Sustaining Great Art: 2015/16 Arts Council England Report

2nd February 2017

cover image of a large room draped in red curtains

“Arts and culture not only respond to the world around us; they also influence our individual and collective experiences, and shape the direction we take. Through discussion and through our own behaviour, the creative community can help change society for the better.” Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive, Arts Council England

Julie’s Bicycle has been working in partnership with Arts Council England since 2012 to inspire environmental action across the arts and culture sector, with a programme focusing on National Portfolio Organisations.

In 2015 the programme was extended until 2018 and widened to encompass both funded and non-funded arts organisations.

The Sustaining Great Art 2015/16 Environmental Report demonstrates the success of the programme in supporting the arts and culture sector to act on environmental sustainability both nationally and internationally.

Key report findings include:

  • The sector continues to reduce its environmental impacts; notably greenhouse gas emissions from energy use decreased by 17% between 2014/15 and 2015/16 despite a growth in cultural activity.
  • Environmental action is making the sector more resilient, avoiding £5.1 million in energy costs during 2015/16 (compared to taking no action), and improving staff wellbeing in 71% of reporting organisations.
  • The sector is taking action in multiple ways, increasingly engaging audiences and other stakeholders in the process. 37% of organisations have produced, programmed or curated work on environmental themes, with a further 28% planning to do so or exploring possibilities.
  • People are increasingly working together to address environmental issues, with 45% of reporting organisations having found their environmental action plans useful for developing new partnerships.
  • The sector’s work is having an international impact, with more knowledge-sharing taking place between cultural organisations internationally, and other funding bodies considering policy interventions inspired by Arts Council England.

Download the The Sustaining Great Art 2015/16 Environmental Report here.

Read a previous report: Sustaining Great Art 2012-15: Results & Highlights (opens in new window)

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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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