We believe that the arts and culture have an essential role in achieving the transformational change to a sustainable future.
Our vision is of a Scotland where this role is fully recognised, developed and utilised by both the cultural world and others interested in sustainability.
Our mission is therefore to connect the arts and culture with others working towards that transformational change in order to bring it about.
Our objective is larger than achieving incremental change in small pockets: we want to form a network of creative individuals and organisations who together can alter perceptions and change society using the work they make and present, the way they operate and how they speak to the public.
We work with artists and individuals, cultural and sustainability organisations, funders and policy makers, connecting them to the change process and exploring how the cultural sector can contribute.
Since Creative Carbon Scotland started the journey in 2011 to embed environmental sustainability within the arts and cultural sector in Scotland, the organisation itself has developed enormously. From aiming to help arts organisations to report their carbon emissions – no small task in itself but one which is well under way – we are now focusing on exploring the sector’s role in transforming our society to address climate change. This is a much larger job but we believe that it offers great benefits for both the sector and society as a whole.
The scientific evidence is clear: the way in which we all live on this planet poses immediate and present challenges that will affect the future for everyone. The Paris Agreement adopted at the recent UN negotiations demonstrates the wide recognition of this and what it means, both how society must change in order to reduce climate change as much as possible and how it will inevitably change in response to the changes that are already happening. Environmental sustainability is therefore an urgent issue and one that we believe Scotland’s cultural sector cannot ignore.
A broad definition of culture is our way of life, the way we ‘be’, incorporating our language, politics and values as well as the arts and humanities. What we often term ‘culture’ – the arts, museums, film, TV, design, advertising – are the ways in which we consciously and unconsciously express that wider culture and also an important way in which it is shaped, informed, disseminated and changed. Therefore, not only does the cultural sector have huge potential to change and influence the complex system that is the society in which we live, it is essential that it endeavours to do so.
The cultural sector deals in the values that are intrinsic to such change. It speaks as a trusted messenger to large numbers of people. It engages with groups including the widest public, artists, suppliers, transport providers and policy makers at all levels. It can enable public opinion to change by changing its own behaviours and practices.
Finally, and crucially, it also has a unique ability – indeed Brecht might say a duty – to imagine and experiment with alternative futures, question the status quo, see the world differently and explore the future with audiences and participants. Without the cultural sector playing its part in helping current and future society to move towards a more sustainable way of life, this essential shift will not happen.
We are part of a growing number of arts and cultural professionals and organisations who refuse to promote fossil fuel companies’ climate-wrecking business models with our work.
See the full list of signatories.
A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network
© Creative Carbon Scotland 2018. Creative Carbon Scotland is a Scottish Charitable
Incorporated Organisation. Registered Charity number: SC042687
City Chambers, Room 9/50, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ