Green Touring


Artists have a critical role to play in fostering creativity and bringing communities together. At AOT we passionately believe in the importance of audiences and communities across Australia having access to live performing arts experiences, both locally made and touring productions, because we know they have a significant positive impact in communities at a cultural, social and economic level.

We also care deeply for the wellbeing of our people and our planet, and our planet is in climate crisis. Many artists and arts organisations urgently want to respond. AOT started the Green Touring Initiative in late 2020 with the aim of providing tools and strategies to minimise emissions and work towards carbon neutral touring, so that the positive impacts of our touring activity at a community level don’t cost the planet. The outcomes of this Initiative, The Green Touring Toolkit and accompanying resources, and Arup's emissions calculator Circulate, were launched in 2022. 

“As artists and art-makers, we have an incredible opportunity to be the innovators and the storytellers that lead on change.”

Partnering with NSW touring organisations Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, CDP Theatre Producers, Critical Stages Touring, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Performing Lines and Sydney Dance Company, The Green Touring Initiative started with a workshop, facilitated by environmental consultant Grace Nye-Butler, where we pulled apart AOT’s 2020 tour of Siren Theatre Co’s HMS Pinafore and succeeded in reducing emissions by 32%.

The following aims were determined at the workshop:

  • To develop a toolkit and accompanying resources to enable touring organisations to plan and deliver tours with emission reduction strategies, and to budget to offset unavoidable emissions
  • To develop a calculator specific to performing arts touring to facilitate low carbon planning and measuring emissions
  • To advocate to government agencies for environmental impact reduction strategies to be included in the selection criteria of touring applications and for associated costs to be eligible
  • To work with suppliers, venue partners and other stakeholders to achieve mutual sustainability goals and adopt ambitious emission reduction targets
  • To support artists and arts organisations to live and work by their principles
  • To facilitate the sector to lead on climate action

Developed in consultation with artists, creatives, arts managers and environmental sustainability experts, The Green Touring Toolkit is a practical, step by step companion guide to greening the production and touring process – from setting goals to production design and pre-tour planning, working with venue partners and reducing emissions on tour, and measuring emissions post tour purchasing offsets. 

Download Toolkit

We have developed a set of reference guides and templates to facilitate implementing the ideas in the toolkit – see the Resources section on this page or click below for these resources and links to other industry green guides and information resources. 

Further Resources

Arts on Tour partnered with Arup on the Green Touring Initiative. Arup supported the development of The Green Touring Toolkit and is providing access to the beta version of Circulate, an online emissions calculator at no cost, to support the sector’s transition towards sustainability.

Dedicated to sustainable development, Arup is a collective of designers, advisors and experts working across 140 countries. Arup understands that the arts, cultural and creative industries are a vital expression of the human experience and fundamental to our mission to shape a better world. 

Circulate emissions tool

Top banner image: Mark Rogers