The sails of the Sydney Opera House were recently lit emerald green to celebrate its successful efforts to become carbon neutral five years ahead of schedule. The Sydney Opera House team says certification against the Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard was achieved well ahead of its initial target.
Success has come as a result of dedicated efforts to reduce carbon emissions and the creation of new means to manage energy and waste. The Sydney Opera House team has also streamlined daily business and building operations and offset any remaining emissions with help from Energy Australia.
As part of efforts to reduce electricity use, Sydney Opera House replaced incandescent bulbs in the Concert Hall with custom LED lights, implemented a new building management control system to monitor energy and water use and optimised the heating and cooling of the building by using a pioneering seawater cooling system. As a result, electricity has been reduced 14% from baseline.
The certification was achieved just one month before the Sydney Opera House is set to celebrate its 45th anniversary. CEO Louise Herron said: “Sustainability is in the Opera House’s DNA. Architect Jørn Utzon incorporated sustainable design into the fabric of the building in the 1960s. We aim to honour and enhance this legacy by embedding sustainable thinking into everything we do.
Don Harwin, NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities for the Arts highlights the significance of the carbon neutral certification. He says, “The Sydney Opera House is our nation’s symbol to the world and I’m doubly proud as both Minister for the Arts and Energy to celebrate this remarkable building’s carbon neutral status”.
Whilst the achievement is great, the Opera House will aim even higher with an ambitious Environmental Stability Plan that seeks to reduce energy use further, increase recycling of operational waste and achieve a 5 Star Green Star Performance Rating.