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Sustainable Shakespeare

Our environmental pledge

For, being green, there is great hope.

— Henry VI Part 2, Act 3 Scene 1

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and it demands global collaboration. It is not only world leaders that need to act; if we are going to stop a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, we all need to take action.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust recognises the need to respond to challenges of climate change. Our ambition is to work in as sustainable a way as possible, to minimise our environmental impact, and to become an exemplar of an environmentally sustainable operation within the heritage sector.

That is why we’re setting ourselves the challenge of becoming carbon net zero in our own emissions by 2030. Developed in line with Arts Council England’s Environmental Responsibility framework, our environmental pledge will enable us to take a whole-organisation approach to tackling climate change and environmental degradation with four key areas of focus:

  • Collaborating and Communicating
  • Encouraging Biodiversity
  • Becoming Sustainable
  • Measuring our Impact

Each one of these objectives has a number of action points which will help us achieve our goals.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin

— Troilus and Cressida, Act 3 Scene 3

The Trust has already had a number of successes in our efforts to become more sustainable. Between 2016 and 2020, our energy usage has almost halved, from 513 tonnes CO2e per annum to 269 tonnes CO2e. All our energy contracts are with renewable suppliers and none of our rubbish goes to landfill.

The four areas of our environmental pledge are already leading us to new and exciting opportunities for collaboration and we’re delighted to announce that the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the first heritage organisation to join the EarthShakes Alliance – a global collective of Shakespearian theatres and organisations committed to putting environmental concerns at the heart of their operations. Shakespeare’s plays touch on the importance of the natural world and by leveraging the power of his works, we hope to unite and inspire others to be environmentally sustainable.

But that’s not all - in the coming months we are planning a number of initiatives across our historic sites and digitally for everyone to get involved, including events and talks on the theme of Shakespeare and nature. We will be sharing updates about these initiatives across our website and social media accounts soon, and updating this webpage with our progress as we work towards our carbon net zero goal.

These are just some of the ways we’re raising awareness of our environmental commitments and we look forward to playing our part in global efforts to tackle the climate crisis for the benefit of future generations.

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