La Monnaie / De Munt LA MONNAIE / DE MUNT

Our Actions

1. Calculating our CO2 emissions

In 2020, we calculated our Carbon Footprint® for La Monnaie's global activity based on 2019 data. The project enabled us to identify our biggest areas of impact and set priorities for action.

We carried out an assessment of two aspects of our organisation: our general operations (Green opera house) and our opera productions (Green opera production).

Green Opera House

Green Opera Production

In 2023, we will be updating our carbon footprint based on 2022 data, looking in more detail at a series of aspects, including the CO2 analysis of 16 opera productions.

2. Transport

We are taking steps to encourage the soft mobility of our audiences, staff, artists and our set constructions:

  • 87% of our staff travel by public transport (2019 figures), thanks in particular to an internal policy of 100% reimbursement of public transport season tickets. The number of cyclists among La Monnaie's staff is steadily increasing, thanks to a covered and secure bicycle parking area with 54 spaces.
  • La Monnaie has joined the Belgian Coalition for Sustainable Business Travel launched by Bond Beter Leefmilieu, with the aim of defining a sustainable travel policy by June 2024.
  • La Monnaie has joined the Green Deal for Urban Logistics launched by the Brussels-Capital Region, with the aim of finding a storage location for sets closer to La Monnaie by 2025, which will reduce the impact of transporting them.
  • Since September 2023, the SNCB's Bravo! tickets enable our audiences to travel by train at half price on the dates of their shows.
  • Multimodal information screens installed in the Theatre's Entrance Hall display real-time public transport timetables.
  • In 2022, La Monnaie carried out two pilot projects aimed at reducing the use of cars to get to shows: the introduction of secure bicycle parking during shows and a shared shuttle booking system (Adamo). These projects will be evaluated to analyse the conditions required to make them sustainable.
3. Eco-design of stage sets

Since 2023, we have been using the international Theatre Green Book as a guide for our new productions. This benchmark, which is widely shared in the live performance industry, sets out sustainability principles that go right to the heart of our artistic work.

  • By 2025, 50% of the materials used (sets, props, costumes, etc.) must have had a previous life. Afterwards, 65% of the materials used must be reclaimed or recycled. From now on, we want to incorporate these principles into the design phase of our projects.
  • When manufacturing our products, we favour standard structures and elements from our stock as much as possible. This is a basic principle that we are trying to develop by initiating a dialogue with the artistic teams and other opera houses.
    • Since 2017, our rehearsal sets have been made using as many elements as possible from our stock.
    • With the Collectif 17h25, made up of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Paris Opera, the Opéra de Lyon, the Théâtre du Châtelet and La Monnaie, we have launched a 3-year innovation project (2022-2025) aimed at standardising set structures (the invisible part of the set: frames, staircases, trolleys, etc.). All without altering the artistic creation.
4. Energy efficiency

An action plan with 62 measures has led to reduced gas and electricity consumption of 28% and 10% respectively (figures for the first post-covid year 2022, compared to 2018). Some concrete examples:

  • Eliminating heating in the corridors, limiting the temperature in the premises to 19°C, eliminating the use of hot water in the washbasins...
  • Limiting the use of air conditioning, replacing obsolete and energy-guzzling installations, gradually replacing light fittings with lower-consumption models, etc.
  • Installation of a system for monitoring gas, electricity and water consumption in real time, allowing us to detect and rectify equipment malfunctions and leaks.
  • Installation of a central technical management system connected to the house's timetables, which has made it possible to rationalise the use of spaces (by activating the installations only when the rooms are actually being used.)

La Monnaie is also developing an Energy-Climate Plan to measure the energy needs and carbon footprint of all its buildings in detail to arrive at targeted actions.

5. Recycling and waste reduction
  • Since 2022, we have stepped up the sorting and selective collection of our end-of-life set elements and offcuts from Ateliers de la Monnaie. They are dismantled by our in-house teams, enabling us to focus on reclaiming and recycling a wide range of materials, including metal, wood, cardboard, polystyrene, flexible materials and plastic packaging.
  • La Monnaie co-founded the InLimbo platform, which enables the exchange of materials within the socio-cultural industry.
  • From time to time, we organise sales of our costumes, which are open to the public and enable us to recycle almost all of them.
  • In 2020, we reviewed all our sorting areas in the offices to make them more visible, more consistent and to reduce our share of general waste. We sort the organic waste from our canteen. We have specific sorting facilities for chemical, electrical and electronic waste, which is taken back by our partner La Poudrière.
  • Since 1 January 2024, we have banned all single-use plastic and cardboard cups from our premises. This way, we avoid throwing away an average of 40 000 cups every year.

6. Responsible purchasing
  • For many years, La Monnaie has taken environmental considerations into account when printing its publications (seasonal brochures, programmes).
  • Our sustainable canteen, with non-profit organisation Groot Eiland, uses fresh, unprocessed, fair-trade produce, seasonal organic fruit and vegetables and MSC-certified fish. A vegetarian alternative is offered every day, and on Thursdays the buffet is entirely vegetarian. We focus on short distribution channels, preventing food waste and reducing the amount of animal protein in the meals we offer.
7. Staff awareness and training

The institution's teams responsible for implementing the climate and environmental strategy are increasingly benefiting from information and training sessions to support them in their task. In February 2023, we launched a series of lunchtime lectures for all staff on these issues and the best practices to adopt.

Cécile le Van