Theatre Green Book OPERATIONS Toolkit –

Building a Sustainability Culture


To make meaningful progress in sustainability, organisations need an effective sustainability culture. This requires structure to support change:

• A Green Team with members representing all parts of the organisation 

• Buy-in at Board and senior management, with sustainability sponsors on the board, and in the senior management team, and regular communication with the Green Team

• A Green network of staff across the organisation, empowered to feed in ideas, react and communicate

To make purposeful headway, the Green Team needs to develop a plan and programme for achieving Green Book standards, obtain buy-in from the Board and senior management, and consult and communicate across the organisation.

Sustainability is a collective responsibility, and organisational change can only be achieved if everyone feels part of it. Everyone will have a role to play in developing ideas, adapting working practices, and bringing expertise to different challenges. And change will never take root unless it’s adopted by the people who deliver it. 

• Develop a communications strategy to share targets and achievements.

• Host a environmental visioning workshops to share ideas, using the Theatre Green Book to guide the discussion. Encourage contribution from all levels of the organisation. 

• Clear and easy-to-follow climate literacy training is fundamental for people to understand the language and jargon. Appropriate training and strategies to engage people within your organisation will also have an impact on operational carbon reduction. (Many of those involved in curating this guidance have found climate literacy training beneficial.) 

• Provide sustainability induction for new starters. This could be as simple as a list of your Green-Team members, scheduled meetings, sustainability goals, current actions and plans for the future.

• Include sustainable roles and objectives within new employment contracts. 

Theatres and companies don’t have to tackle this challenge alone. Organisations like Julie’s Bicycle ( and Creative Carbon Scotland (creative carbon Scotland) provide resources, support and help. Other theatres and theatre-makers in your networks will be doing the same as you. Share ideas by joining Theatre Green Book forums, committees and updates.

Finally, sustainability culture isn’t only about your staff. Make sure you’re communicating with freelancers, audiences, contractors and other stakeholders, bringing them into the journey, and providing freelancers with the support they need to work sustainably.