From April 2018 onwards Creative Scotland will require all Regularly Funded Organisations, as part of their funding agreements, to develop plans to reduce the carbon emissions related to at least one aspect of their activities. These plans can be modest or ambitious but above all should be realistic, achievable and measurable. Organisations supported through Open Project Funding and Targeted Funding are also encouraged to develop Carbon Management plans.
Organisations will be offered a full programme of support for this new area of work by Creative Carbon Scotland. Support for creating and implementing Carbon Management Planning will consist of:
Our support will be focused on Regularly Funded Organisations as they will be required to develop Carbon Management Plans by September 2018, but will be open to all. Organisations applying for Open Project Funding and Targeted Funding are encouraged to include Carbon Management Plans on a voluntary basis within their applications from April 2018.
When Creative Scotland introduced mandatory annual environmental reporting as part of the funding conditions for Regularly Funded Organisations the response was overwhelmingly positive. Individuals and organisations have successfully taken on the task of recording data on their carbon emissions, finding ways to integrate the task and making it part of their normal operations with over 99% of organisations having reported their emissions in 2015/16.
This has been a learning process for us all and has taken time, effort and patience. During this time, Creative Carbon Scotland has been meeting with Green Champions from organisations, running training workshops and answering queries on everything from the carbon footprint of a website to finding the best way for musicians to travel by ferry.
Up to now the emphasis has been on recording data to develop knowledge and without targets for reduction, but as has been the case in other sectors, carbon reporting has led automatically to people identifying ways of reducing their carbon emissions. Our workshop participants have reported that the process of recording emissions has instilled a growing confidence in their ‘Carbon Literacy’ and an appreciation of the benefits of managing resources to save carbon.
The data collected and reported by the Regularly Funded Organisations is now providing a clearer picture of where the largest carbon impacts are for those working in the creative sector in Scotland. The experience gained and the systems developed for collecting the data have put us more in control and many Green Champions are already experimenting with ways to reduce their footprint.
This new phase will build on the information we have collected but will involve more learning and development of different systems. Experience from manufacturing and other business sectors has shown that the best way to reduce emissions is to plan ahead, to examine the sources of the emissions from our past activities and make changes to find better, lower carbon ways to achieve our objectives. Like all plans, the outcomes of changes may not be what we expect with results in some cases exceeding expectations and in others disappointing but in all cases our understanding grows.
Carbon Management was a key topic at the Green Arts Conference: Spotlight on Sustainability, 1st November 2017, Partick Burgh Hall, Glasgow. Read the conference report here
A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network
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