It has long been the policy of Northern Broadsides to carefully monitor its resources – not only for environmental issues but as good working practice.  We are keen to continue these practices and strive to implement new ways to improve our carbon footprint.

Our Business
Northern Broadsides was founded in 1992 as a national touring theatre company, but has also toured internationally.  We are based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, with good access to major routes.  We tour twice a year, a 16-20 week tour in the Spring and a 12 week tour in the autumn.  The venues we tour to are wide ranging from small to large scale.

Our Impacts
Touring by its nature has a large carbon footprint, due to transporting of the set and travel of the actors and crew.  Theatre can be a very wasteful industry so to minimise our impact on the environment wherever this is practical we are adopting the values of the simple principle: to reducereuse and recycle.

Our Commitments
We have to be practical about the impact of our business without putting ourselves out of business.  The rule of “wherever practicable” has to be applied to some aspects of transport and build along with considering the artistic decisions.  It is our aim to encourage good environmental practice throughout our company and to ask of it in others – from transport to print.  We intend to open discussions with the venues to see how we can support each other and spread the word industry wide.  We will promote our environmental stance on our website and in other publicity material.

We as a company believe in the inherent value of the environment and we want to make whatever difference we can by reducing our environmental impact.  The Policy will be reviewed by the board annually and up dated where necessary.  This policy is supported by our environmental action plan that outlines what we have implemented and what we are aiming for in the future, it will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and approved by management

This Environmental Policy is endorsed by:

Rachel Harris (Chair of the Board of Trustees)
Northern Broadsides


Northern Broadsides will comply fully with environmental legislation and is in addition committed to continued efforts to Re-use, repair, rethink, reduce, refuse, recycle.


  • Sets and bits of set
  • Props
  • Costumes
  • Paper – print on both sides – or on to scrap


  • Repair rather than renew
  • Consider purchasing reconditioned equipment


  • Develop e-mailing list to replace/reduce postage
  • Use of e-flyers
  • Promote/demand Green Products (regularly ask Suppliers for Green Products)
  • Promote policy that will give preference, as far as practicable, to green products in set building
  • Purchase equipment that can be switched off (not on standby)
  • Use recycled paper for stationery
  • Use FSC Approved Paper from Mixed Responsible Sources for print
  • When printing documents, look to minimise amount of paper that is needed


  • internal lights (not switched on in summer)
  • Managed use of stage lights and stage equipment (never on when not in use)
  • Changing lights to low energy bulbs in lamps – do not turn on strip lights.
  • Invoice payments largely by BACS/email statements
  • Change staff on to e-payslips
    Significant reduction in use of post for general correspondence replaced by email
  • Email digs lists, call sheets and show reports
  • Ask Venues to be very specific re number of posters and print required


  • Printer Ink – default printing position to be Draft
  • Paper – share papers at meetings, print off fewer documents
  • Lights – use desk lamp rather than overhead lights when appropriate
  • Computers – switch off computers, monitors, printers; not left on stand by
  • E-mails – print off fewer emails


  • Air travel for trips within the UK;
  • mileage for trips that should be undertaken by train;
  • taxis for London travel


  • Participate in paper recycling
  • Participate in tins/plastics recycling
  • Participate in Charity recycling schemes eg printer ink, mobile phones, costumes
  • Computers – to charities
  • Props
  • Use freecycle, stage exchange, e-bay, raise funds or donate where possible

Responsible Dumping

  • If sets cannot be reused and it is necessary to dump items, these are to be sorted into recyclable and non-recyclable where possible and are disposed of responsibly
  • Disposal of Chemicals/toxic waste as per Regulations


  • Encourage and enable attendance at relevant Conferences (eg Sustainable Theatres)
  • Use and advertise use of FSC Approved Paper from Mixed Responsible Sources for print
  • Advertise Policy on website

Further Actions to consider
Use benchmarking tools eg Julie’s Bicycle Industry Green Carbon calculators (www.ig-tools.com) to assess progress and impact of our business (touring)
Talk to transport companies to find out what they are doing to reduce carbon – ask for information at time of quote.
Where practicable, look to make sets of a size that will fit into smaller trucks to reduce emissions.
Encourage actors/crew to use public transport or car share.
Ask Designers to consider environmental issues when designing each production.
Ask set builders to consider the materials they use.
Replace low energy bulbs with LED lamps as and when lamps need replacing.
Develop Skype/alternative to reduce travel to meetings.
Monitor usage of paper and letterhead.
Share best practice – with venues and on website.

Concluding Remarks
The frugal nature of Northern Broadsides running practices means that many of the actions above have been in place for a long time, making business as well as environmental sense – we will however continue to strive to improve where possible.

Approved by the Board of Directors, 29th May 2013.