If you’re not already a fan of her seriously impressive acting prowess, you should be. Cate Blanchett is kind of like a female Daniel Day Lewis, seamlessly morphing into her roles with the stealth and calculation of a cougar. Of course, there’s also her devotion to all things green that repeatedly has us singing her praises because truth be told, the Academy Award winner’s consistent dedication is unrivaled by the majority of her contemporaries.
Her latest pet project (along with her husband Andrew Upton) has been to slowly but surely reduce the carbon footprint of the Sydney Theatre Company — where they both serve as artistic directors — to the point where it is entirely carbon neutral by 2011. That’s not an easy feat when you consider all of the energy that a facility of such grand scale consumes in the course of a year while entertaining 300,000 guests, but Blanchett feels that their efforts help them “to be engaged in what is the most important issue that is facing us as a species…climate change.”
The project, dubbed “Greening The Wharf”, continues to set a remarkable example for the global theatrical community through the following eco-measures:
- Installation of a 2,000 panel 381kWh rooftop solar array which will help the theatre company use 70% less energy – the equivalent of 614,000 kWh annually.
- Rainwater harvesting will help irrigate landscaping materials and aid in the electricity generation process, ultimately supplying 100% of their non-potable H20 requirements.
- Commitment to landfill reduction through careful handling, composting and recycling of waste products. They are also considering how to “divert 8 tons of recyclable drink containers from landfills”.
- They estimate that these green efforts will prevent 555 tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere throughout the course of one year.
We’re happy to report that the hard work and eco-dedication of Blanchett and Upton has officially been recognized at Australia’s 2010 Green Globe Awards. The couple was bestowed the highest honor – Premier’s Award – which one judge remarked was well-deserved since they’ve achieved their green goals in light of “a considerably greater set of challenges.” Ultimately, the actress intends to transform the Sydney Theatre Company into a green hub in the harbor area that serves as “an international example of 21st century best environmental practice.” They’re well on their way!