The Shaftesbury has been hosting theatrical productions for over 100 years, and as our shows become increasingly ambitious, we understand the toll that our work can take on the planet.
As we develop our Grade II listed Theatre for a modern audience, our sustainability initiatives ensure that we are building a sustainable future for generations of theatre-lovers to come.
In our pursuit of a greener future, we’ve undergone a Dramatic Transformation that goes beyond the brilliance of our performances. The Theatre has implemented equipment that minimizes our energy intake, including updated lighting systems embracing the energy-efficient glow of LEDs. From the main stage to behind the curtains, we’ve implemented energy-efficient equipment, even extending our eco-conscious efforts to our heating boilers. The result is a significant reduction in the Theatre’s overall carbon footprint with the same dazzling shows every night.
Our commitment to sustainability trickles down to every detail, including our water usage. The installation of new toilets throughout the Theatre has not only enhanced user experience but also resulted in substantial water savings—over 8 million liters annually.
As we renovate and extend the Shaftesbury, we conscientiously repurpose and reuse materials, curbing wastage and encouraging our audiences to recycle wherever possible. Our e-tickets have reduced paper wastage, and our reusable polycarbonate glassware has saved millions of plastic cups from the landfill.
Venturing beyond the limelight, our air conditioning system is designed to minimise energy use while also keeping our audiences comfortable. Fresh air is now drawn from the top of the building, heated or cooled as needed, with a heat exchange system utilizing the building’s exhaust air. This innovative approach ensures optimal air quality for our audiences while minimizing our ecological footprint.
Our partnerships with BrewDog and Hawkes Cider reflects our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to environmental sustainability. BrewDog is the world’s first carbon-negative brewery, exemplifying its commitment as a certified B-Corp. Notably, their purchase of 9,308 acres in the Scottish Highlands in 2020 demonstrates a tangible effort to create a native, bio-diverse woodland, contributing to carbon reduction. Hawkes Cider addresses food wastage by utilizing donated apples within the M25 for their cider, while also collaborating with The Orchard Project to enhance green spaces in urban areas.
Our efforts to help the planet don’t end with these steps. In 2023, the Shaftesbury received a grant as part of the Mayor of London’s Climate Challenge, allowing us to find new opportunities to increase our energy efficiency. In the coming years, this funding will allow us to explore the possibility of installing air-source heat pumps, photovoltaic solar panels on the auditorium and fly tower roofs, solar water heating panels, and battery storage systems for self-generated power.
The Shaftesbury is dedicated to a greener future for theatre, and wants to ensure that audiences can enjoy shows here for years to come. We’re in support of the Mayor’s Climate Challenge and are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
From the smallest gesture, like a re-usable wine glass, to the groundbreaking new sustainable technology we are going to implement, the Shaftesbury is dedicated to making a difference. You can read more about our efforts here.