A report released by Arts Council England has shown that arts and cultural organisations are acting on and surpassing national and international climate targets.
Environmental arts group Julie’s Bicycle, which produced the report, has been working in partnership with Arts Council England since 2012 to inspire environmental action across the arts and culture sector.
Alison Tickell, Director of Julie’s Bicycle said: “In uncertain times, arts and culture become even more important. As we experience climate change unfolding around us, arts and culture can intervene, disrupt, generate new knowledge and foster cultural practice
to have an environmental policy and action plan.”
The report, which focuses on the 663 organisations in the Arts Council England National Portfolio, found that CO2 emissions have decreased by 35% across the National Portfolio since the programme began six years ago.
Direct energy consumption has been reduced by 23% since 2012/13 and the ongoing drive to reduce energy consumption has led to financial savings of £16.5 million since the programme began.
The report also notes that organisations are experiencing benefits beyond reductions: Environmental practice and carbon literacy are being linked to improvements in other organisational priorities, including team morale and strategic decision-making.
Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said: “In a time when society is tasked with taking unprecedented action on climate change, the Arts Council England commissioned 2017/18 Environmental Sustainability report makes for extremely encouraging reading. The report shows that with leadership, commitment and creativity arts and cultural organisations are delivering truly inspiring results.”
Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie’s Bicycle, said: “This report shows how a deceptively simple policy – Arts Council England’s Environmental reporting requirements – can prompt big shifts. Hundreds of creative organisations are demonstrating how a sustainable cultural ecology can work. Environmental literacy is inspiring deeper connections between climate and social justice, investment and innovation, clean energy and new materials, empathy and biodiversity, the past, present and why we must shape the future.”