The concept of sustainability is not unfamiliar to us here at Bow Arts. We have always operated in an environment of limited resources – and so too have our artists.
The definition of sustainable development is “to satisfy basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations” (Securing the Future – The UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2005). Looking after what we’ve got and ensuring it’s there for the next generation to enjoy is what it’s about, whether that is natural capital, like energy and food, or human capital, like health and knowledge.
Bow Arts’ business model is already financially sustainable, which means that we don’t rely on external funding in order to run our services. We have always been cautious of ‘buying in’ resources, whether they be material items or intangibles, like education and skills. In fact, we aim to take what we have and add value – increasing the resource pool, rather than depleting it.
In 2019, Bow Arts was awarded 4 stars, out of a possible maximum of 5, for the Creative Green certification scheme of 2017-18, run by Julie’s Bicycle. Creative Green is a programme run by Julie’s Bicycle that offers a broad range of services that help organisations scope, understand, prioritise and advocate environmentally sustainable practices. You can read our Creative Green 2017-18 report here.
Our board champion, Rajen Madan, continues to work with us to develop our business model and to incorporate sustainability into our long-term strategic plans. Fellow board member Claire Swift was appointed our Green Champion in 2019, with the more specific aim of championing the environmental development of Bow Arts.
On the ground, the Bow Arts Green Team ensure that ideas are put into action. The Green Team constitutes members from every department – we believe sustainability is relevant to all areas of our work.