The importance of tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability has been accepted at the highest levels of government, from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through to the EC’s European Climate Change Programme. In December 2015, the first universal agreement on climate change was reached by over 190 countries participating in the COP21 climate talks. It commits us to keeping global warming below 2 degrees – which will require radical emissions reduction – and this commitment with undoubtedly inspire fundamental changes over the next 25 years.
There has been considerable interest and growing engagement around such issues in the cultural and creative industries. This has ranged from high-profile champions in fields such as film and music, attempts by leading businesses and cultural institutions to reduce their carbon footprint, environmental policies developed by funding and strategic bodies, and a plethora of artistic work engaging the public directly. These activities are generating demand for a “green” creative economy, and a supply chain is emerging that is helping to create the conditions for real systemic change.
The benefits of engaging with environmental sustainability within the arts and culture have been evidenced by research and include:
- Protecting the environment
- Alignment between values and working practices
- Efficiencies and savings
- Getting ahead of regulation
- New business models and audience development opportunities
- New artistic approaches and modes of working
- Collaboration and knowledge sharing
- Better reputation
- Improved wellbeing