Theatre Green Book PRODUCTIONS Toolkit – Touring and Co-production


Travel Planning Tips and Best Practice

With thanks to Complicité and the members of the Touring Committee for producing this guidance.

Useful websites

A number of websites can help you plan necessary trips as sustainably as possible:

Skyscanner provides unbiased breakdown of green credentials

Rail Europe (compares the carbon impact of train journeys vs flights)

Eco Passenger (compares CO2 emissions for different modes of travel & has great graphs)

International Civil Aviation Organisation has a flight carbon calculator

Trainhugger is a UK train ticket booking platform (inc. booking fees), through which 1 tree is planted in UK for every ticket bought

Train carbon calculator for the  UK

Ecolibrium is a website targeted at the music sector, looking at ways to reduce the environmental impacts of travel – much of the advice for touring bands is relevant to touring theatre

Rome2rio explains how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry & car

Seat 61 offers advice on longer trips whilst avoiding air travel

Book Different is a social enterprise that uses the database to list accommodation with green credentials (measured by ecolabels, staygreencheck and the carbon footprint). Simply search, sort by CO2, and select the appropriate price/comfort level

Green Key International is an internationally recognised eco-label awarded to accommodations and other hospitality facilities that commit to sustainable business practices

Good Journey partner with venues to market car-free travel to the venue – could suggest venues consider partnering

General considerations

  • Can journeys be reduced – initial meetings held online? Can site visits be done remotely?
  • How does your sustainable travel become part of the story of the show – can you share your journey through social media and encourage audiences to consider their own travel to the venue?
  • Back-to-back touring avoids returning to UK and limit miles.
  • Only take bookings for longer engagements to maximise the benefit of the travel – consider a two show minimum booking.
  • Only essential personnel should travel. Use local staff if possible – can a local tech team be used? Can someone be trained to operate the show remotely? 
  • Financial incentives, ie 5 pence additional per mile reimbursable for every additional passenger in a road vehicle.

Advice on accommodation booking

  • Choose accommodation that is within walking distance of the venue, so additional travel/transport can be avoided.
  • Provide information on local public transport to the company.
  • Where travel is necessary, encourage the use of public transport as opposed to taxis.
  • Provide information on cycle storage or bicycle hire for local travel.
  • Consider whether car sharing can be promoted – are there any local schemes?  Can any members of the company travel together, hire a minibus?  Can people be linked up prior to the tour to enable travel.
  • Ask touring venues to consider providing bikes for company, or info on where to hire.
  • In larger cities it may be possible to request electric cars rather than petrol when booking taxis.
  • Note that for longer stays, self-catering accommodation can be both cheaper, more practical and have less environmental impact than hotel accommodation. The most environmentally friendly option for accommodation is staying with a friend, family or a colleague, as then your additional energy consumption is marginal compared to the energy use and waste associated with hotel or private flat rentals.
  • Stay in accommodation with green credentials.
  • Refuse a daily laundry / maid service.
  • Ensure accommodation has recycling bins.
  • Encourage company to reduce their energy consumption at their accommodation by eg taking showers instead of baths, ensuring they turn off lights, plugs etc, reusing towels and sheets.
  • Provide accommodation with fridge and cooking facilities to reduce food waste or encourage eating in cafes/restaurants rather than takeaways.
  • Provide reusable water bottles and coffee cups to those who don’t have them.
  • Provide information on local charging points for electric vehicles (detailed info on fast chargers, how reliable they are, how likely they are to be available, can a van be parked there, how close to accommodation/venue etc).
  • Ask company members to participate in capturing their carbon consumption and sharing this data with us.
  • Consider local/bespoke carbon offsetting to contribute back to the local community.