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The sail-shaped roof of the Sydney Opera House makes it one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Now it’s becoming known for something else, too.

“We know that everything that we do at the opera house really matters to our community, so we have a really important responsibility to lead by example through our sustainability program, and that includes addressing climate change,” says Emma Bombonato, the environmental sustainability manager for the opera house. “So we’ve been working on electricity consumption for over 10 years to reduce it as much as we can.”

To increase energy efficiency, workers replaced old light bulbs in the concert hall with custom-made LEDs. They upgraded the HVAC system and installed a new climate-control building management system.   

“In 2019, we signed up to a new electricity contract as well, which is really important for us,” Bombonato says. “It allows us to invest in renewable energy by off-taking renewable energy from wind and solar in New South Wales.”

She says the opera house has taken important steps, but she’s still looking for new ways to reduce carbon pollution.

“This is a continual work in progress for us,” Bombanato says.

So visitors can continue to be inspired by the iconic building.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media and Diana Madson