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Leipzig Opera receives sustainability certificate

View of the Leipzig Opera House on Augustusplatz / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa
View of the Leipzig Opera House on Augustusplatz / Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

As Artistic Director of Oper Leipzig, Tobias Wolff wants to pay particular attention to the topic of sustainability. Year after year, his opera house wants to earn a certificate to this effect.

Opera Leipzig is to become increasingly sustainable in future. "We have set ourselves goals to work in an increasingly climate-friendly way," said Artistic Director Tobias Wolff in an interview with the German Press Agency. Certification in accordance with an international standard for sustainable event management is a kind of self-commitment. The opera house has now received this.

According to its own information, Oper Leipzig is the only opera house in Germany to date that can provide proof of this certification. According to this, DIN ISO 20121 requires "sustainability goals and guidelines for sustainable action in environmental, social and economic terms, which must be continuously pursued and expanded". These include topics such as reducing emissions, waste management and mobility within the company.

Wolff has been the opera's artistic director since 2022. He applied for the position with the aim of turning the cultural center into a sustainable operation. The standard that has now been chosen gives the opera house greater freedom in defining its goals, said Wolff. "We have drawn up a catalog of measures that includes both ecological and social issues. We must not buy sustainability with the burnout of our employees."

The realistic options for becoming more sustainable were carefully considered and where the hotel's "hands are tied", for example due to monument protection.

The accredited certification body CEA decided on the certification. It must be renewed annually. The standard was originally developed for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and has now been updated for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Even before certification, Leipzig Opera had repeatedly launched projects aimed at improving the sustainability of the opera house. For example, the play "Mary, Queen of Scots" celebrated its premiere at the end of last year. During the production, care was reportedly taken to emit as little carbon dioxide as possible. Among other things, parts of the opera's inventory were increasingly used instead of producing new elements.

On the road to sustainability, however, things are also being changed that are less visible to visitors, added Wolff. "For example, it's also about training opportunities or switching our printed materials to environmentally certified paper."

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