So – we had our carbon emission figures for 2010/11 and 2011/12 (see post below as to how). Now we needed to decide on our policy targets for carbon reduction. Just what kind of carbon reductions should we, and indeed could we, commit to?
Many people will have heard of the fact that the UK committed to reducing carbon emissions subsequent to the Kyoto agreement. The Climate Change Act was passed in 2008 committing the UK to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (the CRC, formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is the vehicle by which this is monitored and is a mandatory cap that applies to large non-energy-intensive organisations in the public and private sectors.
So what about smaller organisations? No mandatory targets exist and best practice is still being developed. It’s at times like this that you turn to your friends. Julie’s Bicycle, again, was a great help. In October 2010, Julie’s Bicycle published the Green Visual Arts Guide, part of a series of guides for the creative industries. The Guide provides a ‘how-to’ for visual arts organisations, individuals and galleries interested in greening their activities. Julie’s Bicycle was commissioned by Frieze Art Fair on behalf of the Mayor of London to write the Guide, which maps the greenhouse gas emissions of London’s visual arts sector. It provides practical recommendations for visual arts organisations to support the Mayor of London’s Climate Strategy for reducing London’s carbon emissions, which stand at a 60% reduction by 2025 using 1990 as a baseline.
Of course, we didn’t have any carbon measurements for back in 1990 – we didn’t even exist then! We could only confidently use 2010/11 as our baseline. So, as we were dropping into the middle of the Mayor’s reduction plan, we chose to set a target of a 30% reduction by 2025 using 2010/11 as our baseline.
We broke this down into manageable chunks by setting review dates. So by 2015 we would like to see a 10% reduction on baseline, by 2020 a further 10% and by 2025 a final 10%.
Job done. The Bow Arts Environmental Policy was ratified in September 2012. We hope to get better at understanding our environmental impacts as we travel the path and to use this knowledge to inform our activities. It’s all one big learning curve…
Our next posting will describe how we put this into action via an Environmental Action Plan (with some help from our friends at Circus Space).