Sage Gateshead

From energy efficiency to green touring, Sage Gateshead has been consistently dedicated to becoming a sustainable building for over 10 years.

Sage Gateshead is a multi-purpose arts and conference venue, opened in 2004, with a capacity of 5,200 audience members across 5 spaces. In the 2013/2014 financial year, Sage Gateshead saw a total attendance of over 250,000 people. With office spaces, bars, a café, and a restaurant in addition to performance spaces, Sage Gateshead began working with Julie’s Bicycle in 2008-2009 to monitor and reduce their emissions.

In 2013-2014, Sage Gateshead achieved a 2 star Julie’s Bicycle Creative Industry Green (IG) Certification, out of 3 stars. The venue demonstrated overall improvement in their energy performance by reducing use by 6.1% between 2012/2013 to 2013/2014.

Sage Gateshead has identified goals for further reducing their carbon emissions. Energy-related objectives for 2015 include:

  • Changing energy providers to one that uses a greater percentage of renewable sources.
  • Electricity usage reduction by 1% to be achieved by 2015 through increased use of LED lighting in concourse areas.


Sage Gateshead replaced lighting with LEDs and instituted a turn-it-off policy for their employees to switch off electronics when not in use. Tungsten lamps have been replaced with LED lighting where possible, and LED strip lights installed in Sage 1 and 2.


The venue has an Environmental Policy and a Green Team with representatives from across the organization who meet regularly to assess and strategize sustainable practices and improvements that can be made.


Sage Gateshead encourages employees and audience members to travel by foot, bicycle, or public transportation to work and events. They also offer free Metro travel for all ticket holders on show days.

Energy Supply and Monitoring

Gas and electricity supply are both fully carbon offset using an energy brokering service (Green Energy Consultants).

Sage Gateshead is working on better understanding the energy usage associated with specific larger events it hosts. As a starting point, the venue has specifically monitored the energy used during the Gateshead International Jazz Festival and SummerTyne Americana Festival in 2015 as a benchmark to measure the progress of targeted initiatives to improve the environmental performance of similar events going forward.

Touring: Take the Green Train

Sage Gateshead is leading on a new green touring initiative with the Europe Jazz Network, Take The Green Train, looking at how the jazz sector can respond as part of a global movement addressing climate change. Following a seminar on green touring in April 2015 the project now has a 'green manifesto' and will undertake action to make their 2016 tours as sustainable as possible.


Sustaining Creativity