In October 2006, Alison (not Julie) got on her bike to meet some friends from the music industry for dinner at a restaurant called Julie’s. That night together they dreamed up a vision of the future where festivals were powered by solar, venues were off-grid and covered in flowers, museums were community energy providers, artists were united as beacons for change.
This vision became Julie’s Bicycle.
Ten years later, JB is now a thriving leadership organisation serving the creative community.
2007 Our first project calculated the carbon footprint of the music industry, establishing an abiding partnership with Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. It created a way of working that has stood the test of time: priorities and campaigns co-produced by the arts and science community, research to action, free resources and knowledge sharing, partnership projects, practical learning and a commitment to scale what works.
2008 We released our first comprehensive resource, First Step: UK Music Industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions, working with over 100 companies across the music business supply chain. Our research with Oxford University demonstrated that the UK music market is responsible for approximately 540,000 tonnes CO2e annually. We also announced our first consultancy project with Faber and Faber.
2009 Working with the London Mayor’s Culture Office we pioneered a series of Green Guides for the creative industries outlining how they can meet London’s ambitious emission reductions targets outlined in the London Climate Change Action Plan to cut energy emissions by 60% by 2025. We also launched the Creative Industry Green (IG) Tools, providing creative organisations with the tools to measure their carbon impacts for energy, water, waste and recycling, transport and travel, and production materials. With our support, Creative Carbon Scotland took a bold step to make environmental reporting a funding requirement.
2011 Establishing a new partnership with the Broadway Green Alliance in America, we founded a new international initiative, the International Green Theatre Alliance to help theatres respond better to the specific challenges in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
2012 Announcing our Creative Green certification scheme for creative organisations demonstrating a outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability. The Lyric Hammersmith became our first three-star accredited organisation. The creation of the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST).
2013 The beginning of a flagship partnership with Arts Council England who worked with JB to embed environmental sustainability into their grant criteria for National Portfolio Organisations. They became the first arts agency in the world to make this outstanding commitment. Funded organisations have since been required to create an environmental policy, an action plan and to report their impacts through JB’s Creative IG Tools. Simultaneously, we partnered with Live Performance Australia to licence our Tools, announced a new sustainability partnership with the BAFTA ‘albert’ consortium and joined an international consortium called the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA) to promote sustainable interventions across Europe. We ended the year with a survey of 337 arts leaders on their sustainability attitudes, which has significantly informed our programme.
2014 Creating the first comprehensive report of sustainability engagement levels within culture agencies, arts councils and policy incubators, in partnership with the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) recognised our energy benchmarks for the cultural sector. We also joined a new consortium, EE MUSIC, working with partners in 27 countries to mainstream energy efficient music projects.
2015 The Creative IG Tools were translated into 7 languages. We announced a record £1.75m equivalent in savings across the Arts Council England portfolio in our midterm report (estimated from a 14% saving across the portfolio). With support from Bloomberg Philanthropies we supported the production of Ice Watch, a major public artwork in Paris coinciding with the COP21 Climate Talks, created by artist Olafur Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing. While the monumental Paris Agreement was in consultation, we brought together over 150 policy makers, funders, creative organisations an artists for an ambitious two day workshop, ArtCOP21. As part of the Creative Climate Coalition, we produced a letter gathering over 350 signatures from creatives in support of the Paris Agreement, including musicians Björk and David Bowie.
2016 Launch of the Creative Climate Leadership training programme, receiving over 200 applications from 40 countries. We received an ‘Achievement Award’ at the 2016 N.I.C.E Awards.
2017 Our policy ambitions grew. We developed a programme with World Cities Culture Forum for environmental engagement in cities cultural teams. We partnered with C40, a network of 91 megacities, on Women4Climate. We supported the UNFCCC on the development of a ‘weekly spotlight’ on cultural activity under Art4Climate. We celebrated five years of the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) and their contribution towards the Manchester Climate Change Strategy. We launched the Creative Green Awards. We supported a consortium of European organisations on ROCK, an EU project on regeneration and cultural heritage. We developed a flagship consultancy project with the National Theatre to develop organisation-wide sustainability engagement.
2018 Just months into the new year we launched two key pieces of work: the Seven Creative Climate Trends, an interactive map of innovative practice taking place across the globe, and the results of our latest Creative Climate Census. We are partnering again with Arts Council England to deliver their Environmental Programme to the National Portfolio Organisations 2018-22. Working in collaboration with World Cities Culture Forum and as a EU ROCK project partner, we have additionally created a city-support programme bringing together cultural and environmental departments and policy-makers.
NEXT The creative climate movement is growing momentum and speed, embedding sustainability as a core principle and value. The next step is always an invitation for organisations and artists to use creativity to make environmental change. Whether adapting how you run your operations, prepare your policies or make your artwork.