As I read through Londonâ€™s recently released plan of action for their theaters, I kept asking myself how the climate (and I donâ€™t mean the weather kind) in London â€” or Europe in general â€” allows such things to happen. I know that NYC mayor Bloomberg has taken steps to encourage a greener Broadway, but to my knowledge nothing at the level of London mayor Johnsonâ€™s report would happen here in the States. At least not this quickly, this comprehensivelyâ€¦I just donâ€™t see it.
In short, Iâ€™m amazed with the document they produced, and the related â€œGreen Theatre Calculator 2008â€³ (download your own excel copy here), which is a great tool for theaters everywhere. Thank you London.
I could go on and on about this report, but instead Iâ€™ll hit some highlights, and strongly encourage you to download a copy and study it â€” especially the â€œpractical actions.â€
- 35% of London theaterâ€™s carbon emissions come from â€œfront of houseâ€ operations, including heating and cooling
- 9% of the emissions are the result of â€œstage electricalsâ€
- The entire London theater industry has a carbon footprint â€œroughly equivalentâ€ to the energy use of nearly 9,000 homes
- The report advocates factoring â€œequipment energy costsâ€ into production budget
- An appendix to the report lists the top actions that theaters can take, including:
- Switch off stage lights when not in use
- Reduce energy use in exterior lighting
- Implement energy management program
- Minimize travel emissions
Again, this post barely scratches the surface of the report. Read it yourself. If we all manage to implement a fraction of its suggestions, and are inspired by one of its case studies, we will push green theater in America nearer to true sustainability.