Episode #11 - Recorded on May 19, 2022

Setting sail for ‘climate positive’ with the Sydney Opera House

“We also are thinking more about next steps from carbon neutrality. We want to achieve a net zero target by 2023. And then we want to move into being climate positive. When we were planning our fourth environmental action plan, it was very much about making sure that we are still maintaining a leadership position so we are inspiring the community as much as we can. We do feel that after we achieve net zero, we’ve got climate positive as our next big thing. It’s our 50th anniversary in 2023, which is really exciting for the Opera House, and it’s important for us to have ambitious goals.“

In this podcast episode, we speak with Emma Bombonato, Environmental Sustainability Manager of Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is the nation’s premier tourist destination and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres. Being a carbon neutral organisation under Climate Active since 2018, the Sydney Opera House builds on a long history of embedding sustainability in its operations. We talk about the Sydney Opera House’s carbon footprint, its strategic planning and the role of Sustainable Development Goals. We also chat about the Opera House’s climate leadership and ambitious targets, which will see it go from carbon neutral, to net zero and eventually to climate positive.

Emma shares her experience about how the Opera House reduces emissions in their operations and their supply chain and the importance of engagement across all stakeholders, including staff. Given the close location to the harbour, Emma also explains how they assess and deal with physical climate risks that are most relevant, and the Sydney Opera House’s future sustainability plans.

About The Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House will celebrate its 50 year anniversary in 2023. As a symbol of modern Australia, the Opera House plays an integral role in Australia’s identity. The State, National and World Heritage-listed site is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius’. In 2018 it was estimated to have a social asset value of $6.2 billion and make a $1.2 billion contribution to the Australian economy annually.

The Opera House hosts more than 1,800 performances a year and welcomes almost 11 million people each year, with almost 1.5 million people seeing a show and more than 560,000 visitors taking a guided tour. The Opera House’s reach is not limited to its geographic location – it is also an online portal for performances, creative learning, ideas and discussions reaching audiences and communities nationally and internationally through a program of digital experiences. More than 900 people are employed, including 23 First Nations Australians.

If you want to find out more about the Sydney Opera House, please visit the following links:

About Emma Bombonato

Emma is an Environmental Science & Management background with over 15 years’ experience as a practitioner in Sustainability, Emma’s experience spans across education & training in sustainability, sustainable resource management, carbon management, social behaviour change, organisational engagement and strategy development.

Emma joined the Sydney Opera House in 2017 as the Manager, Environmental Sustainability after 10 years with Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Representing the Sydney Opera House, Emma is a member of the leadership panel of the City of Sydney Sustainable Destination Partnership and a member of the Heritage Council’s Heritage Advisory Panel. Emma’s role is to strategically support the Sydney Opera House to continue to take a leadership role in sustainability.

If you want to get in touch with Emma, you can connect with her on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-bombonato-08b2a431/ or email her at sustainability@sydneyoperahouse.com.

Links to resources mentioned in the podcast

Meet the host

Barbara Albert is the Co-CEO of 100% Renewables. She is passionate about business and works to make organisations’ transition to net-zero emissions simpler and profitable. Barbara is the award-winning author of ‘Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy‘, one of the world’s most important books on renewable energy, as ranked by peers and experts in the industry.

About 100% Renewables:

In 2015, we developed one of the first organisational plans to achieve 100% renewable energy. It was the first time we had an opportunity to look holistically at a whole business to see how 100% renewables could be achieved.

When we developed that plan, we saw that organisations could operate with renewable energy and reach net zero emissions while driving financial performance. Based on this revelation, we named our business ‘100% Renewables’ – a name which encapsulates our vision that in future, all organisations will be powered with renewables and have zero emissions.

Since then, we have helped over 100 organisations develop their net zero plan and have grown the business to a national team of net zero specialists. We are known for developing strategies that are pragmatic, based on sound business cases, and have organisational buy-in.

Connect with 100% Renewables:

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