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Sustaining Great Art: Julie’s Bicycle Year 1 report

  • Date: 10 December 2013
  • Area: National

Today, Arts Council England has published Sustaining Great Art, a report on the environmental sustainability of our 704 major revenue funded organisations.

The report, produced in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle, presents the results of the first year of environmental reporting since the Arts Council introduced this as a requirement for funded organisations in 2012. This move was based on our conviction – shared by arts leaders – that environmental sustainability is an essential building block for a resilient arts and cultural sector.  

The Arts Council wants the arts and cultural sector in this country to take a lead in making the world a more sustainable, responsible and equitable place and to transform itself into a low-carbon, sustainable and resilient sector, and is working in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle to provide tools, resources and support to the reporting organisations.

Key findings

  • in the first year an outstanding 90% of all 704 organisations engaged in some capacity with the environmental reporting programme. These results represent the single biggest dataset from arts organisations globally.
  • 62 cultural buildings provided sufficient information to point to £810,000 of combined savings from energy use. Scaled up, that could represent a £3 million saving on the other 301 Arts Council funded cultural buildings.
  • in a survey, nearly 90% of funded organisations agreed or strongly agreed that ‘Arts Council environmental reporting has made or can make a positive difference to the arts sector as a whole’.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:
‘Effective change will take the combined efforts of many organisations – change needs the momentum of organisational machinery. But that momentum is driven by individual voices and choices… It looks like a daunting challenge, but we should be optimistic that we can make a difference: history shows us that when humans work together they can move mountains.’

Arts Council England wants to recognise, support and celebrate the inspirational work that is being done to increase environmental sustainability. These Year 1findings clearly show the value for organisations in engaging with environmental sustainability.

As such, the Arts Council welcomes the insights and recommendations in the report. We will now explore ways forward with Julie’s Bicycle.

Guidance for how sustainability performance will inform investment strategy for the new funding round will be available in January 2014 within our general funding application guidance.

Links and further information

You can read the full report here, and view or download our infographic

Find out more about Julie’s Bicycle

Explore our environmental sustainability blog and find out more about our commitment to environmental sustainability

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