This April, we completed Year Two of our Environmental Action Plan, created to reduce the environmental impact of our theatre making and touring. Our EAP is based on Bioregional’s One Planet Living® which has helped us achieve successes - we've also made mistakes and had lots of learning! Here are some of the highlights…

Reducing consumption
75% of costume and props across all projects were in  our stock or bought second-hand. All furniture for Boy on the Roof was recycled from other shows. We’ve also achieved a 68% reduction in our printed materials (which is already on recycled paper)

Culture of sustainability
Staff and trustees undertook Sustainability Training sessions with Joanne Lyons, Change Consultant, and we’ve joined Sustainable Arts West Midlands, run out of MAC in Birmingham

Local economy and equity
We've prioritised local suppliers, avoided Prime, and set up Company Handbook procurement guidelines to support these aims

Ethical investment
Our pension fund is invested with an ethical provider and we’re setting up to change our banking away from Barclays, Europe’s biggest fossil fuel financier ($24.2bn in 2023 – The Guardian)

Travelling lighter
This year, we did no travelling by air, instead using train, ferry and online delivery. As a  contribution to addressing carbon emissions from touring, we supported the planting of 46 trees at Trees for Life - in 2024-25, we hope to start more immediately effective methods of limiting carbon, such as implementing different touring models

Reducing toxins
Limiting the use of spray paints, glues and other potential toxins is challenging in the theatre industry, as they’re used widely for set and prop construction. We’re aiming at small but significant changes – this year, all paints for the construction of Boy on the Roof have been non-toxic, with pva used instead of spray glue

Towards zero waste
We’ve slightly missed our target to reduce company waste overall but have made a significant impact on rates of recycling against landfill. We’ve learned that in a new production period, with more people on site, keeping waste down is harder – but we’ve strategies in place for next time. We’ve also extended our recycling facilities to include pens, plastic bags, crisp packets, printer cartridges, batteries, plastic food storage, water bottles, biscuit and snack wrappers.

All the actions started in Year 1 have continued…using local suppliers and vegan food for events, scoring 8/10 in a staff happiness survey (with team away days and staff celebrations), keeping our working environment healthy with break reminders and plants, adding to our plastic-free office supplies and a growing culture of refuse, reduce, repair, recycle.

To find out more about what we’re doing and view more details, including a BSL trailer, visit our Sustainability page.

We’d like to thank, and Joanne Lyons, Change Consultant, for helping us to set up our Environmental Action Plan and respond to its challenges.