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Artswork’s Environmental Policy

Statement of Intent

Climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse affect us all. This is a crisis affecting 8 billion people and it will take all 8 billion of us to solve it.

Children and young people are disproportionately affected. They have made little direct contribution to the problems caused by burning fossil fuels and intensive resource use, yet they will experience the harshest consequences of this legacy. Similarly, communities and peoples marginalised because of social-economic background and race inequities are more likely to experience air and water pollution, lack access to green space and are more at risk from climate vulnerability. People that have experienced racism including indigenous peoples and those of Small Island States have been less listened to in the debate about climate and biodiversity problems meaning their knowledge, experience and wisdoms have been historically overlooked in decisions about adaptation, mitigation and land use.

The UN warns that the window for keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius is rapidly closing – by 2025 it will be almost impossible to meet the required annual global reduction targets. In 2021, the Government committed to a 78% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, compared to 1990 levels. The UK is also a signatory to the UN Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and has committed to protecting 30% of UK land for the recovery of nature by 2030.

Every sector of our economy needs to rapidly transition and decarbonise, this is a whole society transformation, and the arts and creativity have a unique and significant role in this transformation. In a world where creative engagement has the power to broaden horizons, inspire activism and solutions, generate a sense of wonder and enable us to imagine different futures, environmental justice and a zero carbon society is possible. This is choral music; we need a mass of voices to rise up and resonate in harmony for the right to life for all species. We need to be a collective and just instrument of change.

It is our ethical, moral and legal responsibility to accept environmental responsibility for our practices and activities. This means monitoring, reducing and mitigating our environmental impact as an integral part of our business strategy, operations and programmes. It means doing things differently and being an advocate, working through partnership, collaboration and knowledge sharing, to encourage the people we work with to explore these issues, take actions to reduce their own impact and share this journey with us.


Our Environmental Policy and Action Plan is aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the ambition to achieve net zero by 2030.


All our employees and sub-contractors have a responsibility within their own areas of work to ensure that the objectives of this Policy and the targets in the Action Plan are met.


  • Encourage active employee engagement by sharing information, tips, setting goals, signposting to creative and educational approaches, and by supporting discussion, debate and training
  • Listen to the diverse voices, ideas and experience of children and young people, organisations, artists, practitioners and experts by curating opportunities for conversations and shared exploration with these communities
  • Start reducing our impact today and obtain advice from experts, partners and communities on best practice to refine our plans and approaches as we progress
  • Monitor our environmental impact by collecting and measuring emissions data for energy, transport, waste, audience travel and purchasing
  • Reduce our environmental impact by decarbonising working practices by at least 78% by 2030 and offsetting any remaining emissions in programmes to support natural restoration
  • Incorporate environmental considerations into business decisions at Board level and across the organisation by reviewing progress against our environmental action plan quarterly
  • Co-create resources and engage families in environmental sustainability through creative practice
  • Communicate our aims and ambitions to our stakeholders and audiences by sharing inspiring content that amplifies the voices of children and young people, artists and activists, and by telling the story of our own journey towards net zero

Monitoring, Reporting and Review

Artswork’s Chief Executive will monitor the implementation of the action plan and report on progress quarterly to Trustees and to Arts Council England as part of our year-end report.

The Policy and Action Plan will be reviewed:

  • at least quarterly
  • whenever there are significant changes to the organisation or our work
  • as we receive feedback from children and young people, communities, artists and stakeholders
  • when we carry out new activities with different impacts
  • if environmental or social factors necessitate a change in business practices
  • as the scientific basis for global and national targets is updated
  • whenever there are changes to legislation

Last review: June 2021

Next review: May 2022

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