A greener OAE
The OAE is an organisation committed to a sustainable future. In 2011, OAE set out to embark on our first green tour, and as a result the entire administrative team made a commitment to the cause. Since our initial first steps we’ve worked on developing our environmental policy and are continuing to focus on projects for 2012 as well as incorporating sustainability across all aspects of the Orchestra’s work.
A copy of our Sustainability policy can be downloaded here.
We are incredibly grateful to Julie’s Bicycle for helping us with our Environmental policy.
In 2012, we did the following:
- March 2012 was Green month: we planned and carried out a UK based tour as well as a UK based Education concert tour Anthem for a Child with environmental issues taking priority- for example, the players travelled by train instead of driving separately, and on the Anthem tour, some of the players cycled between venues. For more information, click here
- We also held a low-carbon bake sale to raise awareness amongst our colleagues in the office. All funds raised from the cake sale went towards planting a tree to carbon-offset our output this month. Read more about it on our blog here
- All office staff have signed an office contract to ‘be green’- recycling as much as possible, turning computers off, travelling by public transport instead of taxis/cars and so on
- The green team – one member from each department, meet on a monthly basis to ensure that the initiatives are carried across all aspects of our work
- We will continue to work on our Orchestral contracts and riders to ensure the artists, venues and promoters we work alongside are with us on this, work on engaging with our audiences in London and beyond, plus look into ways of using recycled paper for marketing material and review our supply chain and improve our office working environment
OAE’s first green UK tour February 2011
We undertook our first ever green tour in February 2011 – to find out more about what we did, you can read about it here.
The main focus of OAE’s work so far has been on changing the way the administration team approach their work, and ways that the Orchestra travel, but did you know that you, the audience, can help OAE to lower the carbon output from our concerts? The orchestral activity on stage, our musicians getting to and from the concert hall, and all the behind-the- scenes operations in the OAE office aren’t the only things to be considered when thinking of ways to reduce the carbon output of an OAE event. The audience, the way they travel to our concerts, and what they do when they get here play a huge role.
Take, for example, a standard OAE concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. There are typically around 40 musicians on stage – yet over 900 people in the audience. At the greatest extreme we could have 900 people travelling in separate cars, from all across Greater London (say an average of 10 miles each) – using a simple carbon emissions calculator this equals to 1890kg (2.1kg per person)! OK this is an exaggeration, but if all those 900 people got on a train instead this would be reduced to 810kg – over less than half (figures calculated using Transport Direct’s Carbon Calculator).
As our Southbank home is so well served by public transport let’s make the most of it. In the near future we’ll be finding out more from you about exactly how you 900 people get about.
Also, as our Southbank Centre concert programmes are available online here in advance of (and stay online well after) our concerts. It would really help if you had a read on-line instead of taking a printed copy – help us reduce the amount of programmes that need printing! You may have noticed that for our Southbank Centre concerts we combine programmes for multiple concerts – so if you have taken one and are planning on coming back (yes please!) we hope that you remember to bring your programme with you.
Lastly did you eat at the Venue? Don’t forget to use the recycling bins for all your waste products.
I’m sure most of this is obvious but I think we all need a little reminder every now and again, as do I to turn my computer off at the end of every day.
Ceri Jones, Projects Director