THE SHAKESPEARE Birthplace Trust (SBT) has become the first heritage organisation in the world to sign up to the EarthShakes Alliance – a global collective of Shakespearian theatres and organisations committed to putting environmental concerns at the heart of their operations.
The EarthShakes membership comes at an important time in the trust’s journey to becoming environmentally sustainable with the goal of being carbon net-zero in its own emissions by 2030.
Between 2016 and 2020 the trust’s energy usage has almost halved, from 513 tonnes Co2e per annum to 269 tonnes CO2e. In addition, all of its energy contracts are with renewable suppliers.
Dr Paul Edmondson, SBT head of research, said: “Shakespeare’s plays present green spaces as the settings for conviviality, community, escape, and magic; places where we can find out truths about ourselves.
“He knew the importance of our balanced relationship with the natural world, a balance that was shifting during his own times.
“We seek to be part of this important conversation that Shakespeare continues to inspire, and 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.”
Dr Katie Brokaw and Dr Paul Prescott of EarthShakes Alliance were delighted to welcome the SBT to the EarthShakes Alliance.
They said: “As caretakers of Shakespeare’s heritage in Stratford-upon-Avon, they are well positioned to make vital connections between the past and the future, and have already been practicing sustainability in many of their operations. We look forward to partnering with them as our first heritage and research organisation in the alliance.”
As part of efforts to raise awareness of its environmental commitments, SBT is planning a number of initiatives over the coming months across its historic sites in Stratford and digitally for everyone to get involved, including events and talks on the theme of Shakespeare and nature.
Visit www.shakespeare.org.uk/about-us/sustainable-shakespeare for more information.