We support National Climate Week

Posted on 28 February 2013

This week (4 to 10 March) is National Climate Week, and to mark the occasion we thought we’d let you know some of the efforts we have been making over the last year to reduce our impact on the environment and to help manage natural resources.

For many years both the theatre and the Belgrade Production Services workshop, which is based on Red Lane, have been making extra efforts to reduce gas and electricity usage, to varying degrees of success.

The graph in the Images & Video Gallery on the right shows that since 2009 gas usage at the theatre has reduced considerably year on year and after a spike in 2010/11, electricity usage at the theatre for 2011/12 is now below 2009/10 levels.

The trend at the Belgrade Production Services (BPS) workshop appears to be the other way around; after a spike in 2010/11, gas usage for 2011/12 is now below 2009/10 levels and electricity usage has reduced considerably since 2009.

We are constantly looking at new ways to reduce our energy consumption and we’re pleased to announce that our BPS workshop will soon be undergoing some structural improvements, which, amongst other things, will make the building more energy efficient.

A Building Management System has been installed at the theatre which controls and monitors the services in the building and identifies opportunities to reduce consumption. To complement that system, last summer additional improvements were made to the air-cooling system in the main stage auditorium that have increased efficiency and reduced usage. We hope to be able to publish some positive figures in due course.

Water flow and water consumption has been controlled by replacing the taps in the public toilets with new ones that limit the flow of water and ensure that taps aren’t left running unnecessarily.

Amongst other things, all lighting in the theatre has been converted to low energy, with approximately 1500 to 1600 light bulbs replaced, and all offices have been fitted with split switches allowing the lighting to be used over working desks only. Also, sensor lights have been fitted where appropriate and scheduled procedures are in place for ‘summer lighting’ between May and September when natural light is sufficient. Even the bulbs in our iconic chandeliers have now been changed to 18 watt halogen light bulbs which use 2.5kwh less energy on each chandelier.

All of this hard work has paid off and between 2011 and 2012 the theatre reduced its energy consumption by 150,000kwh, making a saving of £8,000 and more importantly, reducing its CO2 impact.

In 2008 the Belgrade set up an in house Green Team who are responsible for setting up initiatives that help to save energy and at the same time, costs. As a registered charity, this is key to the theatre’s sustainability and in turn it allows us to divert more resources to creating new theatre experiences for our audiences.

Together with the theatre’s management team, the Green Team will continue to identify new ways to increase the theatre’s energy efficiency. Amongst other things, the theatre is already exploring the possibility of installing photovoltaic panels and the team are also in the process of commissioning a new Carbon Trust Report, which will recommend additional ways that the theatre can creatively manage its natural resources.

A summary of the theatre’s key energy saving achievements can be found by downloading the Striving to be Green document from the Environmental Section of our website.

Climate Week is a national occasion that aims to renew the country’s ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future.

Climate Week will shine a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will then inspire millions more people.

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