Bristol Old Vic and The Environment
What effect do we have on the environment?
Our building is open to the public seven days per week.
During the day Bristol Old Vic is home to c. 50 core staff in offices, workshops and backstage areas plus any artists using the building’s rehearsal spaces; 50-60 casual staff are employed to cover Front of House operations during performance times.
In terms of environmental impact Bristol Old Vic is totally responsible for activities in:
- All performance spaces and technical office facilities (Theatre, Studio, and Paintshop) plus wardrobe making and laundry facilities.
- All trading areas including the new restaurant and bar areas
- Albion Dockside workshops located 1 mile way provide spaces for set building and prop making for our productions.
- The Theatre owns one large 7.5 tonne van and leases one small van.
Most staff live within the City of Bristol and travel to work on foot, bicycle, or by bus or train. The lack of a dedicated car park and generally expensive local parking means that cars are seldom used.
What are we going to do to help?
Bristol Old Vic will comply fully with environmental legislation and is committed to continued efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle across the organisation.
“Green” on this page refers to the accepted shorthand for Environmentally Friendly Sources of Information: Arts Council England, Julie’s Bicycle, Environmentalpolicy.org.uk.
Bristol Old Vic is committed to sustainability and will consider:
Economic Sustainability – To exceed the expectations of stakeholders by providing highly valued services and artistic product
Social Sustainability – Providing a safe and fair working environment with equal opportunities for all
Environmental Sustainability – Using resources in the most efficient way to reduce the carbon footprint
Across our building:
- Full recycling throughout the building including plastic, paper and batteries.
- Sensor lighting is fitted in all refurbished areas of the building.
- Email is replacing paper and reducing postage (e.g. brochures, newsletters); few paper copies are printed for meetings and sharing promoted.
- All computers and monitors are switched off completely at the end of each day.
- Green cleaning products in use.
- Paper towels not used in public toilets to reduce waste and improve hygiene.
- Dual flush toilets are fitted in refurbished areas.
- Air cooling where fitted is controlled by Building Management System.
- We have replaced all lighting with low energy bulbs.
- A Cycle to Work scheme is in operation.
- Disposal of toxic waste under COSHH regulations.
- All recruitment is online.
- An ethical fundraising and procurement policy is in place.
In our Commercial work and relationships:
- Sourcing of local good quality food and beverage suppliers and producers.
- Using local suppliers where possible for other goods and services.
- Using environmentally like-minded suppliers.
- Recycling and reusing plastics.
- Introducing recyclable plastic glasses into all front of house areas.
IT and Production/Operations
- The option of purchasing reconditioned equipment where possible is always considered.
- New managed print contract means more efficient printing, lower ink use and lower costs.
- A policy is in place to re-use sets and costumes and to alter and repair rather than renew .
- Stage lights are never on when not in use.
- Old printers are being phased out, with all staff being linked to centralised photocopiers. This will reduce paper and ink cartridge use.
- Detailed marketing policy with emphasis on customer service and audience feedback to develop a sustainable audience following.
- Development of digital marketing strategy.
- In-depth discussions around sales targets to minimise print runs.
Bristol Old Vic’s redevelopment project – Completed Sep 2018
Low-impact design features include:
- Re-use of existing historic building fabric dating back to 1766 (Georgian Auditorium and Coopers’ Hall walls exposed for first time).
- Brickwork from demolition operations was recycled and incorporated into new walls and masonry repairs.
- Removal of 1970s concrete and brick structure to create new public ‘courtyard’ connecting Auditorium to King St for the first time.
- New Studio Theatre and ‘public room’ created in the existing Coopers’ Hall with upgraded rehearsal/ performance space also created in the attic.
- Green seedum roof above main foyer to increase biodiversity and visual amenity.
- Natural ventilation system utilised to supply foyer and Studio Theatre with fresh air and reduce energy use (existing basement space with low head-height reused as plenum).
- External corten steel shutters on main façade reduce solar gain and were commissioned as a public artwork.
- Engineered timber ‘glulam’ structural frame in the main foyer to utilise pre-fabrication and rapid assembly benefits, act as a ‘carbon bank’, and provide warm, human material palette.
- Existing 1970s foundations re-used to avoid unnecessary ground works and increased carbon footprint.
- Sculptural steel stairs installed in the main foyer to resolve difference between historic Auditorium, 1970s and contemporary levels.
- New lift core installed to provide universal access to all levels for the first time in the Theatre’s history.
Pledges for future actions - Oct 2019
On 16 October 2019, Bristol Old Vic joined Watershed and Colston Hall to sign up to the growing global community of arts and culture champions declaring a climate and ecological emergency. The declaration took place during the Festival of Future Cities event held at Watershed Fighting the Climate Emergency in the Anthropocene.
We join organisations like We The Curious, Bristol City Council, WECA and the University of Bristol, who have already made this public declaration, and align with Bristol’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.
We pledge to:
- Align with Bristol City Council’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.
- Attain a BREEAM rating of Very Good by the start of 2020.
- Collectively work with other cultural organisations in the city to look at green energy and tariffs.
- Use our programme of work in 2020 to focus on themes which inspire and empower individuals to make change in the world, with strong parallels to the environmental issues of today.
- Include a budget for carbon offsetting for any international touring we engage in.
- Urgently work with our catering partners to eradicate single-use plastic from our bar and kitchen.
- Actively promote environmentally friendly travel options to staff and visitors.
- Increase the use of paperless tickets and digital and online marketing.