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Julie’s Bicycle publishes guide to greener theatres

Chichester Festival Theatre has successfully created a greener infrastructure. Photo: Philip Vile Chichester Festival Theatre has successfully created a greener infrastructure. Photo: Philip Vile
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A guide has been published that aims to help theatres and arts buildings become more environmentally friendly, including ways to manage water and energy more efficiently.

Green arts charity Julie’s Bicycle has put together the guide in collaboration with Arts Council England to highlight measures organisations can take to reduce their environmental impact and save money.

A number of methods are listed in the guide, including the use of different technologies for generating energy and ways to maximise water conservation.

Writing in the guide, Julie’s Bicycle director Alison Tickell said arts organisations should “act now” to become more environmentally sustainable, adding that companies are faced with “unprecedented ecological crises, and a growing realisation that we are living beyond limits which our planet can support”.

The guide – Investing in Environmentally Sustainable Buildings: A Guide for the Arts – is aimed at companies who are applying for ACE funding in order to undertake capital projects.

It also features a breakdown of alternative funding sources to ACE for organisations looking to improve their buildings.

Julie’s Bicycle arts manager Sholeh Johnston explained that making green changes to a building would save companies money in the long run.

She said: “The majority of a building’s environmental impact tends to come from its energy use anyway. And obviously with energy efficiency measures come huge – in some respects – financial savings.”

“We know about organisations who have, with very little financial intervention, been able to reduce both their emissions and their spend by about 30% – just by making the way that they function in the building more efficient,” she added.

The guide also looks at case studies of theatres that have successfully created a more green infrastructure, including Chichester Festival Theatre, the National Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith.