Origins and Accomplishments


Since 2007 Arcola Theatre has been the forerunner in sustainable practices within the arts community – encouraging and inspiring others to follow in our footsteps.

Green Arcola started at Arcola Theatre as the Arcola Energy Project. The Arcola Energy Launch Brochure is available online.

The original aims of the project were to:

  • Make Arcola the world’s first Carbon Neutral theatre.
  • Use theatre to educate and inspire the local community to live sustainably.
  • Create the world’s first Clean Energy Technology Incubator in an arts setting. A knowledge incubator and demonstration site with dedicated workspace where engineers can develop initiatives to tackle climate change.
  • Lead a paradigm shift in how sustainability is integrated in to the core ethos of arts and community venues.

These aims are now delivered under the Green Arcola banner, and are included in our environmental policy.



One of the first arts organisations to commission a feasibility study on how to become carbon neutral. Development and implementation of measures to ensure the theatre takes appropriate steps to fulfil this ambition.


In conjunction with the London Mayors office in 2008, Arcola was primary organiser of developing the Mayors of London Green Theatre Plan.

Worked with theatre company Simple8 on The Living Unknown Soldier, to create London’s first hydrogen powered production using a five kilowatt fuel cell.


Created a feasibility study for Future Arcola – Arcola Theatre’s long-term ambition to build completely new zero carbon theatre in Dalston.


Participated in 10:10 -the national campaign to reduce carbon footprints in 2010 by 10% – and achieved a 34% reduction in our former premises in Arcola Street.


Involved in conversion of the Colourworks Building, our current home – from a disused factory building to a fully functioning two-studio theatre – by sourcing recycled building materials.


Led the establishment of Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and managed it until 2012.

Won two Sustainable City awards for Greening the Third Sector and Resource Conservation


Following the development of first energy incubator based in an arts setting, Arcola Energy Ltd becomes a separate development and retail company specialising in fuel cells.

Shortlisted in the European Business Awards for the Environment for the Green Arcola Action Plan, alongside Marks and Spencer Plan and the Olympic Delivery Agency


After monitoring energy consumption in the Colourworks building for a year, generated a baseline so we can accurately measure our carbon reduction achievements.

Arcola has participated in a number of external accreditation schemes, which provided us with frameworks for our monitoring and awards for achieving new levels each year. We are now using the ISO14001 framework to manage our environmental processes.

For more information about these schemes:

10:10  Green Tourism   industry green
carbon smart  Ecovenue

Between 2009 and 2013, the Arcola Energy / Green Arcola team issued a regular newsletter. Links to the digitally archived newsletters will be restored soon.