Press release, 2024-05-03


One of the largest EU projects on the ecological transformation of the cultural sector kicked off this week with a four-day meeting in Wuppertal. GREENSTAGE brings together four theatres and production companies, two municipalities and six associated partners from Germany, Italy, Latvia, Austria and Slovenia to develop tools for sustainable production methods, test them in practice and make them available on a publicly accessible platform.

The experience gained will contribute to the debate on the challenges of moving towards a carbon-neutral future for the performing arts sector. The project also aims to develop ideas for greater sustainability at all levels in the policy hubs, involving local stakeholders, and to draw up a joint declaration with recommendations for action.

Human-induced climate change presents us all with major challenges. The transformation process required to meet climate targets does not stop at the cultural sector. In view of the pressing problems, it is important to build up knowledge for action as quickly as possible and to initiate a transfer of knowledge at European level. GREENSTAGE aims to enable the performing arts sector, in cooperation with the associated municipalities, to implement environmental sustainability in their practice promptly and effectively. A particular focus is on the introduction of circular processes in stage operations. To achieve this goal, the SAPA tool (Self Assessment Tool for Performing Arts) is being developed as part of GREENSTAGE. It is designed to enable employees to analyse their production practices and independently develop them towards sustainable processes.

In a subsequent project phase, the Zero-Waste Labs will bring the developments into practice. They will be used in two zero-waste productions at the Oberhausen Theatre and the National Theatre of Latvia in Riga, as well as the Mladi Levi Festival in Ljubljana. All the knowledge and experience gained, as well as the tools for use in cultural organisations, will be made available at A unique feature of the project is the involvement of policy- makers from the very beginning and the organisation of local and transnational policy hubs to identify pressing issues, define policies and develop recommendations for action.

GREENSTAGE is funded by the European Union's Creative Europe Programme. The lead partner is Theatre Oberhausen Theatre representing the City of Oberhausen. Other partners are the National Theatre of Latvia in Riga, the Volkstheater Vienna (Austria), the Bunker production house in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. The municipal partner is the Municipality of Mantua (Italy). Associated partners are the cities of Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen and Wuppertal, as well as Ljubljana, Riga and Vienna. The Kultursekretariat NRW supports the project as initiator and coordinator of the application.

The progress of the project can soon be followed on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram) and the first results of the project will be presented on from the beginning of 2025. The Zero Waste Labs with two productions and a festival are planned for 2026, before the project is completed in 2027. The meeting in Wuppertal from 22- 26 April 2024 brought together all project partners for the first time for a joint kick-off and the first co-creation workshop of the new SAPA tool for the performing arts sector.