The Spotlight Programme

A small proportion of Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations are responsible for half the portfolio’s total carbon emissions. The Environmental Programme 2018-2022, delivered by Julie’s Bicycle,  puts a spotlight on reducing the environmental impacts of these organisations. Over four years, the programme will work closely with Band 3 NPOs to achieve measurable reductions through development of good environmental management practice.

The Spotlight programme has the following priorities:

  • Improvements to environmental literacy, strategy, and expertise, to agree achievable, yet ambitious, Environmental Impact Reduction Objectives (EIROs) and create governance frameworks that support their attainment and benefit the longer-term resilience of cultural institutions.
  • Supporting energy management strategies and operational systems to embed new technology and behaviours with a focus on driving down impacts and costs.
  • Creating opportunities for organisations to share best practice, knowledge and experience is a key part of the programme, which will enable organisations individually – and the sector as a whole – to achieve further environmental reductions.

The programme will focus on energy management with building-based arts organisations. It will follow the principles of good energy management as set out with ISO50001.

Find out who is involved in the spotlight programme

Webinar: introduction to the ACE Spotlight Programme

During this webinar you will hear about the approach that frame this strand and the support that will be available to you, including:

  • Carbon trend results of Band 3 organisations
  • Organisation energy management diagnostic
  • Energy monitoring and management tools
  • Design of environmental reduction targets, with a focus on energy use for building based organisations
  • Peer-to-peer energy and environmental knowledge sharing

Available Support

Group energy analysis 

Julie’s Bicycle is analysing the historic energy use data of all Band 3 organisations reported via the IG Tools to build an understanding of key trends and patterns across the cohort. This analysis will be used to help Julie’s Bicycle develop the Environmental Impact Reduction Objectives (EIROs).


Once agreed the Environmental Impact Reduction Objectives (EIROs) will be stored and tracked in the IG Tools as part of each organisations annual reporting accounts.

Energy management scorecard

All organisations participating in the Spotlight Programme will be required to undertake a short survey annually to help JB build an understanding of where each organisation is in their energy management. Each organisation will receive a results scorecard detailing their organisations current performance across six key areas of energy management: policy, planning, responsibility, communications, intelligence and investment.

Energy monitoring & management tool

All organisations participating in the Spotlight Programme will be provided free access to Pilio, a tool for supporting your energy management practices. Pilio will provide each organisation insights into their energy performance and will enable JB to better support, track and analyse progress towards meeting targets.

Annual training events

Each year there will be holding a 1-day event. This year’s event will be on energy management and knowledge sharing hosted at National Theatre on 27th November 2018. All building-based Band 3 organisations interested in taking part in the Spotlight Programme will be encouraged to attend.

1-1 support

All organisations participating in the Spotlight Programme will receive support from a member of the JB team to review and support each organisation’s action plan development to help meet your EIROs.

Peer Sharing

Sharing best practices and knowledge through case studies, briefings and networking will be facilitated to aid faster learning and achievement of target reduction. Julie’s Bicycle will encourage Spotlight organisations to share experiences, ideas and learnings. In addition, there will be briefings and events specifically for senior leadership of these organisations.   

Webinar: introduction to the Spotlight energy saving tool

During this webinar we provide training on JB’s energy saving tool, taking participants through details of the features, functionality and reporting capacities available. We review and talk through your Action Plans and introduce recent research and a working paper of analysis around designing effective environmental impact reduction objectives (EIROs). We also outline next steps in the Spotlight Programme to ensure you are set up to get the most out of the support available.

This webinar was led by Catherine Bottril, Head of Creative Green at Julie’s Bicycle with guest speaker Dr Russell Layberry, Chief Science Officer at Pilio.


I’m interested in participating in the programme, who do I need to speak to?

Please contact info@juliesbicycle for any questions relating to the programme

Is there an application process for this programme?

There is no formal application process for this programme. All participating organisations will be required to complete an energy management scorecard in advance of the November workshop.

Are there any costs to be aware of that organisations will need to budget for to take part in the programme?

The support offered through this programme by Julie’s Bicycle will be covered under the ACE Environmental Programme, including the subscription to the Pilio Energy Management Software.

Is this strand of work only available for building based organisations?

In the first year of this programme, we will be working exclusively with building-based organisations on establishing their EIROs. In 2019 we began working with those organisations in the portfolio that are not building based who face unique challenges and opportunities for improvement e.g. orchestras, touring or network organisations.

What does EIRO stand for?

Environmental Impact Reduction Objective.

What if your organisation doesn’t meet its set targets?

Failing to meet the EIROs set for your organisation will not impact your funding agreement with ACE. However, ambitious targets and robust data collection is encouraged to strengthen the Band 3 ‘support role’ within the portfolio.

Is participation in this programme mandatory?

Participation in the Spotlight Programme is not mandatory. We would like to make this programme as ambitious and inspirational as possible and invite Band 3 organisations interested in further reducing their organisation’s environmental footprint to take part.

Is the programme for all Band 3 organisations?

In the first instance, we are encouraging 30 organisations to commit to achieving EIROS; however, we will be continuing the conversation with other Band 3 organisations throughout the process with the intention of expanding the programme post this initial pilot.

What was covered at the November workshop?

We held an event on the 27th November at the National Theatre focused on building energy management. Energy management is critical to the success of your organisation. With effective energy management you will be able to:

  • Use energy efficiently, decreasing costs and environmental impacts
  • Pay fair rates for energy and water
  • Plan for the future, including building capacity and organisational readiness for regulatory compliance

Image Credit: Akram Khan Company’s Chotto Desh featuring dancer Dennis Alamanos (Photo by Richard Haughton)

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