• Posted on April 6th, 2022

Arts Council England Environmental Sustainability Report 2020/2021 

Arts Council England (ACE) publishes its Environmental Responsibility Annual Report 2020-21, a publication which presents National Portfolio Organisations (NPO) environmental data and narratives for the period of 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021. It comes as the Arts Council England and its environmental partner, the non-profit organisation Julie’s Bicycle mark the 10th year of their world-first environmental programme this year.  

Read the Report

Alison Tickell said:The last year challenged us all in facing a global pandemic and economic shutdown, and tested our collective resolve and commitment to fixing our broken relationship with the planet. The world shifted on its axis, yet the cultural community clearly and firmly kept the environment on the agenda, channelling focus into climate commitments and pledges and embedding the environment into planning and strategy responses. Organisations adapted to the new landscape, and responded with creativity – connecting, engaging, localising and going digital.  Meeting the urgency of the crisis and the ever-narrowing window for action has never been more imperative, and the creative sector has renewed its vows and is poised for action in the next year” 

During the reporting period England was subject to three national lockdowns; as such, we changed reporting requirements from mandatory to recommended. It’s encouraging that over half of NPOs (482 in total) still reported data.  

The data collated in this report reflects the devastating effects of the pandemic, with periods where cultural venues were shut and partially shut, staff were furloughed, funding and resource cuts made, and with a rapid transition to home working and digital delivery.   

Despite this, findings from this report show that the sector remains committed to environmental sustainability, demonstrated through continuing to report their environmental data, but also through the actions that organisations have taken to continue to drive forward much-needed environmental change.  

It demonstrates the sector’s commitments and efforts to make tangible change to address the climate crisis, and work towards a greener culture sector. 

Report highlights include: 

  • 85% of respondents reported making the same, or increased progress on environmental commitments as the previous year 
  • 96% of respondents reported that environmental commitments made during lockdown were underway 
  • 88% of organisations include Environmental Sustainability in core business planning 
  • 49% of respondents collaborated with other cultural organisations to find and share solutions to environmental issues 
  • 50% have experienced creative or artistic opportunities (compared to 42% in 2019/20) 

Read some of the NPO case studies featured within the report below

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival


Walk the Plank 

Beach of Dreams

Bush Theatre 

Creative Kernow

Knowle West Media Centre

D6 Culture in Transit

SS Great Britain 

Fast Familiar

Yorkshire Dance



Art Gene

Woodhorn Charitable Trust

Image credit – Woodhorn Charitable Trust, Colin Davidson 

Resource Materials