Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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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:

Case Study
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.

Thank you!

Ceri Jones, Projects Director