GAI Member Survey: The Results

23rd July 2015

Over May and June, Creative Carbon Scotland collected the views and thoughts of those in the Green Arts Initiative, as it continues to develop. Here, we discuss what we found out!

The Green Arts Initiative is changing: growing from a simple branding and accreditation scheme, to a more useful and interactive community of practice for those artists and organisations working to reduce the environmental impact of the Scottish arts sector.

Our primary step was to find out more about our GAI members: who they are, where and how they work, and what they want from the redevelopment. From these results, we’ll be working to create more opportunities for the GAI to be useful to its members; in terms of working on their sustainability activities; learning from each other; and showcasing their sustainability to audience and partners.

Here are some of our key results:

More about our members

The survey revealed a lot of information about our members, allowing us to tailor the advice we provide, the events we hold and the way we communicate. We’re also able to place some focus on those who are more individual in their aims and challenges, and make sure that we’re providing information useful to all our different members.

Here are some snapshots of our community membership:

  • 68% of members are focused on carbon reduction, whilst 30% are focussing on changing their organisations from within – such as through engaging more staff members.
  • 53% of members are the only green champion in their organisation – but the remaining 47% vary, from having one other supporting member, to a fully engaged staff team.
  • 80% of GAI members have previously used the tools provided by CCS (including and GAP).

Area of arts workArea of work

More about the resources they want

We asked our members specifically about they kinds of information they want, and how they want to access them. We’ve been working to make this a reality:

  • Use technology more actively and innovatively to maintain easy access to up-to-date resources
    • We’re working to redesign and streamline our website to make it easier to identify the resources that are relevant to you. We’re also working to extend the platforms across which these resources are hosted on: already we’ve created a video tutorial for our travel tool, and we have more planned.
  • Involve external experts in specific aspects of sustainability
    • Since the conclusion of the survey, we’ve already commissioned expert consulting advice with regards to sustainable travel planning for new capital (building) projects. As we continue to identify the knowledge gaps of the community, we’ll seek further support to make sure the GAI is an access point for quality information.

More about their needs

We asked our members about what they think the core values of the GAI should be, and what kinds of activities would help them achieve their environmental sustainability aims. Our top results are prompting us to consider different ways to meet these needs:

  • Enhance the sustainability competencies of arts organisations
    • Creative Carbon Scotland is working hard to grow the range and accessibility of the resources and tools we provide to help guide those addressing their environmental impact. Over time, we plan to host informative training events on key sustainability topics to grow organisational competency.
  • Identify, use and share relevant knowledge
    • Our members are experts in their own field, each having faced specific sustainability questions and issues. But many of these issues are familiar across the arts sector, across regional boundaries, and across art form. We’re investigating the different ways to share these stories – through case studies and research reports, to best communicate how to overcome the common problems.
  • Provide a central gathering of arts and sustainability expertise in Scotland
    • On 6th October 2015, we’re hosting our first annual conference for GAI members and those Scottish arts organisations reporting on their environmental efforts. Held in Glasgow at the Pearce Institute, the conference will be a great opportunity to hear about the challenges and successes of fellow GAI members, and glean ideas to adapt for other organisations.

Thanks once again to all those who completed the survey. For those who missed it, we are always eager to hear any thoughts or ideas on how you want the GAI community of practice to work. Please let us know! You can get in touch with Catriona by emailing

For the mean time, keep an eye on the Green Arts Initiative project page and our social media accounts (#GAI) to stay up-to-date with our members. And don’t forget to save the date for our GAI and carbon reporting conference on October 6th: 50 Shades of GreenWe’re looking forward to seeing you there!

If you’re interested in joining the Green Arts Initiative, have a look on the Green Arts Initiative project page to find out more, and to join the community.

Image: David Smith of The Filmhouse/Edinburgh International Film Festival – Winner of our GAI Member Survey prize draw!


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

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

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