Gotham Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Broadway League have announced Broadway Goes Green, an eco-friendly initiative that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the legit industry.
Plans include switching out many Rialto lights with energy-efficient bulbs, reducing or offsetting transportation emissions from road productions, creating ways for shows to recover or reuse a production’s physical materials and employing vendors that use sustainable practices.
Ten Rialto theaters have switched exterior and interior lights with energy-efficient bulbs, with conversions on the way at 14 more theaters. (Many of the actual stage lights will remain traditional bulbs.) Some wardrobe departments also have begun washing costumes in cold water whenever possible.
Efforts are part of the city’s PlaNYC initiative to reduce Gotham’s carbon footprint by 30% by 2030.
According to Bloomberg, production costs will not increase under Broadway Goes Green.
“Every study shows every one of these steps has a payback very quickly,” he said. “How quickly depends on what the cost of fuel is, but it’s a win-win-win for everybody.”
On hand to announce Broadway Goes Green were league chair Nina Lannan and “Wicked” producer David Stone, among others. (“Wicked” has promoted eco-friendly efforts in advertisements on the city’s green cabs and buses.)
In addition, producers and theater owners will encourage ticket buyers to implement eco-friendly practices in their own lives, not just in the New York area but in the 240 markets in which Broadway productions tour.