Sustaining Great Art and Culture: Environmental Report 2017/18


A smaller shoe size for carbon footprints

The carbon footprint of Arts organisations has been reduced by 35% since 2013, says the report by Julie’s Bicycle ‘Sustaining Great Art and Culture’for Arts Council England. 

This has largely been achieved through better building design, such as the Pegasus Theatre in Oxford, and improvements in energy efficiency. Some of the more unusual additions to the battle against climate change are Glyndebourne Opera House’s Wind Turbine, producing 102% of its electricity needs and the use of an electric-powered van by the Contact Theatre Manchester.

The report also says this creative ecology leads to better decisions, with 58% of organisations using environmental data to inform decision-making. It would be interesting to delve further into this in future studies by showing how they do this and on what issues.

Undoubtedly, the move towards a completely circular economy is happening. Sustainable, renewable energy sources coupled with a reduced need for the amount of energy produced have an effect on the way society behaves, let alone how Arts organisations work.

However, changes in the way we work within the Cultural sector as well as transformations in communication and information also allow better decisions to be made – for example the way we manage assets such as finances, data and people, or indeed the collections, historic buildings and other physical assets within our care.

The world of work in an Arts organisation increasingly resembles a hive of connectivity rather than straight line management structures. A holistic approach which integrates environmental and sustainability issues across the wider organisation is now paramount. One of Barker Langham’s specialisms is looking at these connections within Arts organisations and showing how to work this new reality in a better way.

This report, though quite tightly drawn around its subject, just can’t help triggering thoughts about the way the world of work is changing.


Ian Duckworth
Associate Director of Research, Barker Langham Recruitment

Ian is experienced in Human Resources and Recruitment, where he has planned and delivered his recruiting services for clients such as the British Museum, Tate, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Imperial War Museum, National Museums Liverpool (all UK), the Cradle of Humankind and De Beers ‘Big Hole’ (South Africa).

Ian has 15 years of public and private sector experience in global (including USA and Russia) Museums and Galleries across Nationals, Internationals, Local Authorities and Independent Trusts. His most recent projects at Barker Langham Recruitment has been providing human resources consultancy services and staff recruitment for the Strelka Institute in Moscow, Russia; recruiting a senior staff member for a new national museum in Oman; providing organisational, training, and human resources consultancy work for Shindagha Museum in Dubai, UAE; and also delivering human resources, organisational planning and human resources consulting services to Japan House in London, UK.

Ian has published global research and development work including Museums and Heritage training, competency frameworks, skills transfer and recruitment trends analysis. He holds a Diploma in European Cultural Studies from Warwick University, a Diploma in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester and a BA History (Hons) from King’s College London. Ian is fluent in English and Catalan.

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