Theatres in New York recently launched “Broadway Goes Green,” an industry-wide initiative that seeks to make the business of entertainment more sustainable. Besides adopting green practices, Broadway also plans to actively promote environmental awareness to the millions of people it entertains every year.
Theatre in New York is big business. For the 2007-2008 season, Broadway shows sold more than 12 million tickets, grossing nearly $938 million. On top of ticket sales, every year Broadway contributes about $5 billion to the city’s economy and in doing so supports 44,000 local jobs.
But like any big business, the business of show business also generates its own load of CO2. The thousands of light bulbs illuminating theatre marquees; the stacks of paper needed to print Playbills; or the fuel pumped into trucks and buses transporting touring shows, all have a role in making Broadway an energy guzzler.
To change that, New York theatres, in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plan to take green actions like washing costumes in cold water, printing theatre related eco-tips in Playbills, and using sets made from recyclable material.
Certain theatres have already taken action. Some touring shows are now purchasing carbon credits for their buses and trucks. Back in New York, some theatres are illuminating their marquees with energy-efficient light bulbs. Now, plans are to make these actions standard practice for all Broadway shows.
Broadway Goes Green is an integral part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, which since its launch in 2006 has set out to reduce the city’s overall carbon footprint by 30% by 2030.
And so, as the city goes so does Broadway, where from now on the show will not only go on but it will also be green.