FAQs: Environmental Reporting

Frequently asked questions to help you in your Arts Council England environmental reporting submission.

1. What do I need to do for the 2016/17 environmental reporting deadline?

As of 2015/16, the reporting requirements have been individually tailored to account for your organisation's size, scope and activities and can be found clearly-stated in your Funding Agreement Conditions section 2.6.1. 

The two requirements for 2016/17 are as follows:

  • Enter data outlined in your funding agreement onto the Creative IG Tools, relating to April 2016 – March 2017. 
  • Have an environmental policy and action plan in place. This should be uploaded to the Creative IG Tools website as soon as possible.

Your data should be 12 months of data for buildings, or cover your activities across that time period (for festivals, tours and productions where relevant). Your environmental policy and action plan should cover the 2016/17 reporting year (see below for help relating to these documents). 

The reporting deadline for both of these requirements is 31st May 2017.

After you have entered your data and documents, please notify Julie's Bicycle by selecting the submit results for review button.You can find this button by selecting edit on your 2016/17 data entry and then selecting the view results tab – the button for submission is on the top-right of the screen.

Julie's Bicycle will then verify your data and get in touch if there is anything that needs clarification. Once the data has been verified, we will be able to sign you off – please note, this may take a few weeks.

If, for any reason, you are experiencing problems or are unable to provide this data please contact Julie's Bicycle as soon as possible.

2. I don’t know what I'm reporting on, what should I do?

As of 2015/16, the reporting requirements have been individually tailored and can be found, clearly-stated, in your Funding Agreement Conditions section 2.6.1. If you have looked in your funding agreement and are still unsure, get in touch with your Relationship Manager. 

If, for any reason, you are experiencing problems, or are unable to provide environmental data, please contact Julie's Bicycle as soon as possible. We will still be able to sign you off, as long as we are made aware of your circumstances.

You will still be required to create and upload an Environmental Policy and Action Plan using the Creative IG Tools.

3. How do I add a new year of data onto the Creative IG Tools?

a. Log in to your Creative IG Tools account (contact Julie's Bicycle if you are experiencing any problems)

b. Select your report – this refers to the activity you are reporting on e.g. theatre, production, tour. You can do this simply by clicking the name of the relevant report.

c. Select + add an entry and title it with the year of reporting

Note: You do not need to create a new report for each new entry i.e. each new year of data.

4. I have lost my password/ I'm new to reporting and I can't access my account

If you already have an existing account, please use the 'forgotten your password?' link, which should send a new password to your email address. If you're not receiving this email please check your junk or spam folders, or contact your IT support. If you are experiencing problems with logging in, or need a new log in set up, give us a call on 020 8746 0400 and we will sort it for you.

5. How do I add another person to my organisation's IG Tools account?

If you want to add someone new to your account, you can do this by selecting the Account tab and then Add New Users. You can then add their email address.

By selecting from the Access Level drop-down menu, you are deciding the permissions granted to that account user. A manager can only view and edit reports they create. You can also assign pre-existing reports to managers for them to view and edit. An organisation admin can view and edit all reports in the Creative IG Tools account. 

6. I have entered my data, how do I submit it to Julie's Bicycle?

After you have entered your data and documents, please notify Julie's Bicycle by selecting the submit results for review button. You can find this button by:

a. Opening your relevant report.

b. Selecting edit under the relevant data entry.

c. Selecting the view results tab – the submit button is on the top right of the screen.

Julie's Bicycle will then verify your data and get in touch if there is anything that needs clarification. Once the data has been verified, we will be able to sign you off – please note, this make take a few weeks.

7. How do I upload my Environmental Policy and Action Plan?

When you have completed your Policy and Action Plan and are ready to upload them, simply log in to the Creative IG Tools and select the upload documents tab.

You can use the dialogue box to inform us of anything relevant to the documents e.g. the date they will be live, any issues regarding meeting deadlines etc.

We have created guidelines and a webinar if you need support in creating/developing your Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

8. What do I do if my policy and/or action plan is not yet live/has not been board approved?

Please provide the latest iteration of both documents, even if they are still in draft form - documents are used only for the purposes of signing off reporting requirements. You can use the dialogue box to inform us of anything relevant to the documents.

If you are having any problems with meeting the reporting deadline, please contact Julie's Bicycle as soon as possible.

9. What will happen after 31st May?

31st May is the reporting deadline. Julie's Bicycle will then verify your data and get in touch if there is anything that needs clarification. Once the data has been verified, we will be able to sign you off – please note, this make take a few weeks.

After this, we will be analysing the data to feedback to the sector and create benchmarks for the creative industries. The Arts Council will be using the data to inform planning and determine what tools or services need creating or developing in order to make it easier for you to keep reducing your environmental impacts.

Later in the year, we will publish a report feeding back on the overall results of the Arts Council environmental reporting programme.

10. How do I enter my data if I am in a shared space and my energy and water consumption is built into my rent or charged as a service fee?

If there is sub-metering in place, your landlord should be able to give you your isolated data.

If this isn't possible, ask your landlord for the energy and water consumption for the entire space as well as the total area, and the area that your organisation occupies.

You can then work out the percentage of total building space you occupy and use that percentage to estimate your own usage (see worked example below). You can use the notes box on the Creative IG Tools to let us know your methodology. If you cannot obtain this information from the landlord please contact us.

11. What should I do if I am based in the same building as another Arts Council funded organisation?

If you are based in the same building as another NPO/Bridge Organisation/MPM and no sub-metering for your particular area is in place, you should apportion your energy and water use as per the guidance in question 10.

However, if the substantial majority of the building is occupied by one Arts Council funded organisation, that organisation may want to consider reporting on the energy and water usage of the entire building on behalf of everyone.

Please let Julie's Bicycle know that this is the case in the Notes box on the General Tab of the Tools, listing the other organisations based in the building for which are included in the reporting. All organisations are still required to create an Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

12. What do I do if my building has been completely or partially shut for part of the reporting timeline?

Please report your energy and water usage for the entire year regardless of whether you have been open to the public.

If you have been unable to monitor your impacts for the full year, due to building closure, please report the data you have and let us know the situation in the notes box within the general tab of your account.

If no energy and water usage data is available, please contact us directly. You will still be required to create an Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

13. Should I include events like educational and other workshops in the total performances figure on the Cultural Building/Venue Tool?

Yes - If they take place within the spaces you are reporting on in the Creative IG Tools (i.e. not outreach events), and they involve external participants (i.e. not internal staff events or meetings).

Number of events should also align with your Arts Council Annual Survey figures (for those that take place within your buildings).

14. Where can I get more information (webinars/guides/case studies)?

The Julie's Bicycle website provides a whole host of free resources, including guides covering topics such as: energy management, waste management, audience travel, touring, production and exhibitions. We continue to profile good practice and host a wide range of inspirational case studies. You can also catch our recorded programme of webinars, including Creative IG Tools training and Communicating Sustainability. We have created guidelines and a webinar if you need support in creating/developing your Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

If you need some one on one support, our expert advisors are available via phone or email between 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

020 8746 0400

support@juliesbicycle.com

@juliesbicycle

/juliesbicycle

15. What is going to happen to the information we give you?

By using the Creative IG Tools you are helping to build a global greenhouse gas emissions database for the creative industries, providing the community unique insights and helping to generate benchmarks.

By assessing the industry's impacts the Arts Council can develop appropriate environmental strategies that work for you, and provide the support needed to implement them. Julie's Bicycle will report anonymised and aggregated data to the Arts Council, including analysis by art-form and activity, which may be published in anonymised form.

Julie's Bicycle will share the raw data from each individual IG Tool data entry with the Arts Council but will not pass on this information to any other third party except in the circumstances outlined in our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This information is subject to the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

16. Are there any repercussions if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint?

No. The Arts Council is only asking organisations to report their environmental impacts. We know that understanding is the first step to reduction and our aim is to continue developing the infrastructure for integrating sustainability into the arts. We do provide the Arts Council with the names of organisations who have not complied with the requirements, so if you are experiencing any issues, please get in touch as soon as possible.

17. What is an Environmental Policy and Action Plan?

An Environmental Policy is a broad statement of an organisation's overall environmental ambitions, which provides a framework for its Environmental Action Plan and good environmental practice on a day-to-day basis.

An environmental action plan is a more detailed and specific document, which should follow on from your Environmental Policy, and define specific targets, actions, responsibilities and deadlines for achieving environmental improvement and reducing environmental impacts.

We have created guidelines and a webinar if you need support in creating/developing your Environmental Policy and Action Plan.

18. What are the Creative IG Tools?

The Creative IG Tools are a set of carbon calculators designed by Julie's Bicycle specifically for the creative industries.

The carbon calculators allow organisations to understand where their environmental impacts lie. They also allow organisations so create a baseline and continue measuring impacts enabling them to develop effective reduction strategies.

We've designed the Creative IG Tools to accurately measure impacts from activities such as venues and cultural buildings, outdoor events, offices, tours and productions, covering a range of impacts such as energy, water, waste, travel (i.e. audience, business, production, freight, fleet) etc. They take into account measurement challenges such as operating from a building you don't own, understanding audience travel and home working.

The Tools include graph functionality so you can compare your impacts over time or between buildings/events/tours etc. You can also view your data using such metrics as per audience day, or per m 2, as well as comparing your data against industry averages (find out more about the benchmarks here). You can watch a webinar that will help you better understand how to make the most of the Tools' functionality.

Find out more information on the Creative IG Tools here.

19. Which conversion factors do the IG Tools use?

The Creative IG Tools primarily use the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) / Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (Defra) most recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission conversion factors for company reporting (2016) to calculate the total GHG emissions of the measured activity.

For additional information about the conversion factors used in the calculations of your emission values, please refer to our UK Conversion Factors and International Conversion Factors documents that can be found on our Creative IG Tools User Guide page. 

20. What are the Julie's Bicycle benchmarks?

Julie's Bicycle has developed a set of benchmarks to help organisations compare their environmental performance against the industry average for performing arts buildings, museums/galleries, offices and outdoor events. All benchmarks have been developed using data collected by Julie's Bicycle through Creative Green certifications, Creative IG Tool accounts and partner organisations from across the cultural sector.

The benchmarks have been created using appropriate ‘relative’ metrics to make them more easily comparable to your organisation whatever its size or scale. The metric is per m2, per year for buildings, and per audience day for festivals. Comparing your environmental performance to these benchmarks using the metrics will give you an understanding of your indicative energy and resource efficiency as compared to the industry average for your sector. The Creative IG Tools will help you compare your impacts to the Julie's Bicycle benchmarks automatically.

The vast majority of this data was derived from the Arts Council environmental reporting initiative in 2012/13 and 2013/14. 

For more information visit: www.juliesbicycle.com/services/ig-tools/julies-bicycle-benchmarks.

How can I see how my organisation compares to the benchmark?

1. Open the report and select the entry you are interested in

2. Click the Benchmarks icon on the right-hand-side

21. What is Julie’s Bicycle?

Julie's Bicycle is the leading global charity bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative industries.

As part of our partnership with the Arts Council England, we are providing:

  • New and improved Creative IG Tools: carbon calculators to help measure and reduce your environmental impacts.
  • Telephone and email support.
  • A whole host of new and existing online resources.
  • Jam packed programme of webinars and workshops.
  • Analysis for the Arts Council on an annual basis. You can see the results from year two here.

If you don't already receive our newsletter, sign up today!

22. What has environmental sustainability got to do with the creative industries?

The arts help us interpret and respond to intangible global issues like climate change. The creative community has a huge role to play in securing a sustainable future - through demonstrating creativity and leadership, but also through good governance and accountability in managing its environmental impacts.

Sustainability is not just an ethical issue; saving carbon equals saving money and understanding your impacts makes simple business sense. The UK has set itself tough targets on climate change, aiming to reduce the entire country's emissions by 80% by 2020, so environmental reporting is not going to go away.

Arts Council England has shown extraordinary leadership in its decision to make environmental reporting a funding obligation for its grant holders. It's the first major arts funding body in the world to do so and others are already following suit.

The creative industries must continue to build on the work of a growing number of sustainability pioneers, and create a culture of awareness, resourcefulness and ambition for improvement.

Sustaining Creativity