Sydney Opera House
The Opera House is a masterpiece that belongs to all Australians. It is the nation’s premier tourism destination, a world-class performing arts centre and celebrated community meeting place, welcoming 10.9 million visitors to the site annually, including more than 2.1 million performance and tours patrons.
A global beacon for creativity, it is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and Deloitte has estimated its total social asset value to Australia at $6.2 billion.
“The Opera House’s role is to inspire the community to take action. Climate Active certification enables us to do this with the hope that other businesses will be inspired to take action themselves or work with Opera House due to aligned values.”
Type of certification
How long have you been certified carbon neutral?
Why are you carbon neutral?
Sustainability is in the Opera House's DNA. Architect Jørn Utzon incorporated sustainable design into the fabric of the building in the 1960s. The Opera House aims to honour and enhance this legacy by embedding sustainable thinking into everything it does. Each year the Opera House hosts thousands of events and serves millions of meals producing 5000 cubic metres of waste and using electricity equivalent to 2500 households (16 gigawatts). It has a responsibility to find innovative solutions to reduce its carbon footprint and inspire the community to do the same.
What are the benefits of your carbon neutral certification?
Carbon neutral certification allows the Opera House to better understand and manage our annual carbon footprint. This helps inform decision making and ensures we consider where the best opportunities exist to reduce our impact. Certification helps demonstrate a genuine commitment which can be communicated to the community, staff, contractor and suppliers. The Opera House’s role is to inspire the community to take action. Climate Active certification enables us to do this with the hope that other businesses will be inspired to take action themselves or work with Opera House due to aligned values.
What offset projects do you support?
The Opera House invested in Climate Active eligible offsets bundled with Australian biodiversity projects.
Why did you choose these projects?
The projects were chosen because they offer a mix of offset projects with a preference for supporting projects in Australia supported by a mix of international credits.
What else are you doing to reduce emissions?
Since the Opera House’s initial certification, we have continued to focus on energy efficiency as electrical energy consumption contributes to over 80 per cent of our total footprint.
What has been the impact of your action?
The Opera House has continued to reduce its carbon footprint since initial certification by around 9 per cent in financial year 2019. This reduction has been as a direct result of the energy efficient projects implemented since 2017.
What advice would you give to a business considering certification?
That businesses understand the process it takes to achieve carbon neutral certification, including the time and on-going fees and costs. Ask for assistance and support from a specialist to guide you through the process initially. Also, invest time in and resources into reducing your footprint so you are in a solid position to become certified.