Ta da! Half of arts groups “reaped cash benefits” from green action

More than half (55%) of arts groups in the UK got financial benefits after carrying out green or sustainable actions suggests a new report. What’s more, two in five arts […]

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By Vicky Ellis

More than half (55%) of arts groups in the UK got financial benefits after carrying out green or sustainable actions suggests a new report.

What’s more, two in five arts organisations said environmental sustainability is a high priority and the same proportion found green work has boosted their profile and reputation.

A total of 337 groups – reaching audiences of 70 million a year – across theatre, dance, literature, music and film from England, Scotland and Wales were polled.

The report by Julie’s Bicycles which does not name specific institutions found operators of big cultural buildings are more likely to score environmental sustainability as a “priority”.

Going green - it's not just clowning around! Image: Thinkstock
Going green – it’s not just clowning around! Image: Thinkstock

The highest number of leading organisations on green issues is in North East England suggests the poll, then Yorkshire and South East England.

Groups with some public funding tend to do more, especially on staff engagement and refurbishments, perhaps because they are “more used to public accountability”.

The report suggests this is back up by the commercial music industry being “mainly absent from the leadership cohort” despite being early sustainability pioneers.

While there seems to be strong support for green goals in the arts, the survey uncovers “overwhelming resistance” to commissioning work on sustainability or to communicating with audiences.

It suggests this shows a “misalignment” between the personal vision of committed staff and the missions and artistic visions of organisations.