Sustainability success in the arts

Arts organisations in the UK are more environmentally sustainable than ever before, according to a new report from Julie’s Bicycle – a charity that promotes environmental issues within the arts sector. The data was gathered from Arts Council England’s (ACE) 685 National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs).

Headline figures include a 17 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions generated by energy use between 2014-15 and 2015-16, and GBP5.1m worth of energy savings over the same period.

Other recorded benefits include 71 per cent of NPO’s reporting an improvement in staff wellbeing and 38 per cent of organisations producing, programming or curating work on environmental themes.

‘This important partnership is a beacon of international best practice and shows how our arts organisations are leading the way in building a more environmentally responsible industry,’ said Matt Hancock, minister of state for digital and culture. ‘The report demonstrates that a sustainable sector can also have a positive financial impact and improve staff wellbeing.’

Darren Henley, chief executive at ACE, added that: ‘We all believe that art and culture can make the world a better place; this programme shows how our actions can make a real difference.’

Julie’s Bicycle has worked with ACE since 2012 to inspire environmental action among its NPOs. The project is scheduled to run until 2018, and has been widened to include non-funded arts organisations.