What we're doing

Glyndebourne’s Environmental Activities

Glyndebourne holds a long term goal of all our operations on site becoming carbon neutral. In order to move closer to this aspiration Glyndebourne has developed an evolving strategy to manage and reduce Glyndebourne’s impact on the environment. The strategy for achieving these ambitions is continually reviewed by our Environmental Coordination Group. Below are just some of the activities we have prioritised over the last year or so:

  • On site electric car charging point for staff and audiences
  • Glyndebourne cycle to work scheme for staff
  • Interest free travel loans for staff to encourage use of public transport
  • Glyndebourne runs free buses to and from the local train station in Lewes for both staff and audiences to enjoy
  • Since 2006 Glyndebourne has had an annual external audit of carbon emissions
  • Glyndebourne has an internal environmental committee that spearheads new projects
  • Glyndebourne delivers a year-round educational programme inspired by our environmental activities
  • Glyndebourne has a comprehensive paper recycling scheme and cardboard bailing programme
  • Glyndebourne’s gardening team runs a green waste scheme and composts 70% of all garden waste
  • Glyndebourne works with expert external partners to advise us on all our environmental initiatives

Glyndebourne gardens

Glyndebourne’s gardens have a large part to play in our plans for environmental sustainability. This includes further development of organic methods of cultivation, the use of peat free growing mediums and the expansion of Glyndebourne’s garden education projects. This gives us the opportunity to work with the local community to raise the profile of sustainability and growing your own food.

Energy efficiency

Glyndebourne have also undertaken measures to ensure that the renewable power is used efficiently: an inverter has been fitted to the main auditorium air handler unit to control the speed of the fan to save energy; the use of more energy efficient boilers has been introduced as old ones are replaced; motion sensors and timers are being installed to improve all round efficiency; and there have been ongoing efforts since 2007 to use LED and energy saving light bulbs where possible and use a lower wattage of bulbs throughout the estate, while staff have undergone training to ensure energy consumption is minimized in the office environment.

In 2012 Glyndebourne has commissioned a survey to investigate the opportunities to install a ground source heat extractor on site. To further reduce carbon emissions from the heating and air-conditioning of the opera house and surrounding buildings.

Water supply

Glyndebourne’s water is supplied from a natural spring, thereby avoiding a dependency on mains supply. In addition to this, systems are being fitted to recycle water in toilets and new, more efficient, flush systems have been installed.

Waste and recycling

In terms of waste, approximately 3250lbs of cardboard is taken to local recycling plants every three weeks and the organisation’s recycling scheme is aided by a cardboard baler.


As with most cultural venues, audience travel accounts for a significant part of our carbon emissions. While not within the direct control of Glyndebourne, audiences are encouraged to share lifts and travel by public transport. Glyndebourne provides free bus transport for staff and audiences to and from Lewes. In 2008 audience helicopter landing was also banned on Glyndebourne land.

Staff commuting accounts for 23% of Glyndebourne’s greenhouse gas emissions. To encourage staff to use public transport Glyndebourne offers an interest free season ticket loan and promotes a cycle to work scheme which includes tax-free bicycle purchase.

Consultation and training

Over the past 2 years we have been working closely with NIFES Consulting Group who are advising Glyndebourne on energy and environmental saving measures. They have also provided us with a range of staff training opportunities and assistance in raising the profile of our environmental work.

If you have any questions about our environmental work please contact Sarah Hopwood (sarah.hopwood@glyndebourne.com)