Published 7 December 2012

The Göteborg Opera's environmental work a pioneer in Europe

As the first opera house/theatre in the Nordic region and only the second in Europe, The Göteborg Opera's environmental work has been registered in compliance with the European Regulation on Environmental Management and Audit Schemes: EMAS. EMAS is based on ISO 14001 but sets stricter requirements for the scrutiny of environmental work.

Since 2001, The Göteborg Opera has been doing continuous environmental work with the main purpose of constantly making improvements. It has a firm base in both the decision-making and executive sections, and permeates the entire organisation. Environmental work is a prioritised objective in all departments and is intended to see opportunities for improvement within every part of the operation.

"Our environmental philosophy is apparent in all things, large and small. Everything from the type of paint we use in the decoration workshop through to the raw ingredients that are purchased for the restaurant. We have an active environmental group with representing a broad base of people from most of the departments in the house, which drives on environmental issues and follows up the work on an annual basis," says Peter Hansson, General Manager of The Göteborg Opera.

In 2004, The Göteborg Opera had a fully implemented environmental management system based on ISO-14001. In that same year, the opera house in Gothenburg was awarded an environmental diploma by the City of Gothenburg and, last year, the house's restaurant was accredited with the Nordic region's foremost eco-label, one of only a few in Gothenburg: the Nordic Swan. Now, with its EMAS registration, The Göteborg Opera is taking another important step to quality assure its environmental work. It means that The Göteborg Opera will have an open, honest review of its environmental reporting. It also sets requirements for the active involvement of personnel and honest, open communication of the environmental work.

An entire "green" production

One of The Göteborg Opera's long-term goals is to have an entire production eco-labelled. The Göteborg Opera carried out a life-cycle analysis of the opera Thaïs and is now implementing measures based on its findings. The environmental objectives for 2013 include investigating the way in which The Göteborg Opera can contribute to reducing dependence on fossil fuels for travel by the audience to and from performances, a factor that proved to have a major environmental impact on the life-cycle analysis. Other goals focus on transport, energy, purchasing, chemicals, and waste.

About the EMAS registration
Prior to the EMAS registration and in the review of the environmental report, The Göteborg Opera has been collaborating with the University of Gothenburg. The people responsible for this work include Natalja Koniouchenkova an external consultant who has, for many years, been one of the key figures in the opera's environmental work. SP The Technical Research Institute of Sweden has acted as independent reviewer prior to EMAS registration. The registration covers activities at Christina Nilssons gata, the opera house in central Gothenburg, and the functions controlled directly by those activities: touring, guest performances, external concerts etc.

For further information, please contact Jenny Jernberg, Press Officer, The Göteborg Opera on +46 (0)31 10 80 35 or at

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