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Ecologically aware and sustainable enterprise

As an international music and performing arts venue and congress location, the Concertgebouw strives to be a green organisation that also encourages its audiences, clients and partners to be ecologically aware.

Since its construction in 2002, the Concertgebouw has paid great attention to sustainability and ecology. One great trump card in this quest is its modern architecture, which complies with the most stringent current standards

  • excellent thermal insulation
  • high-efficiency boilers
  • centralised lighting control
  • dual water system
  • ...

The reduction of the ecological footprint of this flourishing arts centre is nevertheless an ongoing ambition. This stimulates creative and innovative management and challenges us to remain socially responsible and to encourage our various partners to do the same.

Many small changes can make a big difference. At the Concertgebouw ecological awareness is reflected at every level and in diverse aspects. When purchasing, for instance, we only buy environmentally friendly products.

In the workplace an eco-team teaches employees to be actively aware, launches new ideas and calls upon everyone to ‘think green’. A list of some initiatives:

  • Sustainable lighting: For the stages of the Chamber Music Hall and the Concert Hall, we are constantly searching for even more efficient lighting, and reception rooms, such as the forums, are completely lit with sustainable LED lighting. Our monumental exterior lighting has an on/off button. In consultation with the City of Bruges’ electromechanical department, we are ready to make our contribution in the event of a power shortage by switching off the exterior lighting. The lights in various storage rooms and toilets have been automated so that they don’t stay on unnecessarily.
  • Reduction and sorting of waste: Waste is sorted immediately, and this at various locations in the building. Backstage, we switched from bottled water to tap water in early 2014. This allows us to eliminate PET packaging. We have an internal recycling circuit for bottles and glasses. We almost exclusively use glasses and bottles that can be easily cleaned backstage in an environmentally friendly fashion. 
  • Reduction of paper consumption: By using central planning software, a server on which employees share documents and a digital archive, we limit paper use. We are striving for a paperless office. If something does have to be printed, this is always done on recycled paper.
  • Green cleaning and maintenance products: Since 2011 the whole building has been cleaned and maintained using the greenest products on the market. The packaging of these products is fully recycled.
  • Already since 2014 our season brochure carries the FSC label, certifying the use of paper from sustainable forestry.  Besides, a few seasons ago we drastically lowered the print run and asked our audience who wants a digital version instead of a paper one.
  • The Concertgebouw only uses 100% green energy
  • We encourage staff and artists to take the stairs instead of the lift. We foster this by highlighting the signs for the stairs.

Audiences are also encouraged to reduce their ecological footprint. Programmes and magazines, for instance, are available in digital format, and at the ticket check e-tickets can be scanned from a smartphone or a tablet. Besides making every effort to provide clients with a maximum of enriched digital content on the website, we also encourage them to keep abreast of Concertgebouw activities via social media and newsletters rather than through print. This, combined with great efforts to eliminate duplications in the address databases, has allowed us in recent years not only to limit the print run of magazines and brochures, but also to keep or clients better informed.

The Concertgebouw is a green concert venue and conference location. We call upon the public and the staff, whenever possible, to car pool, use public transport or to visit us on their own bikes or on Blue Bikes.

To contribute to a low carbon society and to propagate this aim further, Concertgebouw Brugge supports Green Track, a transition network of partners who want to make the Bruges arts sector more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

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