UK: Measuring carbon emissions of arts organisations: ‘Sustaining great art’

This post comes to you from Culture|Futures

Arts Council England has published the report ‘Sustaining Great Art’, which presents results from the first year of environmental reporting by 704 major revenue funded organisations. 

sustaining-great-art

The results have been compiled into the single largest data set on the carbon emissions of arts organisations globally, and this achievement is reportedly already having ripple effects both in the UK and internationally, wrote Julie’s Bicycle in its December newsletter.

The report mentions a number of groups which are demonstrating benefits of collaboration, including:

London Theatre Consortium, 13 theatres working to develop strategic, creative initiatives and share expertise and resources, including a sustainability strand

Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, 13 arts organisations, venues and events, collaborating to support their own sustainability goals and Manchester’s climate change strategy

Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues, 10 venues working to share learning and maximise their positive environmental, social, cultural and economic impact, with different workstreams, including a Green Campaign and Capital Investment Strategy which explores longer-term sustainable capital projects for the group

Royal Opera House, Royal National Theatre and Royal Albert Hall, who entered into a three-year contract for collective energy procurement known as ‘The Arts Basket’ provided by the energy broker Power Efficiency in 2012. Other organisations have since joined and benefits include reduced costs, better risk management and longer-term price certainty on a green tariff supply.

The report was produced in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle. Currently working with over 1000 cultural organisations in the UK and Europe, Julie’s Bicycle offers free online tools, research, and bespoke consultancy to help arts organisations measure, manage, and reduce their environmental impacts.

Founded by the music industry, with expertise from the arts and sustainability, Julie’s Bicycle bridges the gap between the creative industries and sustainability. Based on a foundation of peer-reviewed research, Julie’s Bicycle sustains creativity, enabling the arts to create change.

Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle entered into a partnership in 2012 to deliver an environmental support programme for National portfolio organisations, Major partner museums and Bridge organisations. The partnership, which runs from 2012 to 2015, combines the annual CO2e measurement of energy and water use using Industry Green tools, and support to develop an Environmental Policy and an Action Plan for each organisation.

» More information and an infographic of the results: www.artscouncil.org.uk

» More information: www.juliesbicycle.com

» Right-click here to open or download the report: Sustaining-Great-Art.pdf (43 pages, 7 MB)

Culture|Futures is an international collaboration of organizations and individuals who are concerned with shaping and delivering a proactive cultural agenda to support the necessary transition towards an Ecological Age by 2050.

The Cultural sector that we refer to is an interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral, inter-genre collaboration, which encompasses policy-making, intercultural dialogue/cultural relations, creative cities/cultural planning, creative industries and research and development. It is those decision-makers and practitioners who can reach people in a direct way, through diverse messages and mediums.

Affecting the thinking and behaviour of people and communities is about the dissemination of stories which will profoundly impact cultural values, beliefs and thereby actions. The stories can open people’s eyes to a way of thinking that has not been considered before, challenge a preconceived notion of the past, or a vision of the future that had not been envisioned as possible. As a sector which is viewed as imbued with creativity and cultural values, rather than purely financial motivations, the cultural sector’s stories maintain the trust of people and society.
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