Ben Twist, Director

Ben Twist, Director

Ben brings together his 25 years’ experience as a theatre director and leader in the cultural sector and his MSc in Carbon Management to lead CCS and our strategic work.

Using his experience as  Artistic Director at Manchester’s Contact Theatre, interim Co-Director of North Edinburgh Arts and Chair of Hebrides Ensemble he knows about running arts organisations. His time as a member of the Scottish Arts Council Board, and his Vice Chairmanship of The Theatres Trust, means that he knows about both governance of organisations and creating and implementing policy. This has helped steer our work on developing environmental strategies for the cultural sector and on supporting cultural organisations in complying with mandatory carbon reporting.

As Chair of the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Committee Ben oversaw many building projects and now uses that experience to advise on grasping the opportunity of these major changes processes to increase organisations’ sustainability.

In his role as Vice-Chair of the Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership Ben has led the development of the Carbon Literacy Programme  He is working with Rebecca DeVivo on the Embedded Artist Project and he writes a regular Strategy Blog.

As well as running Creative Carbon Scotland, Ben is currently working on his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and with Aberdeen Performing Arts, looking at social practices through a complexity theory lens in order to transition to a more sustainable society.

Contact Ben at

Fiona MacLennan, Carbon Reduction Project Manager

Fiona MacLennan, Carbon Reduction Project Manager

After a decades-long career spent in physics and engineering Fiona is really enjoying the opportunity of working with interesting and creative people in the arts sector.

Sustainability has been a lifelong interest sparked by the oil crisis of the 1970s and the rush of innovative thinking that informed discussions during her time as a fresh-faced young physics research student.

Sustainability is on the agenda again and working with Creative Carbon Scotland is providing a practical way to get involved in helping reduce carbon emissions in Scotland.

She is concentrating on providing hands-on help and training for anyone in the arts who is on the journey of trying to become more efficient and sustainable. This is proving to be a two way process with lots of ideas emerging from discussions.

Sharing ideas is one of the most exciting and interesting parts of the project which will contribute to helping us to develop the very best long term strategies.

Contact Fiona at

Gemma Lawrence, Producer

Gemma Lawrence, Producer

Gemma has a background in Sustainable Development and Art History, specialising in contemporary participatory practices at the University of St Andrews in her undergraduate degree. Since 2012 she has managed and produced a range of projects focused on the development of artistic practices in Scotland in relation to environmental sustainability.

Current projects include CCS’s Annual Arts & Sustainability Residency run in partnership with Cove Park in 2016, and Green Tease, a regular events programme which builds links between the arts and sustainability through the exchange of ideas, knowledge and practices.

Between 2013 and 2015 she was a member of the European arts and sustainability network, the Green Art Lab Alliance. In 2015 she was community-lead on the AHRC-funded Fields of Green research project with partners Edinburgh University, University of West of Scotland and Lancaster University, and was producer of ArtCOP Scotland, a season of artistic responses to the Paris Climate Summit (COP21).

Gemma is also a member of Curatorial Studio, a peer-learning programme for the development of curatorial practices in Scotland.

Contact Gemma at

Catriona Patterson, Projects and Festivals Environmental Sustainability Officer

Catriona Patterson, Projects and Festivals Environmental Sustainability Officer

Catriona graduated from University of St Andrews in 2014, with an interdisciplinary BSc in Sustainable Development.

Her interest in the Edinburgh Festivals led her to complete her undergraduate dissertation in investigating the roles the arts may play in environmental sustainability, examined through the case study of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

She has become increasingly interested in the creative conceptual prompts the arts might offer when imagining a more sustainable future.

Catriona is currently focused on the development of the Green Arts Initiative: a community of artists and arts organisations working on, and communicating about, sustainability. She also works for Festivals Edinburgh, aiding the achievement of the environmental sustainability objectives of the 12 Edinburgh Festivals

Catriona is also an active member of the 2050 Climate Groupa group of 22 young professionals across Scotland aiming to lead a social movement by engaging, educating and empowering Scotland’s Future Leaders to take action on climate change.

Contact Catriona at

Alexis Woolley, Administrative Assistant

Alexis Woolley, Administrative Assistant

Alexis’s background is in the public sector, developing and implementing strategy and policy. Her focus since 2005 has been sustainable development at the City of Edinburgh Council. She is enjoying her new role supporting the innovative and forward-thinking team at Creative Carbon Scotland. Alexis also works for Festivals Edinburgh as their bookkeeper.

Alexis began her working life as a clarinet teacher. She currently sits on the Committee of the Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust, provides administrative support as required to the Director of both the Trust and Edinburgh Young Musicians, and is active as a viola player in a range of Edinburgh’s amateur orchestras and ensembles.

Contact Alexis at

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About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

Read more about CCS

0131 529 7909

Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network