Environmental Sustainability

The Bush Theatre is committed to promoting environmental sustainability in everything we do.

Our Statement

Wherever possible, we try to commit to the highest standards of sustainable operation in our activities and to minimise the impact of our activities on the environment. We endeavour to continually improve our environmental performance, and aim to achieve standards that exceed minimum levels required by legislation and general codes of practice.

Some of our aims:

  • To conserve natural resources such as energy, water, wood, paper, especially where those resources are non-renewable, wherever possible.
  • To use recycled or refurbished materials where possible to reduce waste, especially to landfill.
  • To use existing and recorded data to calculate the venue’s annual carbon footprint, and disseminate this information to the public.
  • To ensure that products are sourced from sustainable environments.
  • To maintain fair pressure upon suppliers to develop environmentally friendly goods and services.
  • To inform, train and motivate staff to work in an environmentally responsible manner.
  • To promote the use of public transport, both for employees and audiences.
  • To communicate our goals to contractors, and other non-employees working on site.

Key Achievements

Powering the Bush
All of the Bush Theatre’s electricity comes from a REGO approved 100% green energy tariff. Our high library roof supports a grid of solar panels which generates up to 5% of our annual electricity onsite.

During our capital refurbishment we updated our air handling system, improved our insulation and made our lighting systems more efficient through the use of LED lighting and motion sensor lights.

Our energy use per performance decreased by 54% between 2015/16 and 2018/19 and our energy related emissions by 60%.

We have made changes throughout our building to reduce the amount of water we are using, through low flow water taps and dual flushing systems as well as more water efficient washing machines. Over the last decade despite an increase in our audiences of just under 20%, we have seen a decrease in our water consumption of 16%.

We have also planted some natives and drought resistant plants in our garden spaces to reduce the need for additional watering.

What’s growing at the Bush
The Bush has a sedum roof insulating the Holloway Theatre and providing a habitat for local wildlife. Our garden beds are planted with natives to provide a home for local birds and bees. Earlier this year we had a hive of bees take up residency in our garden, while they have now been moved to a more appropriate home with an urban beekeeper, they clearly approve of the environment we have created.

We have a zero to landfill policy and currently recycle 80% of all of our waste with the rest being used to create biofuel. Our sets, costumes and props are either reused or donated and 95% or the remainder is recycled.

We are now working with designers to reduce our consumption of raw materials from the very beginning of the design process including our energy consumption.

The Library Bar
We understand the need to eat less meat and dairy to reduce our carbon footprint, so 65% of products across our entire range of hot and cold dishes, snacks and sweet treats are vegan or vegetarian. We focus on locally sourced products and ingredients using fair-trade wherever possible. We also regularly team up with local producers and caterers to create exciting food and drink offers that haven’t had to travel the world to get here.

Understanding our impact
In 2019 Julie’s Bicycle awarded us a 4 star rating on their Creative Green assessment, highlighting our ongoing commitment to understanding, improving and communicating our environmental impact.

You can also read our environmental policy and action plan for further information on what we are doing at the Bush to meet our environmental targets.