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Environmental Policy

Read about how we are putting this policy into practice on our Environmental Sustainability page.


We are committed to developing a pathway that will see the National Theatre Net Zero by 2030. We believe we can achieve this and continue to make the very best theatre to inspire generations to come.

We will do this by expanding and accelerating our current Environmental Strategy Action Plan with staff, freelancers & partners alongside peer-to-peer networks locally and nationally to increase knowledge & impact.

Delivery will be through the key themes of our Environmental Strategy Action Plan: Operation, Building and Production.


Net zero – completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by our activity, to  be achieved by reducing as many emissions as possible and offsetting the those that cannot be reduced.

Offsetting – neutralising carbon emissions by paying others to reduce emissions or absorb CO2 to compensate for your own emissions.

Theatre Green Book – initiative by the UK theatre industry to work more sustainably. In three volumes it sets standards for making productions sustainably, for making theatre buildings sustainable, and for improving operations like catering and front of house.

Carbon Reduction Target – percentage annual target to reduce carbon impacts, measured in Co2 kg from a baseline year Departmental Action Plans – each plan will outline carbon reduction goals, with objectives, measurements, actions and responsibilities.

Carbon Footprint – amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular area, department, or service provided.

Science based Target initiatives (SBTi’s) – The SBTi is a partnership between, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and provides companies with target setting methods.


This policy applies to all those who work and visit the NT – staff, freelancers, audiences and visitors.


The Board are responsible for monitoring the NT’s progress towards Net Zero and reviewing this policy on an annual basis.

The Executive are responsible for ensuring the Environmental Strategy Action Plan is set and followed and targets are met.

The Environmental Steering Group are responsible for defining the policy, writing the strategy, implementing the strategy, setting targets and leading the organisation on environmental activity.

Managers, staff and freelancers are responsible for following the Environmental Strategy Action Plan and identifying and implementing changes at a departmental / production / activity level.


Statement / Commitment

Our commitments:

  • To embed environmental sustainability at the heart of National Theatre’s practice.
  • To work to the standards of the Theatre Green Book.
  • To set year-on-year carbon reduction targets.
  • To use the best tools and practice to help minimise our carbon impacts.
  • To report on our progress annually.
  • To share our experience and learn from others within the wider sector and by working with peer networks.

Monitoring and reporting:

Our Environmental Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by our Environmental Steering Group for approval by our Board and updated as necessary. The policy is supported by our Environmental Strategy Action Plan, and implementation and performance will be continuously evaluated through departmental action plans and environmental monitoring and measurement.

Our areas of focus:

Operation – All areas of the NT should operate with minimal environmental impact where possible. We will ensure our staff have the tools and knowledge to examine their own practice and decision making, with ideas for change filtering throughout the National Theatre. We will enable audiences and visitors to understand and minimize their pollution and carbon footprint when visiting us.

Building – Having already significantly improved the efficiency of our Grade II* listed 1970s building; reducing energy and water carbon impacts by 25% since 2016, we will now put plans in place to implement the changes necessary to achieve net zero, and develop an energy emissions reduction target in line with the Science Based Target initiatives (SBTi’s) criteria.

Production – We will work with creative and production teams to examine every step of the process of bringing shows to the stage and understand how to reduce their environmental impact. We will share what we learn with the theatre sector and encourage the exchange of ideas.


Theatre Green Book
Science Based Targets Initiative