La Monnaie opera house wins international award for sustainable development

Brussels opera house La Monnaie has received the Oper! Award for Best Future Project, in recognition of its work on sustainable development. The international awards were presented on Monday at the National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam.

“We are sincerely proud of this recognition of our corporate social responsibility strategy,” general and artistic director Peter de Caluwe said at the ceremony. 

Since 2000, the theatre has been analysing the effects of its activities on the environment. In 2003, it received its first star as an Ecodynamic Enterprise, a label that rewards companies, non-profits and institutions in Brussels that reduce their impact on the environment. This was followed by a second star in 2005. 

It has also been monitoring its energy and water consumption in real time since 2008, to identify and manage energy inefficiencies. In 2011, three beehives were installed on the roof of the workshops at La Monnaie, with three more added in 2021.

'A model for others'

The theatre has also gradually renovated its buildings to improve energy performance. Materials used in its sets are reused and recycled as much as possible, and only wood from responsibly managed forests is used. It has provided bike parking and uses home-made cleaning products to minimise its footprint.

“This strategy enables us to integrate, in the long term, the three dimensions of sustainable development – ecological, social and economic – which are part of the vision and mission of our institution,” De Caluwe said. “This staff-wide participatory discussion is a key item on the agenda for the cultural sector as a whole. We are pleased to be able to share it with other institutions as a model for future development.”

In November, La Monnaie won the Equal Opportunities and Impact prize for its project A Bridge Between Two Worlds at the Opera International Awards.


Illustration shows preparation for a costume sale at La Monnaie, May 2022. Costumes from various Munt productions such as Tannhauser, Aida, Foxie and Lucrezia Borgia were put up for sale © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

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