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Theatre Royal scoop prestigious environmental award

Just Regional
Aug 25, 2015 2 mins read

Norwich Theatre Royal has been awarded a prestigious national rating for its efforts at being more environmentally friendly.

The theatre has gained a 3 star rating, the highest rating possible for a creative business, from the environmental body Julie’s Bicycle which puts the Theatre Royal on the same ‘green’ footing as Wembley Stadium, Glyndebourne Opera House, state-of-the-art theatre Leicester Curve, and the North East’s leading music venue The Sage in Gateshead.

Assessors from the group, a global charity working to make the arts and creative industries more sustainable, highlighted the way the theatre had built lots of green initiatives into its day-to-day operation.

They found the theatre had cut energy use by a fifth since 2008-9 and energy emissions had dropped by 14.5 per cent in the same period.

The Julie’s Bicycle team were particularly impressed with the staff-wide commitment to going green and how it measures its environmental impact, as well as the reduction in energy.

They monitored its work over the past 12 months which includes introducing plastic recycling within the auditorium, monitoring the usage of bins to improve waste separation, encourage staff to reduce carbon usage while commuting to and from work, selling more environmentally friendly panto merchandise with fewer plastic brands which use batteries, and working with the Green Team at Hellesdon High School to share ideas and expertise.

The theatre is one of 200 arts venues that has been assessed so far for the rating, and Julie’s Bicycle is currently working with 35 who are trying to reach the 3 Star level.

Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: “Thanks to our environmental champion Helen Tully and our Green Team, we’re all getting to know how easy it is to save energy and reduce costs on stage and off. Individual efforts, when multiplied by the number of my colleagues who work here, really do make a difference. And they help the business to thrive, so everyone wins.”

A spokesman for Julie’s Bicycle said: “Our vision is a creative community with sustainability at its heart and our mission is to provide the inspiration, expertise and resources to make that happen.

“We work with over 1,000 arts organisations across the UK and internationally, large and small to help them measure, manage and reduce their environmental impacts.”

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