posted by Luke Malcher


The Royal Opera House has just signed up to 10:10. I donned my horned helmet and went along to their staff launch.

ROH staff say cheese

ROH staff say cheese

Home to The Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet, London’s Royal Opera House (ROH) contains more artistic talent than you could shake a baton at. As staff filter into one of the building’s rehearsal studios, I almost expect some off-duty vocalist to break into an impromptu aria.

Although acapella operatics don't quite materialise, we are treated to a selection of smooth standards performed by the ROH Jazz Ensemble. This, I think with a mouthful of complimentary chocolate, is how to cut carbon with class.

Would staff be turning up without the lure of jazz and organic choccies? “Probably,” says Marina on the development team, "I do my fair share of nagging about recycling, turning computer screens off - that kind of thing. I'm interested to see what else we can do." Among the hundred-strong crowd she points out various members of the ROH top brass, keen to learn what they could be doing for 10:10.

Among the hundred-strong crowd we spot various members of the ROH top brass, keen to learn what they could be doing for 10:10

Following energising talks from director of education Paul Reeve, and from our own global director Lizzie Gillett, staff form teams for a carbon quiz. As scores are totted up, I take the opportunity to catch up with Paul and get his thoughts on the campaign.

"We’ve got an important role to play in getting the message across about climate change. The start of the 2010-11 theatre season is the perfect time to begin our 10:10 action year.". He tells me that the ROH has been working in partnership with Julie's Bicycle, sustainability consultants to the performing arts, to carry out carbon audits of their expansive work spaces.

The show ends without a peep from the (notional) fat lady. The only sound is a buzz of excitement as staff discuss their quiz prizes and chat eagerly about how they'll be saving their 10% in the year to come.