Did you know that Birmingham Hippodrome is the most popular single theatre in the UK? We present more than 320 performances every year and, as at the end of this March, will have welcomed over 510,000 patrons through our doors in the last 12 months. That’s a lot of people! Plus, there are 90 full and part-time staff, nearly 400 casuals and some 60 volunteers. And don’t forget the visiting companies with casts that can easily range from 200 people to just one performer.
So with rising concerns over the environment, recycling and ‘Going Green’, we’ve been quite active in making sure that as much waste as possible is recycled and that our emissions are reduced where we can.
We are very proud to have recently won an ISO award for our ongoing commitment and work on improving these areas and reducing our carbon footprint. In fact we are the first theatre in the UK to be certified to ISO 14001 and listed on the QA register. This is an international standard award for Environmental Management systems, now the most widely awarded EMS certification.
We have already changed the way we process our waste, our recycling has increased in the last 12 months by an incredible 110% and modifications to the theatre’s utilities mean that we have reduced gas and electricity usage by 30% in the last 5 years.
This is how we do it:-
- Glass and Plastic recycled saves an average of 580kgs of Co2 per month Cardboard is baled, compressed onsite, and collected every 2 weeks for recycling (instead of 2 skips every week going to landfill)
- General waste is compacted and collected every two weeks for recycling, reducing our carbon footprint (instead of emptying one skip five times per week which then went to landfill)
- Administration: reduction of print consumption by 10% by more efficient use of email and double-sided copying.
- Introduction of low energy lighting, sensor taps and hand dryers
- Recycling bins located backstage and in administration
- Waste that cannot be recycled is sent to Tyseley Incinerator in Birmingham, which produces enough energy to power 40,000 local homes
- Ongoing work includes reduction of the theatre’s water usage
In 2006 we were awarded an interest free loan by The Carbon Trust which enabled us to reduce our energy bill by £17,500 per year through energy improvement measures. And in The Building Controls Industry Awards 2007 the theatre won the Energy Management Award for maintaining auditorium comfort levels whilst reducing energy usage. On top of this, proceeds from our coffee sales are donated through Cool Earth Charity. So far we have already sold enough coffee to support 7 acres of endangered Amazonian rainforest, which will lock in an incredible 1,800 tonnes of CO2.
We feel we are making real changes at the Hip and are proud the awards reflect the theatre’s ongoing commitment in helping to make the environment just that little bit better for everyone.