As part of 2012-15 funding agreements for National portfolio organisations, Bridge organisations, Major partner museums and National youth music organisations, we have asked organisations to:

  1. collect environmental data and
  2. have in place an Environmental Action Plan and Policy

Our partnership with Julie's Bicycle provides the means for organisations to achieve this.

What we require

1. Collecting environmental data

We are asking organisations each year to measure greenhouse gas emissions from energy and water use.

Organisations are asked to enter their annual energy and water consumption from their utility invoices into Julie's Bicycle's IG Tools. Data can be entered annually, quarterly or more regularly if preferred.

For each of the years that the funding agreement covers, we are asking for the entry of data to be completed by a deadline. The deadline for entry of the 2013/14 data is 31 May 2014.

You can see the results of the first year of reporting (2012/13) here

2. Having an environmental policy and action plan in place

We are asking organisations to have developed or updated their environmental policy and action plan by 31 May 2014.

These do not need to be submitted to us. Please inform Julie’s Bicycle via IG Tools of their existence and status.

Organisations will need to continue to report on their progress via their annual reports. For more details, guidance can be found here.

Julie’s Bicycle have created guidelines to help develop environmental policies and action plans and provided examples currently being used by creative organisations to show what an environmental policy could look like in practice.

See the Environmental Policy and Action Plan guidelines

Read examples of policies and action plans

Partnership with Julie's Bicycle

Our partnership with Julie's Bicycle represents a new way of working for Arts Council England whereby Julie's Bicycle provides support and expertise directly to funded arts and cultural organisations.

Julie's Bicycle is providing:

  1. Free-to-use online carbon calculators, called the IG Tools, which enable clients to measure the environmental impacts of their annual energy and water use. These have been developed over a number of years and have been designed to reflect the specific sectors and activity types represented by funded organisations.
  2. Telephone and email support for organisations learning how to use the IG Tools.
  3. Resources to assist organisations with the development of environmental policies and action plans.
  4. Telephone and email support for questions regarding the development of environmental policies and action plans. Julie's Bicycle will not be able to review individual policies and action plans.
  5. Analysis of results for Arts Council England.

Policies and Action Plans

Julie's Bicycle have created specific guidelines to help develop environmental policies and action plans and provided examples currently being used by creative organisations to show what an environmental policy should look like in practice. These are to be found on the webpage for funded organisations.

Workshops and webinars

Julie’s Bicycle ran a series of workshop in autumn 2013 across the country to update organisations. Information from these will become available on Julie’s Bicycle’s webpage for funded organisations.

In spring 2013, Julie’s Bicycle ran a series of webinars to advise and support organisations. The recordings of these sessions are available via Julie’s Bicycle website. There will be a further series of webinars in spring 2014.

Julie’s Bicycle team of experts are available weekdays from 9.30 - 5.30. Email support@juliesbicycle.com or phone 020 8746 0400

Our support

The Arts Council has a team of sustainability ambassadors that can be contacted with queries about internal processes as well as for further information and support. To contact your local sustainability ambassador, please email us at sustainability@artscouncil.org.uk.

A reminder of why we are doing this

  • Financial - An analysis of 62 cultural buildings showed that in 2012/13 they had made £810,000 in real savings. Scaled up across all buildings in the portfolio, that could represent £3 million.
  • Ethical - 'The magnitude of the task required to deal with the challenges of climate change requires societal action on a bigger scale.' (Alan Davey) Put simply, it's the right thing to do.
  • Legal - There are already various legal environmental requirements for organisations; others are expected to be introduced over time. This action helps organisations with readiness.
  • Stakeholder engagement - Staff, artists, partners and audiences and are increasingly expecting, and indeed welcoming, environmental commitments from their organisations.
  • Governance - This work helps organisations to look upstream: to seize opportunities; to identify and mitigate risks, and to deploy resources effectively.