been a delight to see such passion and tenacity from all of our Nottingham Playhouse teams – really diving in to this way of working. Without excuse or exception, we must all commit to this as a sector.”
Stephanie Sirr MBE, Chief Executive, Nottingham Playhouse
“Since 2014 we’ve been embracing sustainable technologies across both our theatres and are committed to transitioning to carbon neutrality. The Green Book has been an invaluable resource for us and we’ve been trialling productions under the baseline standard since 2021, building environmental considerations as an essential agenda. It’s a journey to which everyone at Chichester Festival Theatre is wholeheartedly committed.”
Justin Audibert, Artistic Director & Kathy Bourne, Executive Director, Chichester Festival Theatre
Volume One is available now. It’s about making shows sustainably. Register now for the Beta trial.
Volume Two is now in Beta. It’s about making buildings more sustainable.
Volume Three is now in Beta. It’s about making operations more sustainable.
If you’re trialling a production with the Theatre Green Book, please register on the Sustainable Productions page below. We want to support theatres and companies, gather data, and connect theatre-makers who are learning how to work sustainably.
The Theatre Green Book has brought together theatre-makers and sustainability experts to create a common standard for making theatre sustainably.
The Theatre Green Book is a free resource for everyone in the UK theatre sector. It has been developed in partnership by the organisations whose names and logos you can see below