Our carbon impact
Because of the methods we use to make sustainable theatre, we don’t create many carbon emissions as a company. But there are some we haven’t yet learnt how to avoid. If you're interested in learning more, you can find our carbon impact for May 2020-2021 below.
To calculate our footprint, we recorded lots of things over the year. For example:
- miles of train, car, bus & tube journeys
- weight & distance of deliveries
- wattage/length of energy use e.g. time on laptops, length & no. of participants on Zooms
- items bought first-hand e.g. rehearsal snacks
Using these figures, we then calculated the carbon impact of each of our activities.
To calculate the cost of emails, streaming & purchases, we used statistics from 'How Bad Are Bananas?' by Mike Berners-Lee.
To calculate the cost of transport, shipping & energy we used Climate Care's carbon calculator, though we won't be offsetting with them.
To calculate our Zooms' impact, we used Utility Bidder's Zoom Emissions calculator.
The carbon impact of video calls is calculated by participants & length, so there wasn't space to list these in the table above. Our calls were for 2020-2021 were:
41 hours, 2 participants
207 hours, 3 participants
11 hours, 4 participants
37 hours, 5 participants
5 hours, 30 participants
A big cost was materials we bought first-hand to build our energy-generating tech. Our tech could save us tonnes of carbon emissions in its lifetime, but we won't make any more after our dance-floor - even if that means only working in buildings with renewable energy suppliers as we upscale our work.
You can also see our digital impact. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Julie's Bicycle report on sustainability in the digital age. If you're interested in reducing your own digital carbon impact, there’s lots of great advice online for that too.
Because our shows were streamed, this year we had no emissions from audience transport. But usually it's the biggest cost we've got. Audience travel has been shown to produce 70% of London theatre’s emissions, and 78% of the carbon footprint of shows touring regionally!
We’ve calculated our impact to identify where we still produce emissions, so we can target reduction in those areas in 2021-22. We will also offset this impact by paying to restore peatland in the UK. Carbon offsetting means investing in sustainability projects to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to what you produced.
There are many issues with offsetting. There's lots about this online, but we particularly recommend reading the Indigenous Environmental Network's publication Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective For Community Resistance and GlobalEcoGuy's article 'The World Needs Better Climate Pledges'.