As an opera company with a global outlook, we believe it is our responsibility to put environmental thinking and action at the heart of what we do.

Tackling the climate emergency is a joint effort. By engaging employees, musicians, audiences, communities, and supporters in the environmental process, we can help to reduce our environmental impact and carbon footprint, and inspire wider change towards a more sustainable future.

Our environmental aims

Operations – Reduce the environmental impact of our operations and buildings by continually monitoring our performance, reducing utility usage wherever possible and sustainably procuring goods and services

Productions – Establish a more sustainable production and touring model, and explore options to address environmental themes in our productions

Travel – Support and promote more sustainable travel options to our staff and audiences

Community – Embed environmental themes and engagement into our education and community programmes

Partnerships – Develop environmental collaboration with our partners and with individual supporters

Backstage at Leeds Grand Theatre during rehearsals for Pagliacci © Tom Arber

Opera North wins Creative Green Award

We’re proud to have won ‘Best Newcomer’ at Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Awards 2019.

Nominated in our category alongside many other fantastic arts organisations, we were very excited to build on our Creative Green certification and have our environmental efforts recognised.

The Creative Green programme offers a broad range of services that help organisations scope, understand, prioritise and advocate environmentally sustainable practices, with the awards offering a moment for the sector to showcase their leadership in climate action.

Opera North wins 'Best Newcomer' at Julie's Bicycle Creative Green Awards 2019

Our actions so far

  • Moved onto a 100% renewable energy tariff where possible with Good Energy
  • Awarded a 3 star “Creative Green” certification by Julie’s Bicycle
  • Installed water saving devices throughout our buildings
  • Introduced on site food composting
  • Offered discounted public transport for staff
  • Event transport is handled by StageFreight, winners of 2019 award for Eco-friendly road fleet of the Year.
  • Established an Opera North ‘Green Team’ to advocate internally for our environmental aims
  • Cut electricity usage through behaviour change campaigns
  • Replaced lighting with LED across the estate where possible
  • Swapped disposable items for more environmentally friendly alternatives
  • Successfully trialled a fully recycled set for a recent production, Not Such Quiet Girls
  • Now send all main stage sets to be recycled at the end of their life by a specialist contractor, Stockyard North
  • Saved paper at Howard Assembly Room song recital performances by installing surtitles screens rather than giving out sheets with song translations
  • Came second in category for Love to Ride’s #CycleSeptember 2018
  • Now print all main stage brochures on fully recyclable and carbon balanced paper, where the residual carbon impacts of a product or service have been estimated and are offset through the protection and restoration of carbon-rich wildlife habitats. Certified by the World Land Trust.
  • Waste management now handled by local company, Forge Recycling where waste is either recycled or incinerated, and does not go to landfill. Using lower emission producing trucks, all waste generated is measured, fed back and used by The Green Team to develop further waste saving measures.
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