A report published by the Arts Council has highlighted what role cultural organisations are playing in tackling climate change.
Sustaining Great Art and Culture 2018/19 is the first environmental report to cover the Arts Council’s 2018-22 National Portfolio – which has grown by 20% and includes 184 new organisations that have never reported on their environmental data before.
The report highlights several initiatives organisations are undertaking to slash emissions, 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.
According to the report, many organisations are also producing work on environmental themes, raising awareness with audiences and showcasing the unique role of the cultural sector in addressing climate issues.
The report also finds that 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.
The environment has also become a major artistic outlet, with 49% of organisations producing, programming or curating work on the natural world.
Sir Nicholas Serota, chair, Arts Council England said: ‘The success of this programme goes far beyond data collection and carbon reduction. Organisations are embedding climate action into the core of their operations – developing creative solutions, forging new partnerships and sparking valuable conversations on sustainability with audiences.’
The report also includes details on the Spotlight Programme which is focused on energy management and carbon reduction for some of the portfolio’s biggest buildings and energy users.
Lisa Broadest, head of operations, Leeds Museums and Galleries said: ‘Climate change isn’t something we can tackle alone….. Spotlight has brought us together with other organisations across the Council and Leeds’ cultural sector, such as Opera North and Sustainable Arts in Leeds. It has provided a useful space to consider the unique qualities cultural organisations can bring to making a difference locally and globally.’
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