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ABOUT

When it comes to sustainability the Sydney Opera House matches its annual program of world class performances and experiences with an ambitious sustainability program.

Fast facts

  • 11 million visitors annually
  • 5 million people in the audience
  • 1800 performances
  • 560,000 people take a guided tour

Introduction

When it comes to sustainability the Sydney Opera House matches its annual program of world class performances and experiences with an ambitious sustainability program. What’s more, they excel in performance in this area as well as on the stage.

With a mission to treasure and renew the Opera House for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors and to inspire, and strengthen the community, The Sydney Over House is serious about their state, national and world heritage listings, the United Nations Sustainability goals and the important role they play not just for the Sydney House but also in leading example in minimising environmental impact.

Sustaining history, culture and the arts

The Sydney Opera House was built upon Tubowgule, Gadigal country and supports the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Looking after a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius’, as described by the UN, that is home to eight flagship resident companies – Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and The Australian Ballet and a broad range of other parties that host performances, talks and children programs – is a team effort. A dedicatedenvironmental plan has driven the Sydney Opera House’s sustainability goals since 2010.

Sustaining the narratives of past and present for the future

As Australia’s premier performance space, for the last 50 years the Sydney Opera House has been committed to storytelling. Their performance program is a reflection of those who dared to think differently when the structure of the building was still imagined. Patrons enjoy eclectic narratives from diverse  perspectives shared through performances of dance, opera, dialogue and music. The Sydney Opera House plays a vital role in sustaining all manner of stories that represent culture past present and into the future as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Greening the House 

The Sydney Opera House is at the pinnacle of Australian excellence in building management and sustainability initiatives. They call it “Greening the House.”

Sustainability has always been in the plans for the House. Architect Jørn Utzon embedded sustainability principles including an innovative seawater cooling system into the House, 50 years ago.

There has been a range of actions taken to ensure the Sydney Opera House minimises its impact on the environment, from building projects to performance, the audience and visitors in a sustainable way.

Green star rated

Australia’s first heritage building nationally to have been recognised with a 5 star Green Star performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. It is one of a few World heritage-listed sites to achieve equivalent recognition.

Not one to rest on the ability to hold a high note, the Sydney Opera House aims to go one higher to achieve a 6 star Green Star performance rating in 2022. To reach the  top of the scale, the Opera House also plans to achieve sustainable event management certification by 2023.

Carbon Neutral Certification

The Sydney Opera House achieved carbon neutral certification in 2018. Building efficiencies have offset 17,500 tonnes of CO2 via renewable energy and biodiversity offset projects.

A new Building Management Control System to improve climate control and to monitor energy and water use has led to a 9% reduction in energy use. Jørn Utzon’s innovative seawater chiller units that feed the House’s cooling system were also upgraded.

There are plans to power the House through alternative resources – solar panels off site, for example.

Climate positive

The Opera House plans to move beyond carbon neutral towards a climate positive position by 2023, in concert with its 50th birthday.

Lighting up the stage with LED 

The House is lit up by LED creating efficiencies in replacement, energy, lowering UV emissions and with no mercury elements the environmental impact is better all round.

The reef under the House

Built on innovation and original design, the Sydney Opera House is also involved in sustainability projects under the water. Supporting a research project with the University of Technology, Sydney, and funded through a NSW Environmental Trust grant, an artificial reef has been established along the seawall.

Constructed from marine grade steel and concrete, designed to encrust with seaweed and sea life, 28 reef pods are in place to bring sea life back into Sydney Harbour. The reef attracts striped leatherjackets, bream, cornetfish and the ‘Gloomy’ octopus.

The Sydney Opera House is pioneering projects that can be applied to other harbours around the world.

Sydney Opera House Sustainability Champions (SEALs)

30 Sustainability staff participate in environmentally focussed initiatives.

Sustaining Sydney Harbour through actions such as Clean Up Australia Day are a key activity for the SEALs, in a commitment to contribute to the protection and biodiversity of the environment.

Staff walk the talk, more than 80% of employees choose sustainable transport options.

Driving single use plastics out of the House

Aiming that the only footprint will be tapping onstage and in the aisles, Team Opera House has been driving single use plastics out of the house for some years now. All plastic bags have been replaced with paper, saving 90,000 plastic bags annually. Food and beverage operators process 2.5 million orders annually.

Joining the City of Sydney’s Sydney doesn’t Suck campaign eliminated 2.2million drinking straws and 30,000 plastic cups, saving these from landfill.

From 2020 onwards all drink ware will be reusable for in-venue events, including Forecourt concerts and Vivid.

Recycle and reuse

Sydney Opera House fosters a circular economy to rethink waste, reduce the volume of waste generated and achieve their  85% recycling rate target. Reducing potable water by 35% has been achieved since 2018.

In its current Decade of Renewal program it is committed to recycling a minimum of 80% of construction waste.

Aligned to Global Goals  (UN Sustainable Development Goals)

Thinking beyond the Sydney Harbour shoreline and its iconic position on the world stage, the UN Global Goals ( SDG’s) underpin the Sydney Opera House environmental performance to the highest standard in conserving natural resources, minimising waste, protecting the natural environment and inspiring change in the community.

Your visit to the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House aims to inspire guests with its leading examples and commitment to sustainability, not just of this unique structure and globally adored icon on Sydney Harbour, but also to the environment it enjoys.

Transport links at Circular Quay allow visitors to travel to the Opera House by ferry, train, tram and bus. Then it’s just a short walk along the Sydney Writers Walk that fringes Sydney Harbour with stellar views all the way to the Sydney Opera House.

Experiences that support sustainability

All experiences at the Sydney Opera House support Tourism Australia’s sustainable tourism guidelines through maintaining Australia’s history and heritage and showcasing respect and understanding for indigenous culture. Your tour guide will draw out the sustainable themes as you explore the history and architecture, savour a Taste of the House, discover what’s under the Sails and in the concert halls or be wowed by a private performance. Observe Badu Gili,  the Indigenous artworks that are celebrated on the sails of the Sydney Opera House each day at sunset.

Sustainability Awards:

5 star Green Star performance rating –  Green Building Council of Australia

NSW Large Business Transformation Award – Banksia Foundation’s NSW Sustainability Awards 2021

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DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY POLICY


Compliance with privacy and data protection laws
We recognise that your privacy is important to you and we value the privacy of every individual and are committed to the protection of personal data. Our privacy policy complies with applicable privacy laws in processing personal data including the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") (which gives certain rights to individuals who are based in the European Union ("EU") during their interactions with us). Our policy sets out how we collect, use, disclose and otherwise manage personal information about you. We invite you to check our website regularly for any updates to this privacy policy.
General Privacy Statement
You may visit the Cultural Attractions of Australia website without telling us who you are or revealing any personal information about yourself. However Cultural Attractions of Australia does give you the opportunity to provide to us some of your personal contact information in order to interact with you and with our member attractions. This information includes your name, email address and country of residence and state or territory, if you are from Australia. We will only use this information for the purposes described in this policy statement.
Types of information collected
We may collect and hold personal information about you, that is, information that can identify you, such as your name, address, contact details and other information relevant to providing you with the services you are seeking.
Purposes of collection of data
We will collect and use your personal information generally for one or more of the following reasons: We will only process personal data that is necessary to carry out our services as determined by the nature of your interaction with us.
Methods of collection
Personal information will generally be collected directly from you through the use of our standard forms, or over the internet, or through interaction with our social media channels, or via email or through telephone conversations or meetings with you. There may, however, be some instances where personal information about you will be collected indirectly because it is impractical to collect personal information directly from you. We may obtain personal information about you from our members or other affiliated organisations, where the transfer of your information to us is appropriate and lawful, and in keeping with this privacy policy.
Failure to provide information
You acknowledge that if the personal information you provide to us is incomplete or inaccurate, we may be unable to provide you with the services you or they are seeking.
Internet users
If you access our website, we may collect information about your interaction via our website in the form of your IP (internet protocol) address and domain name. Also, our website may from time to time use cookies. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and to prepare customised web pages for them. Cookies do not contain personal information per se, but they may link back to a database record about you. We may use cookies to monitor usage of our website and to create a record of when you visit our website and what pages you view so that we may serve you more effectively. We have carefully chosen these cookies and have taken steps to ensure that your privacy and personal data is protected and respected at all times. In addition to the controls that we provide, you can choose to enable or disable cookies in your internet browser. No attempt will be made to identify users or their browsing activities unless we are compelled to do so by law. The data and log files may be preserved indefinitely and used at any time and in any way necessary to prevent security breaches and to ensure the integrity of the information supplied by Cultural Attractions of Australia. Your personal information will not be released unless the law permits or requires it or your permission is granted.
Links to other websites
This website contains hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. You acknowledge that we will not be liable in respect of any breach of data protection or privacy laws arising out of your interaction with a third party or third party website (whether or not you have accessed the third party website via a link from our website).
Security of personal data
If and when we provide your personal information to our members or other affiliated organisations, we will use our reasonable endeavours to ensure that those third parties have in place adequate policies in order to provide similar protection of your personal data and privacy in accordance with applicable privacy laws. However we do not accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices for any third parties.
Use and disclosure
We use and disclose personal information about you generally for the purposes for which it is collected. We may also disclose personal information about you to:
Storage of your personal information
We keep your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary for the purposes for which it has been collected. In any communication we send you, there will be the option for you to unsubscribe. We will actively review the personal data we hold and delete it securely, or in some cases anonymise it, when there is no longer a legal, business or consumer need for it to be retained.
Security
We store your personal information in different ways, including on paper and in electronic form. We take commercially acceptable measures and comply with all applicable privacy laws to ensure that your personal information is stored safely to protect it from misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. These may include both electronic and physical security measures.
Access
You may be entitled to access the personal information we hold about you, or request for this information to be deleted, upon written request. We will endeavour to provide you with access to the personal information requested within 30 days. We may charge you a reasonable fee for processing your request. We may decline a request for access to personal information where privacy laws require us to do so. If, upon receiving access to your personal information, or at any other time, you believe the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date, you should notify us immediately. We will take reasonable steps to correct the information so that it is accurate, complete and up to date.
Data Protection Officer
Our Data Protection Officer is responsible for all matters concerning the proper management and legal compliance of data protection and privacy matters. The Data Protection Officer:
Reporting data and privacy incidents
If you become aware of a data or privacy incident, including an actual or suspected data breach, you should immediately report this incident via the Contact Us page on our website. A data or privacy incident means an actual or suspected data breach as defined under applicable privacy laws including:
Complaints relating to how we handle your personal data
If you are concerned that your personal data has not been handled in accordance with our data protection and privacy policy, you may lodge a written complaint to our Data Protection Officer and your complaint will be appropriately investigated and a response provided to you as soon as practicable. If you are unhappy with the way that we are using your personal data, or if you are not satisfied with our response to a complaint, you may lodge a complaint with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (to the extent that the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) applies) or, if the GDPR applies, with the Data Protection Authority.
Feedback
If you have any queries about our privacy policy or the way in which we handle your personal information, please contact us: Data Protection Officer Cultural Attractions of Australia PO Box 5548 West End QLD 4101
More information
For more information about privacy in general, including advice regarding making a complaint or notifying of a data breach, you can visit the office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.oaic.gov.au This privacy policy may change from time to time. The policy was last updated in March 2019
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