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Arts industry leads the way in reduction of carbon emissions

A new report by Arts Council England and Julie's Bicycle highlights the industry's efforts

Hampstead Theatre, included in the report
© Kats_ / Flickr

The arts and culture industry has been applauded for its commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

A report by the Arts Council England and Julie's Bicycle was released today, coinciding with the UN climate change conference, COP 23.

The report found that, within the arts and culture sector, there was a 17 per cent decrease in energy use emissions between 2015/16 and 2016/17. Furthermore, energy efficiency has improved, with a nine per cent reduction in overall energy use.

Onsite generation of renewable energy has tripled during the same period.

The report focuses on National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), a body of almost 700 long-term funding partners of the Arts Council, including, within the theatre world, the likes of the National Theatre or the Young Vic. The Arts Council and Julie's Bicycle aim to now work with 19 per cent of NPOs to further implement clean energy and green tariff strategies.

It is calculated that the portfolio has managed to save £11 million since 2012/13 when Julie's Bicycle and the Arts Council started working together. 82 per cent of NPOs find their environmental policy useful to support funding applications, which speaks of further financial benefits.

Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie's Bicycle said: "What is happening across the country - in theatres, venues, festivals and museums, with artists, curators, green champions and chief executives - is a rich story that needs to be heard. Climate leadership is in the ascendant; creativity is combining with action to accelerate this exciting movement of change."

John Glen, arts minister added: "This fantastic partnership between the Arts Council and Julie's Bicycle has enabled the arts and culture sector to become more environmentally sustainable whilst also saving money to reinvest in brilliant projects that have a positive impact on people's lives."

The report is available to download online from Julie's Bicycle and Arts Council England.