Case Study
  • Posted on April 5th, 2022

Yorkshire Dance – Increasing environmental awareness & literacy

Yorkshire Dance takes action on environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability is so important and something that we are passionate about at Yorkshire Dance, both as an organisation and as individuals. We want to make sure that the work we do isn’t having a drastically negative impact on the environment. We aim to do as much as we can to reduce the emissions we produce.

Arts Council England identifies the importance of Environmental Sustainability and have made it one of the investment principles as part of their Let’s Create strategy. This is why we are progressing even further with our work in this area so we can make sure that we’re monitoring what we’re doing and making improvements.

In the last year, we took the following actions for environmental action in our organisation:

  • We have reduced our electricity consumption even further, largely by continuing to update the outdated lighting in our building to LED. Our Site Supervisor has been very pro-active in making our building more energy efficient. He has broken down all of the outdated light fittings so each individual element can be reused or recycled correctly.
  • As a member of SAIL (Sustainable Arts in Leeds), we have been offered fantastic free training in Carbon Literacy. A number of our team have now been trained in Carbon Literacy. The aim is to train all staff so we can register as a carbon literate organisation!
  • Our Marketing & Communications team have created and evolved the sustainability page on our website, making it more visible to our customers and partners. We now have a tab dedicated to sustainability on our website which lists our environmental objectives, our climate crisis declaration written by our CEO/Artistic Director, our environmental action plan, and our very own roadmap to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
  • To get further emission reductions from building users, we have asked all artists rehearsing in our studios and all of the tenants based in the offices in our building to commit to their own actions around sustainability. We have seen an increased awareness from building users and this has provoked more conversations around how we can work together to reduce our emissions.

We have a “Green Team” who meet monthly and move forward actions around sustainability, including discussing how we shout about our work. Our work around sustainability needs to continue to develop and there will always be new ways that we can make practical improvements and also be advocates for sustainability in the arts.

How significant is this change?

The environmental action that we have committed to has led to a significant reduction in our electricity usage. In the last 9 years, we have reduced our carbon emissions from 85 tonnes a year to 50 tonnes a year. The Carbon Literacy training is providing important knowledge to members of our staff team so that sustainability can be at the heart of their work.

It is also integral that conversations around sustainability don’t just fall to a couple of members of the team and that it really feels like a shared responsibility and desire. We have started holding quarterly meetings for tenants to come together to share ideas and best practice for more sustainable working. Support and suggestions from building users and customers are really contributing towards our progress.

Yorkshire Dance is a charity which champions the value of dance and its development in Yorkshire. We create opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to see, make and take part in high quality dance.

image credit: ES Morgan at Climate Encounters, Rhianonne Stone