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 focus on National Portfolio Organisations. The Sustaining Great Art report demonstrates the success of the programme in supporting the sector to act on national and international climate targets.

The key findings from the 2016/17 report demonstrate a compelling narrative of a sector committed to engaging with and stepping up to the climate challenge:

  • Overall emissions continue to decrease with 17% decrease in energy use emissions between 2015/16 and 2016/17.
  • The sector is improving energy efficiency with 9% reduction in energy use between 2015/16 and 2016/17. It’s also prioritising action, with 19% of organisations on clean energy or green tariffs.
  • The portfolio has managed to save £11 million since 2012/13 (compared to not taking action). To Arts Council England this means an impressive return on investment of 8.6:1. Furthermore, 82% of NPOs find their environmental policy useful to support funding applications, which speaks of further financial benefits.
  • Literacy (understanding of environmental issues) in the National Portfolio has increased by 33%: The number of organisations able to report robust data has increased by 33% since 2012/13 which shows an increase in understanding of environmental impacts and a growing confidence in measuring and managing them.

Since 2012, when Arts Council England made the groundbreaking, flagship decision to make environmental reporting a requirement of funding, Julie’s Bicycle has been delivering a rich programme to support this intervention. Now, five years later and with such positive results, we are extremely proud of the sector's achievements to bring environmental sustainability to the heart of their work, and to help place culture and creativity at the centre of climate action.

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Image: Students of the Foundation and BA Hons Degree in Circus Arts at the National Centre for Circus Arts (Photo by Bertil Nilsson)