Theatre Green Book One Toolkit – Touring and Co-production
34. Travel Planning Tips and Best Practice
With thanks to Complicité and the members of the Touring Committee for producing this guidance.
A number of websites can help you plan necessary trips as sustainably as possible:
Skyscanner provides unbiased breakdown of green credentials: https://www.skyscanner.net/
Rail Europe (compares the carbon impact of train journeys vs flights): https://www.raileurope.com/blog/travel-green-calculating-your-carbon-savings
Eco Passenger (compares CO2 emissions for different modes of travel & has great graphs): http://ecopassenger.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en?L=vs_uic&
International Civil Aviation Organisation has a flight carbon calculator: https://www.icao.int/environmental-protection/CarbonOffset/Pages/default.aspx
Trainhugger is a UK train ticket booking platform (inc. booking fees), through which 1 tree is planted in UK for every ticket bought: https://www.trainhugger.com/
Train carbon calculator for the UK: https://www.lner.co.uk/tickets-savings/the-best-way-to-travel/our-commitment-to-the-environment
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: https://ecolibrium.earth/
Rome2rio explains how to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry & car: https://www.rome2rio.com/
Seat 61 offers advice on longer trips whilst avoiding air travel: https://www.seat61.com/
Book Different is a social enterprise that uses the booking.com 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: Bookdifferent.com
Green Key International is an internationally recognised eco-label awarded to accommodations and other hospitality facilities that commit to sustainable business practices: https://www.greenkey.global/
Good Journey partner with venues to market car-free travel to the venue – could suggest venues consider partnering: https://www.goodjourney.org.uk/
- 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.