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Siobhan Cha Cha as Red in Little Red Riding Hood. Red is standing on a bed and holding an umbrella open above her head. Leaves are cascading down around her and she is looking delighted. She is wearing light blue dungarees and a red t-shirt.

Our Sustainable Achievements

(So far…!)

THE HIGHLIGHTS...

On Mon 5 Jun 2023, the 50th Anniversary of World Environment Day, we joined the Culture Declares movement in declaring a Climate Emergency and made a commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and increasing our sustainability. Since then, we have…

  • Produced Withnail and I  (our 5 star House stage production written by Bruce Robinson himself), to Baseline Green Book standard, meaning at least 50% of everything we use on stage has had a previous life in terms of being reused or recycled.
  • Redistributed our set for the March production of Of Mice and Men to Worcester Swan’s Romeo and Juliet.
  • We had our first Green Book production on the main stage in July with Young Rep’s The Trials as part of the Order and Chaos festival.
  • Our Christmas production in The Door for 3-6 year olds, Little Red Riding Hood, was created as a Green Book production with a focus on upcycled materials where possible, including over 100 umbrellas in the set. All of these were sourced second hand and have now gone on to be rehomed to either local schools or back to our stores to be used in future productions!
  • We have replaced over 700 lamps and 50 fittings with LED filaments.
  • Ensured conference materials are recycled.
  • Where possible used pre-loved and recycled clothing for all productions.
  • We have signed up to the Oil Free Sponsorship pledge.
A composite of images. The first shows Of Mice and Men with Tom McCall as George and Wiliam Young as Lennie. George and Lennie are kneeling looking into the distance. George has his arm on Lennie and is speaking to him. Lennie is looking hopeful. Beside them is a hat and some jeans. The second image shows Ben Simon as Robin, Siobhan Cha Cha as Red, and Nisha Anil as Nana in Little Red Riding Hood. Robin is stood at the front wearing a blue corduroy jacket and is singing to the audience whilst holding a violin. Red is kneeling on a bed and smiling whilst looking out to the audience. She is wearing light blue dungarees and a red t-shirt. Nana is in the background speaking to the audience on the side. She is wearing a blue trousers and a lilac tabard. The third image shows some of the Young Rep actors sitting on stage in The Trials. They are wearing pink and yellow boiler suits and are deep in discussion.

Of Mice and Men, Little Red Riding Hood and The Trials

And that's not all!

Take a look at all the brilliant achievements our departments have already made towards our goal of increasing sustainability at The Rep.

PRODUCTION AND WORKSHOP

Workshop

Sound Department

  • We are working with hire companies to reduce van runs and trying to combine deliveries/collections to minimise empty and part filled van journeys.
  • We use rechargeable batteries in all of our radio mics and other battery powered sound equipment.

Paintshop

  • Approximately 95% of products we use are water-based and inert once dry.
  • We have put cleaning systems into practice that often avoid, or at least minimise, paint entering the water system.

Lighting

  • We now have a Green Cable recycling bin in the LX workshop for scrap cable or metal other than steel. We are the first theatre in the UK to be part of the scheme!

Costume

  • We have put up signs to encourage less washing.
  • We prioritise the use of the hotbox over the tumble dryer to reduce the microplastics let off by the drying process.
  • We are arranging the installation of a CO3 box to reduce our need for the use of harsh chemicals and dry cleaning.
  • Where possible we buy second hand clothing for all productions.

PRODUCING

  • Our co-production with Told By An Idiot of Would You Bet Against Us? is used as a case study on the Green Book Webpage (https://theatregreenbook.com/book-one-case-studies/).
  • The Trials, a Young Rep production, was our first main House production that was Green Book.
  • Our Door Christmas show, Little Red Riding Hood, was also Green Book.
  • We have multiple other shows in the pipeline, both Rep Originals and Co-Productions that are going to be Green Book (but they haven’t been announced yet!).
  • We aim to embed the practice across all productions and production activity regardless of Green Book status: consciously avoiding ‘greenwashing’.

CREATIVE LEARNING

  • Young Rep’s Uncommon Riches festival was significantly climate themed, with the highlight being Rae Mainwairing’s The Last (plastic) Straw.
  • Our work on the Cannock Chase Heritage Trail project (which includes a big refresh of the 10 mile walk with digital audio stories and animated illustrations) is about treasuring outdoor spaces and promoting access / walking / enjoyment of the natural world.

BUILDING AND OPERATIONS

  • Our energy use & emissions are lower than a “typical” theatre (based on data from the Charted Institute of Building Services Engineers) e.g. a “typical” theatre’s electricity consumption is 270Kwh/m² per annum, ours is 145; a “typical” theatre’s greenhouse gas emissions are 181 CO²/m² per annum, ours are 88.
  • We are researching recommendations that include a possible option to use solar energy; improved & targeted insulation; and installing de-stratification fans which interrupt natural air flow.
  • The dead bands to our heating & cooling we introduced late last year are paying off! Over Oct – Dec we have reduced our energy consumption for heating by 50% and cooling by 53%.
  • We’re replacing two heating pumps with one new pump which is 45% more energy efficient.
  • Our waste contractor – Biffa – have opened a new waste to energy centre in Loughborough. None of our waste will travel any further than this for treatment. Previously, some was shipped to Europe.
  • Planting – we are looking at more drought/heat tolerant planting on the terrace borders.
  • Over 700 lamps and 50 fittings have now been replaced with LED filaments!

UNIQUE VENUES BIRMINGHAM

  • UVB’s conference materials are sustainable, as pens are made from recycled CD cases and coasters are made from recycled tyre material, paper and plastics.
  • Also conscious about the impact of our oceans, UVB has chosen Sea Change as their preferred wine supplier. With the removal of the unnecessary plastic wrap around the cork, the use of natural corks and the paper for the labels coming from certified sustainable forests and made partially from grape waste, combined with a donation to marine charities from every bottle sold we think choosing Sea Change does make a difference.
  • UVB are working towards a ECOsmart certified property for Conference & Events.

TEAM REP

  • We have introduced mandatory environmental training for staff to complete.
  • Around 24 staff members attended Carbon Literacy Training across 2 days.
  • We have incorporated our commitment to sustainability into our recruitment practices. There is a section covering our pledge at the bottom of every job description.
  • We have launched a cycle to work scheme as one of our benefits.
  • We plan to integrate all our documents onto Teams rather than emailing large attachments/documents via the server.
  • We aim to embed environmental leadership at SLT level.

FUNDRAISING

  • We have signed up to the Oil Free Sponsorship Pledge which states that: “we do not take any oil, coal or gas corporate sponsorship for our cultural work. We call on our peers and institutional partners to refuse fossil fuel funding too”.
  • We have ensured that our Rep Friends membership cards are fully sustainable.
  • We have moved to paperless donation processes and reduced physical mailings where possible.
  • We will continue to seek and exploit funding specifically to support adaptations to our building and activities to make them more sustainable.

PROCUREMENT

  • We have worked to reduce paper usage within our offices, and committed to use recycled paper going forward.
  • We periodically review our major suppliers to ensure that the companies that we work with are operating sustainably.
  • We will continue to make sure any investments that we hold (e.g. pensions) are going towards sustainable sources.

MONITORING AND AUDITING

We have active members on National environment groups:

  • UK Theatre CAST (Consortium Advising on Sustainable Theatre)
  • SAWM Network
  • City Leaders Network

Our Environmental Working Group is active and meets every 6 weeks with the aim to:

  • Identify and address the Environmental challenges facing The Rep
  • Provide advice and make recommendations to advance sustainability whilst sharing best practice and ensuring the effective communication of environmental matters across The Rep to enhance staff engagement.
  • Implement and oversee the audits and environmental data.
  • Drive forward change on agreed priorities in relation to The Rep’s best practice and performance at all stages of The Rep’s environmental journey.
  • Support the direction and oversee the development of sustainability activity across The Rep
  • Examine the findings of environmental audits and data to identify areas of concern as well as matters for future focus.
  • Make recommendations to The Rep management team and SLT about areas for improvement and focus with regard to sustainability, procurement and manage the implementation of environmental policies.
  • Review and endorse environmental awareness and development opportunities for staff.
  • Act as environmental ambassadors and ensure that the principles of the environmental strategic plan are implemented, delivered and also embedded in The Rep’s culture and practice.