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Sydney Opera House and the Global Goals

Inspiring social and environmental change

Since it opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House has promoted creativity, diversity, environmental sustainability, cultural rights and respect for heritage, on and off its stages. As Australia’s leading cultural institution, we have a critical role to play in using our cultural impact as a catalyst for change.

That’s why, for the first time, our Reconciliation, Accessibility and Environmental community action plans will be aligned with a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. A to-do list for the world, the ‘Global Goals’ address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including poverty, inequality, climate, education and justice.

Below are the Global Goals that the Opera House believes we can have the greatest impact on, and the actions we have committed to taking ahead of the building’s 50th anniversary in 2023. You can read more about our commitment to the Global Goals here.

“The Opera House is committed to the ideals and values encapsulated in the Global Goals, which can only be achieved through global action.”

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM

Goal 4: Quality education

The Sydney Opera House will promote quality education and learning opportunities.


Sydney Opera House staff welcome First Nations work experience students in 2018.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

The Sydney Opera House will champion diversity and human rights in its workforce and business operations.


The opening night performance of Natives Go Wild, a First Nations circus cabaret created by Sydney Opera House Presents Head of First Nations Programming, Rhoda Roberts. Photo: Anna Kucera.

Goal 10: Reduce Inequality

The Sydney Opera House will improve inclusion and accessibility on and off stage.


Sensorium Theatre’s WHOOSH! in August 2019. An interactive multi-sensory adventure designed for children with disabilities. Photo: Prudence Upton.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

The Sydney Opera House will safeguard and revitalise cultural practices, heritage and sustainability.


Inclusion champion Max Burt with Executive Director Building, Safety and Security Ian Cashen using the new Joan Sutherland Theatre lift for the first time in 2018. Photo: Daniel Boud.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

The Sydney Opera House will reduce our waste generation and promote the efficient use of resources.


Waste Warriors Alex De Graff and Gordana Ilieska help the Opera House maximise recycling.

Goal 13: Climate Action

The Sydney Opera House will implement a pathway to become Climate Positive by 2023.


The Opera House purchases renewable energy from Sapphire Wind Farm as part of a 7 year Power Purchase Agreement.

Goal 14: Life below water

The Sydney Opera House will promote the sustainable management of natural resources.


Researchers Giglia Beretta and Professor David Booth from UTS pictured with Emma Bombonato, Sydney Opera House’s Environmental Sustainability Manager monitoring artificial reefs along the sea wall.

Goal 15: Life on land

The Sydney Opera House will promote the sustainable management of natural resources.


Sydney Opera House staff were involved in a tree planting scheme in Mt Carmel retreat.

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

The Sydney Opera House will deepen and enrich our relationships with partners.


Sydney Opera House and major partner, Energy Australia, staff at Garma Festival 2019. Photo by Adam Bostock.

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Accessibility

Our goal at the Sydney Opera House is to provide barrier-free access, making the site, building and the experiences they offer accessible to all people. We provide a range of access services and performances for people who are blind or have low vision, for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment and for people with physical disabilities.

Environmental Sustainability

As a source of inspiration, the Opera House aims to be a leader in environmental and social sustainability.

Reconciliation Action Plan

The Opera House’s Reconciliation Action Plan commits to a range of actions and initiatives that aim to safeguard these traditions and adapting cultures for future generations.