Understanding Your Creative Impact

Creative Green Tools: Understanding Your Creative Impact

Julie's Bicycle Awards 2018
Julie's Bicycle Awards 2018
Will Price

by Will Price, Creative Green Tools & Certification Manager, Julie's Bicycle

Date Published: 03 May 2019

We believe in the creative community. In particular, its unique ability to catalyse the conversation around climate change and translate it into action.

For over 11 years, Julie’s Bicycle has been establishing and supporting a committed creative climate movement within the cultural sector, providing the community with the skills to act, using their creativity to influence each other, along with engaging audiences and the wider public. Arts and culture are not only responding to environmental challenges but are trailblazing the way forward: creating new narratives, testing ideas, developing interdisciplinary collaborations and reimagining what’s possible.

Julie’s Bicycle supports organisations through a dedicated Creative Green Programme, which has evolved into an international community of pioneering cultural organisations driving change in the sector. Creative Green offers organisations a transparent, simple and inspiring framework, combined with peer-sharing for achieving environmental best practice using the three core principles of commitment, understanding and improvement.

The theatre industry is increasingly leading the way in innovative approaches to environmental sustainability. Almeida Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Lyric Hammersmith and Sadler’s Wells became the first venues to achieve a 5* Creative Green Certification for their dedication to embedding sustainability across their organisations, from operational best practice, to staff engagement, to creative programming.

Given the growing emphasis on the cultural value of touring artistic work - and the resulting environmental impact - there are also ongoing developments to create more sustainable touring models that embrace environmental practice. Julie’s Bicycle have been working closely with New Adventures, piloting the first Creative Green Certified Tour for New Adventures’ and Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. New Adventures have also formed a collaboration with Norwich Theatre Royal (Creative Green certified for almost a decade) on a project to change the relationship between touring companies and receiving houses. This aims to develop a new blueprint for sustainable touring through the Accelerator Programme.

To help you build an internal understanding of the direct environmental impacts for your organisations we developed the Creative Green Tools, a free and easy-to-use set of carbon calculators developed specifically for the creative industries.

The Tools make it easy to measure these impacts, from the energy use of your buildings, to the waste generated at your festivals, to the travel/material impacts of your touring productions. They help you to monitor and review environmental performance, with access to year-to-year analysis and the Julie’s Bicycle Benchmarks where you can compare performance against industry averages.

We know that embedding sustainability into everyday operations provokes profound results leading to organisational transformation and deepening ambition. Some examples of impacts measured through the tools are an average reduction in building energy use emissions of 7% each year, as well as increased engagement, more informed decision-making, resulting in significant financial savings.

This year JB are launching a new green kitemark for the creative industries who are looking to demonstrate environmental commitment and work towards best practice.To gain this kitemark involves completing a green survey, inputting into the Creative Green tools, along with attending an introductory Creative Climate workshop to learn how you can take strong climate action. This new kitemark is the first step on a pathway towards our established Creative Green certification and Awards for organisations demonstrating carbon leadership.

This years Creative Green Awards are in partnership with one of our Climate Leaders, The Curzon Group for the inaugural London Climate Action Week, to celebrate the 60 certifications undertaken in the last year. If you’re interested in finding out more about the kitemark and the broader Creative Green programme, please get in touch.

If you like this blog you might be interested in reading Lyric Hammersmith's 'What I've Learnt: How to be Plastic Free'.
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