Actors from the South Pacific company joined members of Chichester District Council’s grounds maintenance team to plant three trees in Oaklands Park to mark the production’s opening night on 13 July. Iroy Abesamis, Lindsay Atherton and Carl Au, who are all appearing in the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, helped CDC’s grounds maintenance supervisor Ian Baker and his colleagues to plant a ginko, a copper beech and a liquid amber tree as part of CFT’s environmental strategy.
Georgina Rae, CFT’s Head of Projects and Planning, says: ‘CFT is committed to reducing our environmental impact and becoming ever more sustainable as a theatre. As part of this, our staff Green Committee proposed that in place of the gifts and cards traditionally given to the company to mark the opening of each production, we will plant trees in our local parks, in partnership with Chichester District Council. The three South Pacific trees join five trees we planted in the park last year to celebrate our Youth Theatre production, Pinocchio. A further 10 trees will be planted this year through this project.
‘For Festival 2021 we are also piloting a new partnership with UK social enterprise, Ecologi. We are thrilled to reopen and see our audiences return to CFT, but are conscious of the impact that car journeys have on our environment. By partnering with Ecologi we are able to offer audience members the opportunity to offset the carbon impact of their journey to the Theatre by supporting carbon offsetting and reforestation projects all over the world. We’re delighted that since launching this initiative in May, audience members have supported the off-setting of the equivalent of 142 tonnes of CO2 and planted 4,060 trees internationally.
‘These are just two aspects of broadening our green strategy which will set a pathway for CFT to reach carbon net zero, alongside ongoing initiatives such as continuing our annual reductions in energy use, expanding the reuse and recycling of production materials and advocating for a sustainable future.’
See below are Georgina Rae, Ian Baker (CDC), Carl Au, Lindsay Atherton, John Attwater (CDC) and Iroy Abesamis at the tree planting.