The Environmental Future of The Old Vic

This week, Extinction Rebellion are staging a five-day protest to mark the beginning of a ‘summer uprising’ as they call for greater government action on the climate crisis.

It is groups and organisations like these that make us stop to think about own impact on the environment, what we are already doing to make a positive change, and what our priorities are for the future.

As a 201-year-old listed building, and a registered charity in receipt of no public subsidy, we have limitations. However, on top of all the improvements we have already made in our organisation we are always striving to be more sustainable and reduce our negative impact on the environment.

What we’re already doing

FRONT OF HOUSE AND BEHIND THE SCENES

  • We encourage our audiences to choose e-tickets as much as possible, but we know some people will need paper tickets – if so, all of these are printed on recycled (and recyclable) ticket stock
  • Our energy provider is GoodEnergy, who are completely sustainable and source energy from renewable sources
  • We are 100% REGO backed which means every unit of electricity we supply comes from wind, solar, hydro and anaerobic
  • We have an active Green Team
  • We are a Silver Recycling Standard organisation with a recycling rate of 73%. All our mixed dry recycling, electronics, toner and cartridge and battery recycling is done by First Mile
  • All of our disposable plastic and paper cups are made of vegware – these are completely compostable and biodegradable. 

 ON THE STAGE

In 2015 and 2017 we staged Dr.Seuss’s The Lorax – a family story about saving the trees. We ran lots of activity around the show to get audiences involved in talking about how they’re being more green, including informative activities in the programme for children to look at.

At the end of this year, Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs will run at The Old Vic, a play about relationships, family and the mark we leave behind on our world.

In 2020, we’ll be staging Local Hero, a musical adaptation of the cult 80s film about the Scottish oil industry – and we’ll be getting audiences talking about the impact the environmental crisis will have on our communities.

 AWARDS AND ACCREDITATION

  • We are nominated for a Creative Industry Green Award for Creative Programming
  • We have a four star Creative Green Julie’s Bicycle accreditation
  • The Old Vic works with the printers Tradewinds, who are completely carbon-neutral and are accredited by World Land Trust

The future

We know there’s more to do. Our Green Team are constantly implementing new processes so that we can be even greener. After our current refurbishments to improve access and ladies’ loo provisions in our building, we’ll be re-opening our new Front of House spaces later this year – a fantastic opportunity for us make some more changes:

  • Right now we are in the process of getting reusable mugs for staff and audiences to reduce the use of disposable cups
  • We’re looking into installing water taps in our bars so reusable bottles can be refilled
  • We are working with creative teams to factor our ambitions into their work on our stage
  • We are working with our suppliers (eg: cleaning teams, printers, freelancers) to ensure that their work is in line with our environmental policies.

Here at The Old Vic we support a greener future and will continue to work to ensure our organisation is doing all that it can to ensure a more sustainable future for all of us because, as Dr.Seuss’s The Lorax says:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not’