The Royal Court has revealed the measures it will enforce in a bid to reach net-zero carbon emissions, including banning certain production materials and making 75% of its food menu meat-free.
Last year, the London theatre announced its ambition to become a net-zero carbon venue by the end of 2020, and said it would spend the year reviewing and changing its operations to achieve that target.
It has now published its headline strategy document, setting out the modifications it plans to make across a number of areas including energy, food and drink, production, travel and ticketing.
In its restaurant, only 25% of its menu will feature meat – reduced from the current 47% – while the carbon cost of all menu items will be calculated and listed alongside the price.
The theatre has banned flying for mainland UK travel, and will offset all international travel, which amounts to about 20 long-haul flights per year. Only electric taxis will be used, while artists on tour will be given more rest days to facilitate slower travel.
Increased efforts will be made to reuse production materials, with certain materials banned and alternatives sought. The theatre has also said it will extend and slow down its design process “to allow for research and ethical procurement”.
Other efforts including removing a 50% parking discount for audiences, to discourage driving to shows, more involved waste reduction and recycling systems, and moving to digital-first ticketing, and paperless script submissions and reading.
The theatre has committed to using renewable energy suppliers and has set targets to reduce its energy and gas to 120kW per sq metre each year – this amounts to a 37.5% reduction in electricity and a 16% reduction in gas.
A joint statement from the Royal Court’s leadership team Vicky Featherstone and Lucy Davies said: “The next decade is critical for a structural transition to begin. We are committed to becoming carbon net zero and our actions towards this start now.
“We aim to push every part of our practice into a circular economy that reduces, offsets and neutralises our climate and ecological impact. This is our responsibility to the future writers and artists from across every part of our planet.”
Alongside its strategy, the Royal Court has announced a series of performances, lectures and workshops that will take place this month to encourage discussion about climate change.
Open Court: Climate Emergency March 2020 is running throughout March and will also include the first public sharing of work from Chris Thorpe’s Royal Court Theatre Climate Commission, a new playwriting initiative dedicated to exploring the climate emergency.