• Posted on January 13th, 2020

Arts Council England Environmental Report 2018/19

Wheelhouse by Acrojou

Julie’s Bicycle and Arts Council England have worked in partnership since 2012 to inspire environmental action across the arts and culture sector, with a focus on long-term funding partners, the National Portfolio Organisations.

Our latest report, Sustaining Great Art and Culture, details data, projections and initiatives from the opening year of a new four-year environmental sustainability programme.

“The success of this programme goes far beyond data collection and carbon reduction. Cultural organisations are embedding climate action into the core of their operations – developing creative solutions, forging new partnerships and sparking valuable conversations on sustainability with their audiences. The actions taken to address climate change over the next decade will be crucial and, as society faces up to this challenge, the imagination, ambition and commitment demonstrated in the Arts Council’s 2018/19 Environmental Report point the way forward.”

– Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

This is the first environmental report to cover the Arts Council’s 2018-22 National Portfolio, which has grown by 20% and includes 184 organisations new to environmental reporting. It reveals that the Portfolio’s total carbon footprint is 114,547 tonnes of CO2e – an amount which would take almost 115,000 trees 100 years to absorb – yet also highlights initiatives organisations are undertaking in response to this challenge: from Bristol’s Colston Hall pledge to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 to the London Theatre Consortium developing a roadmap for a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Organisations are making sustainable energy choices – 54% have installed energy efficient lighting and controls and 32% of purchased electricity is on a green tariff contract.
  • A new, creative ecology is emerging – 47% are trailing sustainable production or exhibition methods and 30% are with banks that invest in social and environmental projects.
  • Sustainability is powering creative expression – 50% developed new creative or artistic opportunities as a result of environmental initiatives and 49% have produced, programmed or curated work on environmental themes.
  • Business communication is changing – 70% actively promote virtual communications technology as an alternative to travelling.

In response to the growing commitment demonstrated by the sector, Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle will now shift focus towards accelerating impact and stretching ambition. This includes two new strands of work: The Accelerator Programme, which offers organisations resources and expertise to develop innovative ideas into deliverable projects for greater impact, and a targeted carbon reduction scheme for organisations with large infrastructures, The Spotlight Programme.

We encourage you to please share this report, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #GreenCulture to join in the conversation. If you would like any social media or marketing assets, or have any questions, please contact the Julie’s Bicycle office: +44 (0) 208 746 0400.

Banner image: Steve Edwin, courtesy of Bournemouth Arts By The Sea