OAE goes green

As you might have gathered, we’re about to start our first fully fledged ‘Green Tour’ of the UK this month, kicking off with a sold-out concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall tomorrow night (8 Feb) conducted by David Zinman, followed by a trip up to Keswick in the Lake District, Sheffield, and then back down to Basingstoke.  We’re very lucky to be able to provide a live streaming of both the London and Basingstoke concerts which will be featured on various different websites including Ustream, Youtube and Facebook (more details in our previous blog entry).

But that’s not all the eco-warriors at the OAE have been doing…Firstly the whole office has signed up to a green contract committing ‘being green’, and making various promises about how we work daily in the office.  We have been checking with our various suppliers (however large or small their cog in the OAE machine is) about their green credentials – from the caterers who provide wine for our receptions, to checking with the touring venues about their green policies and the hotels we will stay at on tour.

The Projects team have worked super-hard making arrangements for the players of the orchestra – organising train and coach travel from London to Keswick to Sheffield to London, (rather than 45 separate cars.)  Philippa, our Orchestra Manager is going to drive a van with all the large instruments so that our double bass and percussionists can take the train too.  An instrument van may be normal for large Symphony Orchestras but for OAE who are usually quite small, this is a first!

When the project is over we will compare the respective carbon emissions but so far, by simply making changes to players’ travel, we’ve managed to make a 75% reduction on travel carbon emissions from 12.5 tonnes to 3.258…pretty darn good!

Other green initiatives on the tour include encouraging the audience to take public transport to concerts where possible (please do!), reading programme notes online and reusing their programmes which cover a span of concerts over the season. We’ve also got a nifty carbon calculator on our website where you can check out how green you really are, give it a go…

Don’t forget, you’ll be able to watch the concert LIVE online, or from your mobile, from 5.45pm tomorrow night by visiting the Ustream website here.

(and again on Saturday night at 7.45pm, live from Basingstoke.)

Our programme is also available to download from our website (saving a little more of the environment :))