Green at CFT

Being a bit more eco-conscious in our everyday lives doesn't take a lot of effort in the grand scheme of things. But cumulatively, the effect can be massive.

We have a number of small initiatives outlined in our Green Strategy all aimed at helping us reach our end goal of carbon net zero.

You can read more about the work we're doing to be more sustainably-minded and reduce our environmental impact below. If you have any suggestions about what we can be doing better or would like to partner with us on a project, please send us an email.

A gold effect statue in the shape of the Visit England Rose, underneath which is engraved "Visit England Awards for Excellence 2022: Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award, Gold Winner 2022, Chichester Festival Theatre"
Visit England Gold Award for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism 2022

This Award will spur us on to continue working for positive change in everything we do.

Georgina Rae, CFT's Director of Projects and Planning

Our green initiatives

CFT trees and carbon offsetting

We plant trees and support local planting initiatives in place of traditional opening night cards and gifts. To date we have planted 28 trees in Oaklands Park; if you’re visiting the Theatre, take a walk around the park and find our trees. You can use this Google map to identify the trees and see which show they were planted for.

You can carbon-offset the impact of your journey to the Theatre through our partnership with Ecologi. To date over 40,000 trees have been planted internationally, in addition to offsetting over 1000 tonnes of CO2.

Theatre Green Book

The Theatre Green Book offers baseline standards that we’re aiming to meet – with 50% of production assets sourced from reused/recycled materials and a minimum of 60% of material from a show to be reused in future.

In Festival 2024 we are on target for all our Minerva Theatre productions to meet baseline standards, in addition to Redlands and Cinderella in the Festival Theatre.


We offer our props and costumes stored at our local facility for hire, ensuring more can be reused.

LED lighting, rechargeable batteries, refillable laundry products and washable cosmetic wipes are all small steps we’ve taken to move towards lower energy and impact alternatives.

Free bicycle hire is available to visiting artists during their time in Chichester.

Buildings and energy

Since we set a benchmark in 2016 we’ve achieved an annual 5% reduction in energy use each year.

Open and closed loop Ground Source Heat Pumps sitting below Oaklands Park, and Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery units across our air handling plants mean we’re recognised by the Renewable Heat Initiative.

Water management technologies we use include percussive taps (no, that doesn't mean they play a tune!), short flush sanitary ware and external rainwater soakaways.

Video conferencing equipment available across our site enables digital meetings, reducing the need for travel.

Recent grants from The Foyle Foundation and The Theatres Trust’s Theatre Improvement Scheme, in association with the Wolfson Foundation, have supported the upgrade of our lighting equipment and house lights, reducing their energy consumption by 99%.


A wildflower meadow was planted behind our building as part of our 60th birthday celebrations in 2022 and is being cultivated to ensure the flowers return year on year.

In November 2023 we teamed up with the Friends of Oaklands Park and Tradition Chichester to plant 420 whips (think baby plants) along the border of the archery field in Oaklands Park. We hope this will create a wildlife corridor, a source of food and somewhere to shelter for the animals, birds and insects that call the park home. Thanks to The Woodland Trust and with advice from Sussex Wildlife Trust, we've planted some native whips including Hazel, Crab Apple, Hawthorn, Silver Birch, Oak, Blackthorn, Elder, Dog Rose, and Rowan. Plus, we've added some little saplings we found in the orchard.

In our efforts to encourage further biodiversity we have installed swift boxes on the Festival Theatre building, bird feeders in our Green Room garden and drought tolerant plants minimising the need for watering.

Paper, waste and recycling

Split waste bins are available in both staff and public areas encouraging more recycling.

Since 2017 we have worked towards becoming a paperless office, reducing our printing and adopting e-signing software for all contracts and documents, reducing our paper purchasing by 50% within 6 months.

Additional recycling facilities available for staff include Reworked PPE recycling for single use face masks and lateral flow tests.

Our catering partner Caper & Berry is also committed to reducing our environmental impact. All plastic packaging has been replaced with reusable, recyclable or biodegradable options and they pride themselves on using locally sourced produce.

You can find us on the Refill app as we offer a free water refill point in the Foyer Café - just bring your bottle! And if you're lucky you may be able to pick up a Caper & Berry Magic Bag through the Too Good to Go app, where we sell any surplus food at a reduced price at the end of the day.

In 2022 we introduced reusable cups in our bars for patrons to take drinks into the theatre, instead of single-use plastic cups; please make sure you return them after use!