Climate change is the biggest global challenge of our times. If, at all levels of society and organisation, we can work together to reduce carbon emissions while also planning how to adapt to change, we can prevent climate change from making our planet uninhabitable.
Creative Carbon Scotland works with Creative Scotland to help all funded organisations to understand how their activities affect their carbon emissions. We provide practical training and support to enable arts organisations to measure and report and, where possible, to reduce their carbon emissions and run themselves more sustainably. We help artistic organisations of any shape and size to measure, report and reduce their carbon emissions.
How can information on your carbon emissions help you?
The measurement and collection of carbon data can be useful to you as management information. Robust measuring often reveals unnecessary, runaway or preventable carbon emissions, enabling organisations to reduce their impact by identifying the key areas for improvement.
Development of standardised reporting can also help you compare your emissions and resource consumption with similar organisations, helping you to identify examples of good practice and potential savings areas. Many organisations will experience the double win of reducing energy bills and related emissions by identifying energy-saving techniques or better ways to travel.
Emissions Reporting and Carbon Management Planning
For the past several years, Creative Carbon Scotland has been working with Creative Scotland to develop an easy and accessible reporting framework.
Creative Scotland has introduced mandatory carbon reporting for all Regularly Funded Organisations which will take place for the first time in Autumn 2016 via their Annual Report to Creative Scotland. This will cover activities funded during the period from April 2015-March 2016. RFOs will use the Environmental section of Creative Scotland’s Annual Statistical Survey reporting form to provide information on emissions.
In addition to this, in 2018, all RFOs funded for 2018-21 were required to provide a Carbon Management Plan to reduce emissions throughout their work over the funded period.
What emissions do you need to measure?
We recommend measuring emissions relating to the following key areas:
- Energy and water consumption (if you pay for these utilities)
- Waste production (both landfill and recycling)
- Travel (business travel, artist travel, touring)
During the first year of carbon reporting, you will spend most of your time defining the scope of your activities and answering questions such as: Where do the boundaries of a company’s activities lie? This is an important process to profile your organisation’s carbon emissions, and will serve as the foundation of your reporting year on year.
For Carbon Management Planning, it’s best if you can focus on the emissions that show up as most significant in your emissions reporting. However, this isn’t always possible if you don’t have access to data or don’t have control over the space you use. Some emissions are also an unavoidable part of making and sharing good work. With this in mind, and recognising that the positive impact of the arts can often come through influencing others, Carbon Management Plans can include emissions that aren’t part of your direct carbon footprint, but that you can influence and at least provisionally measure. For example, as well as looking at staff and artist travel, you could focus on reducing participant and audience travel.
How do you get started?
We offer a range of tools and resources to help you understand and reduce your carbon footprint:
We also offer training workshops and one on one advice for organizations starting to measure their emissions, as well as online resources to inspire you about actions you could take in our Green Arts Portal, and an opportunity to connect with others and share best practice through the Green Arts Initiative.
Implementing your Carbon Management Plan
Click the image to enlarge
Like so many aspects of Sustainability, a Carbon Management Plan will look a little different for everyone, but is based on some underlying principles. The image below should guide your thinking as you build your understanding of your carbon footprint through emissions reporting and as you make and implement your Carbon Management Plan.
From the Carbon Management Plans received from organisations in 2018, themes of energy, travel, water and waste emerged in the projects proposed. When implementing your plan, you may want to consult our resources about these different sources of emissions.