In 2007, the Arcola Energy project launched with the mission to make Arcola Theatre the world’s first carbon neutral theatre.
The vision was to create a hub for new thinking and cross-fertilisation between art and science, bringing together artistic, entrepreneurial and technological creativity. Arcola Theatre has a longstanding tradition of innovation, inspiration and deep integration with the local community. Arcola Energy shares these principles, integrating arts and science professionals with the community to pioneer practices that will fundamentally change the way arts organisations work.
The Arcola Energy project included developing a new energy technology incubator within the building and carrying out a range of interventions – solar pv, biomass heating, energy efficiency devices – to lower the carbon footprint of the building.
In 2008, we installed a 5kW hydrogen fuel cell to power LED lights in the foyer. The fuel cell was used by innovative theatre company Simple 8 to light a production of The Living Unknown Soldier. Download a copy of the Arcola Energy launch brochure.
From 2011, sustainability work at Arcola Theatre has been carried out under the Green Arcola banner, but the two bodies remain interlinked. Arcola Energy has been involved in much of the work to make the Arcola building more sustainable – installing solar pv panels, DC microgrids including integrated office furniture featuring USB sockets, and a sustainable biomass heating system.
Arcola is internationally recognised for its work in demonstrating how sustainability and renewable energy technology can be embedded in arts and community organisations. Along with its visibility in the building Arcola Theatre and Arcola Energy collaborate on Education and Engagement Projects.
Arcola Theatre was awarded the 2015 Mayor's Environmental Business Award - small business category, recognising our work here.
For information about Green Arcola, including the history of sustainability at Arcola – please see Green Arcola