Reporting FAQs

This page provides answers to frequently asked questions about the Arts Council Environmental Programme, environmental reporting and the Creative Green Tools. If you have query not covered here please contact


  • In 2012, Arts Council England became the first cultural body to make environmental reporting and policy part of funding agreements for National Portfolio organisations. This crucial policy intervention is supported by an environmental programme devised and delivered by Julie’s Bicycle which is transforming the vision of the arts. Collectively, these organisations have reduced energy consumption by 23% and made savings of £16.5 million.

    If you would like to read more on how the Arts Council England’s sustainability programme is making a difference across the sector, please see our latest annual report released in April 2022.

  • As part of the Arts Council Environmental Programme all National Portfolio Organisations must meet the following requirements:

    1. Enter data outlined in your funding agreement onto the Creative Green Tools relating to 1st April 2021 – 31st March 2022. Your information should include 12 months of data for buildings, or cover your activities across that time period for festivals, tours and productions.
    2. Upload an up-to-date environmental sustainability policy and action plan to the Creative Green Tools.
  • The window for reporting will open on 2nd  May 2022 and will close 30 June 2022.

  • The above reporting requirements are required for National Portfolio Organisations across all funding bands.

  • Julie’s Bicycle is a London based charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. Julie’s Bicycle has been working in partnership with Arts Council England to inspire environmental action across the arts and cultural sector for over a decade.

    In order to support organisations further, Julie’s Bicycle delivers an ambitious and inspirational programme of activities as part of the Arts Council Environmental Programme. This programme is aimed at building literacy, skills and capacity in the sector so organisations feel confident to act on climate change and reduce their environmental impacts.

  • The deadline for both uploading your environmental policies and action plans and completing your reporting for 2021/22 is June 30th 2022.

  • There are not strict requirements on the content of the environmental policies and action plans required by NPOs as part Arts Council Environmental Programme. Julie’s Bicycle has developed guidelines to help organisations develop their own environmental policy and provide examples to see what a policy should look like in practice. NPOs are free to interpret this guidance as they see fit. We plan to review and update these guidelines as part of our 2022 work plan.

  • Organisation’s environmental policies and action plans do not need to follow a set date range as with the environmental reporting. Typically, a good policy and action plan will be updated annually covering the upcoming financial or calendar year.

  • Organisations will need to upload the latest versions of their environmental polices and action plans onto their Creative Green Tools account. When logged into your CG Tools account, use the Documents page to upload and save your policies and action plans.

  • The 2021/22 reporting requirements have been tailored to suit each organisation individually, taking into account your organisation’s size, scope and activities. Your individual reporting requirements can be found in the 2018-22 Funding Agreement Conditions, Section 9 and 9.1 in the ‘Schedule 1 additional conditions’ for bands 1, 2 and 3 NPOs.

    If you are having trouble finding your requirements please contact

  • Each NPO’s individual reporting requirements were agreed between each NPO and their Relationship Manager with consultation from Julies Bicycle when needed. The requirements are designed to reflect each organisation Individually taking into account your organisation’s size, scope and activities.

  • The 2021/22 reporting requirements have been tailored to suit each organisation individually, taking into account your organisation’s size, scope and activities. While documented in your funding agreements these requirements are kept flexible to reflect the changing nature of organisation’s work.

    If you feel like your agreed requirements are no longer appropriate and need to be amended please contact

  • Reporting is also completed retrospectively for the previous financial year. For 2022, NPOs will need to enter data referring to the period April 2021-March 2022.

  • NPO’s are expected to report on the environmental impacts outlined in their funding agreements for the Buildings/Projects for which data is available. Organisations are not expected to report on all of their Buildings and Projects if unfeasible.

  • As an organisation you may not have access to 12 months of data for your current Building due to particular circumstances e.g. new building, serviced building etc. If you can’t collect 12 months of data then get in touch with Julie’s Bicycle at

  • Yes. You can also amend your requirements to include more impacts if your organisation is looking to increase its ambition around reporting.

  • Energy refers to the electricity and/or gas consumption of your buildings. This is measured in kWh and should be available in your basic energy bills or through manual meter readings.

  • Water refers to the water consumption of your buildings. This is measured in m3 and should be available in your basic water bills or through manual meter readings.

  • Waste refers to the waste produced by your buildings or events. Waste tonnage can be found in bills/reports provided by your waste contractor which should include a breakdown per waste stream e.g. landfill, recycling.

    If you don’t have access to this information you use the CG Tools to estimate your waste impact by recording the size and frequency of your waste collections. To do this you will need to record the number and size of your bin collections monthly for each waste stream e.g. two 500L bins collected twice a week going to landfill.

  • Business travel refers to any non-commuter work related travel undertaken by your core team e.g. travelling for events, conferences, training etc.

    This information you will need to collect is:

    • Miles/km travelled
    • No. of people travelling
    • Mode of transport
  • The best way to gather information on audience travel is by surveying the audience as part of the ticket buying process (if applicable) or at the venue. You can also use car parking data or ticket buyer postcode data to estimate modal splits and distance travelled. Julie’s Bicycle can advise on this.

    If you do not have actual audience travel data, the GG tools can automatically provide a default data based on our research where it is available.

  • Organisations can use the Creative Green Tools to monitor touring productions. To monitor a tour you will need to collect travel data for both individual personnel travelling on the tour and any freighting of materials or sets. You may also monitor additional information including number of performances and tour accommodation.

  • Organisations can use the Creative Green Tools to monitor both indoor and outdoor events. To report on an event you can collect information related to the activity covering energy, water, waste, business travel and audience travel. See previous FAQs for details on data collection for each of these impacts.

  • Organisations can use the Creative Green Tools to report on an individual production taking place in their performance space. To report on a production organisations can collect information on the scale of the production (i.e. stage size, crew, performance numbers), set design & management (i.e. timber, steel, flooring) and lighting and sound effects (i.e. lighting rig details).

  • The Creative Green Tools are a free set of unique carbon calculators developed by Julie’s Bicycle specifically for the creative industries. They’re used by over 3,000 organisations across 50 countries to understand the environmental impacts of cultural buildings, offices, outdoor events, tours and productions.

    The Tools make it easy to measure your organisation’s key environmental impacts, from the energy use of your buildings, to the waste generated at your festivals, to the travel/material impacts of your touring productions.

  • The Creative Green Tools launched in April 2019 replacing the original IG Tools platform. Thanks to feedback we’ve received, we’ve developed our tools so you’ll find them more intuitive and responsive, with better functionality to capture meaningful data and measure your impacts.

    Any organisation who held a pre-existing account with the IG Tools can log into the new site with your existing details. All of your historic data has been migrated to the new site. If you’re having any difficulties email:

  • Accounts on the CG Tools are created at an organisational level. If your organisation has used the CG Tools before you won’t need to create a new account. If you work for an organisation who has an account already on the CG Tools which you would like to access please email with your organisation’s name and your email.

  • Use the Home page to quickly view your organisation’s impacts ‘At a glance’ for the current year. Here you can review your organisation’s current footprints, trends, certifications, documents and your Arts Council England reporting requirements.

  • Use the Results Page to delve deeper into your data, including absolute and metric analysis, year-to-year comparisons, and access to the JB Benchmarks. Based on data collected through the Creative Green Tools, our benchmarks let you compare your environmental performance against industry averages.

  • Use this page to upload your organisation’s Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

  • Creative Green is a framework supporting creative and cultural organisations in their efforts to reduce environmental impacts. Joining the Creative Green scheme gives you access to peer support from a creative community dedicated to sharing learning and leading transformative environmental change. You’ll also receive specialist recommendations on improvements you can make along with a 1 – 5 star rating across 3 key areas. Organisations can use the Certification page to register for Creative Green in 2022 and review past certifications.

  • Use the Data page to create new Buildings, Projects and Footprints for your organisations and review your historic data.

  • Buildings refer to your organisations fixed spaces such as offices and venues. Projects refer to organisation’s activities beyond their Buildings, including tours, festivals, events and individual productions. Organisations can create as many Buildings and Projects on their account as they wish to.

  • Footprints refer to a year of data associated with one of your Buildings or Projects. Arts Council NPOs reporting through the CG Tools will need to create a Footprint for each of their respective Buildings and/or Projects covering the relevant reporting period e.g. 2021/22.

  • On the Data page click on the Footprints Subheading. Here you will see all your Buildings and Projects listed with their relevant footprints. Here you can see an overview of the data on your account and edit any old data.

  • To add data on your account you will first need to go to the Data page. On this page you will be presented with a selection of options:

    Option 1: Add data to an existing Building or Project

    Use Option 1 to create a new Footprint and add a year of data to your pre-existing Buildings or Projects. Use the filters to select your Building or Project followed by the year of your data entry.

    Option 2: Create a new Building/Project

    Use Option 2 to create a new Building or Project to report on. Once created you can create a Footprint to your Building/Project using Option 1.

    Option 3: Edit an incomplete Footprint

    Option 3 lists all the incomplete Footprints you have on your account for your different Buildings or Projects. Use this to quickly view and edit the Footprints you are still working on before you are ready to submit your data.

    Option 4: Edit a completed footprint

    Use Option 4 to edit any completed footprints for your Buildings or Projects. You can also edit these through the Footprints page.

  • When you have entered all of your data into your Building or Project’s Footprint head to the final tab in the form called “Submit”. Here you can submit your data for review by Julie’s Bicycle.

  • On each tab of a Footprint you will find an option to save at the bottom of the page. You can save and return to these as you see fit. Incomplete footprints (unsubmitted) will appear on the Add data page under Option 3 until you submit these for review.

  • We know that environmental and climate action in the creative sector stretches far beyond carbon emissions, so we have created this section to capture more widely your organisation’s ambition and the positive effects and benefits arising in your organisation, the sector and beyond. Organisations can use Beyond Carbon as a checklist to track their actions.

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