Find out more about what we are doing to become more inclusive, aware and engaged so that everyone has the opportunity to access ballet, opera, music and dance. We want all our commitments to have a positive effect on our staff, our artists and our audiences.
We commit to net zero emissions by 2035, aiming for an earlier 2030 target where possible. To get there we will sustainably purchase electricity and permanently change how we heat our buildings, in line with emission Scopes 1 and 2*. We will also work with our suppliers to help them reduce their emissions and set Scope 3 emission targets by 2025. Activity will be closely monitored and reported each year to ensure targets are on track.
We recognise that everything we do has an impact on the environment – at our home in Covent Garden and at our sites in Thurrock in Essex and Abedare in Wales. The activities of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and our nationwide education programmes all have an impact on the environment. Our audiences, staff and artists have an effect too. We are making changes now to reduce this impact, making a commitment to net zero and being clear on our stages to get there.
The Royal Opera House aims to be a catalyst for positive change as we make our operations more sustainable, efficient and economical.
*Categorising Green House Gas Emissions:
Emissions are categorised in the UK under three ‘scopes’. These scopes detail the kinds of carbon emissions that a company creates in its own operations and in the wider value chain.
Scope 1 – the Green House Gas emissions that a company makes directly. At the ROH this includes heating the building and running some vehicles.
Scope 2 – the emissions made indirectly. At the ROH this includes the electricity that we purchase.
Scope 3 – the emissions not associated with the company itself but that they are indirectly responsible for as part of the value chain. For the ROH this is very broad and includes our suppliers, business travel, the products that we sell and more.
The Royal Opera House commitment relates to Scopes 1 and 2, with different targets set around Scope 3.
At the ROH we believe that diversity is about making sure we are able to attract and develop talented people who bring more, precisely because of the breadth of their different backgrounds, experiences, cultures and outlooks. It is important to recognise that our history is flawed and our record on diversity has been inconsistent. We are committed to delivering our equality, diversity and inclusion goals and we acknowledge that we must learn as we go. Making a difference requires systemic change and we outline here the steps that we will take over the next eighteen months towards achieving our long-term diversity goals.
Opera, ballet and the Royal Opera House should belong to everyone. We acknowledge that people have experienced long-standing underrepresentation, inequalities, discrimination and micro-aggression as a result of their skin colour, ethnicity and/or faith. We commit to confronting racism and discrimination, to employing and celebrating work by people of colour, and to creating a more inclusive environment in which everyone can thrive.
The Royal Opera House welcomes audiences, engages with communities and partners over 150 organisations across the UK, enabling more people to enjoy and engage with ballet and opera.
What we are doing
A wide range of initiatives and partnerships enable people to experience and participate in the arts in their local community. Screenings, streams and televised productions reach an audience of over one million. Everyone in the UK is within 30 miles of a cinema screening ROH productions in HD and a total 40,000 hours of masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals and performance extracts were made available free of charge during the 2018/19 Season. During the first six months of the Coronavirus pandemic, 19 archive productions and three ‘Live from Covent Garden’ performances were streamed online; find out more about our Autumn digital programme here.
We work with more than 1,500 schools – 76% of them outside London – which we are growing through our National Learning Programmes which combine teacher training, digital resources and live activities to bring ballet and opera into classrooms. The Chance to Dance programme, which partners with dance schools to provide ballet classes and support talented young dancers, is being extended around the country including in the Midlands and Doncaster. We are piloting a new youth singing programme in the Midlands.
The recent Doncaster Dances project, a central part of Doncaster Creates 2020 is working with schools and community groups to enable local people to express themselves through dance and creating a legacy of cultural participation within the town. We have a long relationship with Thurrock in Essex – 72% of schools in the borough accessed arts and culture through our Trailblazer programme last year. We are also an Arts Council England’s Bridge delivery partner for Essex, North Kent, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, connecting young people to opportunities to take part in local arts and culture.
We partner companies from around the UK (and overseas) to create and produce productions, many of which tour, welcoming 22 visiting companies and eight junior companies to our stages in the 2018/19 Season. We also offer a wide range of training and professional development for artists who go on to perform with ensembles, theatres and festivals across the UK.
The Royal Opera House aspires to highest standards of corporate governance and seeks to embed best practice in a series of policies that apply to its staff, freelancers and contractors.
You can find out what our current work entails by viewing our corporate policies below.