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Michael Bell watering the plants at Northern Stage

Earth Day 2024: How Northern Stage are addressing the climate crisis

by Michael Bell, Facilities and Environmental Sustainability Officer


As today is Earth Day, I wanted to share what we’re doing here at Northern Stage to address the climate crisis. The theme of this year’s Earth Day is ‘Planet vs Plastics’, with the aim of reducing all plastic use by 60% by 2040.

At Northern Stage, we’ve begun the process of phasing out single-use plastics by introducing multi-use glasses. These can be taken into our auditoriums and significantly reduce plastic usage. We also use recyclable cardboard containers for our takeaway packaging, so you can enjoy our locally sourced cakes and treats at home.

Speaking of local, our stotties are some of the best you’ll find in the North East and are freshly baked just ten minutes down the road at Big River Bakery. Getting freshly baked produce from a local supplier not only reduces food waste but also reduces carbon emissions due to the shorter delivery distance. Our coffee is also locally sourced from the city centre, within walking distance of the theatre.

To reverse the process of global warming and to protect our Earth, we have to rely heavily on people. No matter how big or small the contribution, we can all make a difference and one of the steps we’re taking towards this is by training our staff. We’ve just started rolling out certified Carbon Literacy training to help spread our environmental message and encourage climate change conversations both in and out of the workplace. The first session took place last week and rumour has it that our two in-house trainers are absolute naturals.

Energy is a huge driver of human-based carbon emissions, so we’re committed to reducing our energy usage year on year. We have recently upgraded our Building Management System, which is now much more sustainable and helps us manage our heating and air handling systems efficiently. We’ve already seen a significant reduction in energy usage from 2022-2023, so we aim to carry on this trend.

We’re also actively involved with other theatres in implementing actions from the Theatre Green Book, which is an environmental bible for Arts and Culture. You can find out more at Theatre Green Book.

So why not come and see for yourself, enjoy a locally sourced coffee, in our cosy, repurposed Café Bar, amidst the calming backdrop of our jungle planters? Happy Earth Day!