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Arts Council England releases 'truly inspiring' 2017/8 environmental report

Venues across the UK have taken part in the study

The Royal Court is featured in the report
© Ungry Young Man (flickr, CC BY 2.0)

A new report by Arts Council England (ACE), in collaboration with Julie's Bicycle, has explored theatre's impact on climate change and sustainability.

National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs, long-term funding partners of Arts Council England) have been working with Julie's Bicycle and ACE since 2012 to see what impact changes in environmental policies have had.

Overall key findings saw that, since the programme began, organisations have reduced CO2 emissions by 35 per cent with direct energy consumption down by 23 per cent.

It is estimated that organisations have saved around £16.5 million over the last six years, with a quarter of the portfolio now on a green energy tariff (an initiative to encourage suppliers to feed renewable energy into the National Grid) or purchase their energy from a 100 per cent renewable supplier. Seventy-five per cent of organisations also said their environmental policy helped support funding applications.

Venues and organisations featured in the report included Royal Court Theatre, The Poetry Society, the Turner Contemporary and Glyndebourne Opera House.

Founded in 2007, Julie's Bicycle works with over 2000 arts and culture organisations to promote environmentally sustainable practices. CEO Alison Tickell said: "Hundreds of creative organisations are demonstrating how a sustainable cultural ecology can work. Environmental literacy is inspiring deeper connections between climate and social justice, investment and innovation, clean energy and new materials, empathy and biodiversity, the past, present and why we must shape the future."

ACE chair Nicholas Serota said: "The Arts Council England commissioned 2017/18 Environmental Sustainability report makes for extremely encouraging reading. The report evidences that with leadership, commitment and creativity arts and cultural organisations are delivering truly inspiring results."

You can read the full report here.