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Our Environmental Journey

Reducing our impact and promoting environmental responsibility within our organisation and beyond

The world needs our help. Since 1970, CO2 emissions have risen by 90% with a 60% increase since 1990. Climate scientists have given 2030 as the year of no return for for preventing the catastrophic impact of irreversible climate change.
In 2021, the COP26 conference connected leaders from the United Nations to discuss climate change and how to tackle it. It was here that the UK government set a goal to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035, compared to their 1990 level.
As a collective population, a nation, a business and as individuals, we all have a responsibility to take notice and take action against climate change.


We are responding to the climate and biodiversity crisis by:
  • Updating our Environmental Policy, and Action Plan for 2023-26 in line with ambitious reduction targets
  • Supporting children and young people to explore their local environment and environmental challenges as part of our Placemaking and schools programmes
  • Working with partners to advance a joint ambition for a place-based environmental responsibility transformation model led by cultural organisations
  • Continuing to measure our own environmental footprint and find ways to reduce it and create net-positive impacts
  • Staying accountable by creating an environmental responsibility Trustee sub-group, reporting quarterly to Arts Council England and being transparent about our own impact

Artswork's environmental impact

Using data collected since 2012 we regularly assess our impact on the environment and look for areas to improve

  • Our environmental impact
    The data for 2022/23 shows that our measurable direct emissions for the year were 8.1 tonnes. Around 4 tonnes relate to our travel emissions and around 4 tonnes to energy use for our office and home working which we were able to measure for the first time. This is a decrease on pre-pandemic levels and means we are making progress towards our 2035 target of 5 tonnes. We’ve also decreased our paper use by around 80% since 2018/19 by digitising processes.
  • What does this mean?
    It means we are still using too much carbon! But we are doing better than in 2019/20 when a staff trip to Thailand for an international outreach programme effectively added another six months of emissions through flights. Since then we’ve reflected on the impact of air travel and fully committed to being a ‘no fly’ organisation. We’ve also introduced a mileage cap that recognises traveling by train produces at least 60% fewer emissions and encourages the team to use public transport whenever possible.
  • What do we want to change?
    The pandemic led to innovation in our working practices which resulted in lower emissions. Our challenge now is to find a way to keep emissions low at a time when we are changing what we do and increasing our activity. Artswork has achieved Blue level Steps to Environmental Management accreditation and is now progressing towards Silver. This supports us to reach our environmental goals, and is enabling us to benchmark our environmental footprint and implement sustainability measures against a national standard.


Actions we have already taken to reduce our footprint

  • Taking a digital first approach to creating communications and marketing assets 
  • Using vegetable-based ink when printing any physical resources 
  • Digitising processes to significantly reduce printing, with many operations now entirely paper free 
  • Promoting our active travel and cycle loans policies to reduce reliance on cars 
  • Moving from a central office to a fully dispersed workforce based closer to where our work is delivered 
  • Committing the organisation to ‘no fly’  
  • Investing in online meeting technologies 
  • Surveying our team to collect and share the innovative ways they are reducing their own footprint

Actions we would like to take

  • Gain further accreditation for our environmental management systems and achieving our reduction targets
  • Become involved in more sustainable learning programmes 
  • Advocate for change amongst cultural organisations 
  • Promote partnerships with organisations with clear environmental goals
  • Educate ourselves and others on the environment and the impact we have on it 

Our Environmental Policy

Including scope, responsibility, objectives, monitoring, reporting and review.

Read here

Environmental Blogs

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