As I read through London’s recently released plan of action for their theaters, I kept asking myself how the climate (and I don’t mean the weather kind) in London — or Europe in general — 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 Johnson’s report would happen here in the States. At least not this quickly, this comprehensively…I just don’t see it.
In short, I’m amazed with the document they produced, and the related “Green Theatre Calculator 2008” (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 I’ll hit some highlights, and strongly encourage you to download a copy and study it — especially the “practical actions.”
- 35% of London theater’s carbon emissions come from “front of house” operations, including heating and cooling
- 9% of the emissions are the result of “stage electricals”
- The entire London theater industry has a carbon footprint “roughly equivalent” to the energy use of nearly 9,000 homes
- The report advocates factoring “equipment energy costs” 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.