Theatre Green Book OPERATIONS Toolkit –

Lifecycle Assessment 

Everything you buy (workshop materials, appliances for the bar, cartridges for your printer, new dimmer racks etc) has a carbon life-cycle. Carbon (or greenhouse gas) emissions are a result of:

• Sourcing or producing materials

• Manufacturing

• Packaging and transport.

• Removal at end of life

• Disposal

In the past this has been a linear process, with new materials quickly ending up in landfill. In the context of the climate emergency we need to shift to a circular process. Our waste should become our material source. 

To move towards circularity: 

• Buy quality items that are built to last (check warranties and guarantees).

• Buy things that have a high recycled content

• Buy everything with end of life in mind. Is it recyclable? Will the manufacturer take it back?

• Consider rental options

• Maintain things so they last longer

• Recycle items appropriately if they can’t be reused

If you are unsure about whether it is best to replace or keep, follow these simple rules:

• For items that do not consume electricity: Make them last as long as possible. Care for them, then up-cycle or recycle when you no longer need them.

• For electrical items that get used sparingly or that have only a short service life (e.g. computers, TVs, monitors, consumer electronics): Make them last as long as possible. Repair parts, if you can. When purchasing replacements, check warranties and guarantees. It pays to buy good quality replacements (both from a carbon and cost perspective). Purchase computers with slightly higher specifications which are more likely to last longer.

• Electrical items that get used intensively over a long period (fridges, light bulbs, dishwashers, coffee machines): Replace at the end of their recommended service life. Maintain them well in the meantime. If these items look a bit old and worn, then chances are it’s more carbon efficient to replace them now.