It Matters What We Do On Climate Change....

The Paris Accord commits us to climate change action, Creative Green is showing how creative organisations are systematically achieving real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the Paris Account to keep global temperatures below a 2 degree raise.

Change prompted by the Paris Accord is already happening. Although the official signing of the agreement isn't until 22nd April the message coming from many quarters – communities, investors, governments and companies – is the same:  we must reach our climate change targets, which include a 90/95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050. This means a rapid transformation in how we source and use energy. (I’m sorry to say our own government has lost its way, as evidenced by numerous disappointments, the latest being the abolition of the post of Climate Change Envoy).  This will manifest in many ways – technologies, finance mechanisms, infrastructures, ownership, sources, and how communities and individuals think of, and use, energy. A clean energy revolution, drawing on the abundant and ubiquitous natural forces of wind, waves and sun, is already underway, but we don’t have nearly enough infrastructure to meet our needs and expectations.

Much is being done, including some simple and very practical actions: sourcing a clean energy supplier (we recommend Good Energy, a pioneering and innovative early adopter of clean energy who also happen to sponsor our events), generating onsite energy (solar panels, or biomass, or wind); converting fossil fuel investments to clean energy investments, telling the stories of change, making a noise, and by stepping up on energy efficiency as enthusiastically as we possibly can.  

I have been really motivated by the Paris Agreement. Yes I know, there are all sorts of obstacles. But I am a COPtimist, and with good reason. I have spent the last 9 years working with a huge range of people from the creative and cultural community and have witnessed the commitment and passion of so many people who are, often against the odds, making the change – and many by doing Industry Green certification, our own award scheme which we designed with the cultural sector to motivate, and celebrate action on climate change.  This wonderful community has systematically unpicked what it means to respond to climate change day to day – the full stretch, from cleaning materials to commissioning content, board papers to bins, habit-busting to cultural transformation.

Creative Industry Green certification, now simply Creative Green, has resulted in over 200 certifications for creative organisations of all shapes and sizes from across the UK and it is not a coincidence that this group is doing more than most others. Collectively they represent a rich range of possible responses and the full range of obstacles overcome.  At the heart is an ethical -  material - response to climate change. That problem is caused by too much consumption. We need to re value, re-think, re connect and reduce: the design principles of Creative Green.

The usefulness of environmental certification was brought home to me by connecting the ambitions of Paris with the outstanding results from the likes of the Abbey Road Recording Studios, Glyndebourne, Lambeth Council, Live Theatre, London Theatre Consortium (Almeida, Battersea Arts Centre, Bush, Donmar Warehouse, Greenwich, Hampstead, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court, Soho, Stratford East, Tricycle and Young Vic), Mysteryland, Norwich Theatre Royal, Reading and Leeds Festival, Royal Opera House, Sage Gateshead, Shambala Festival and Wembley Stadium - and the list goes on.  

And here is the plug for those of you who haven’t done it. Creative Green is a systematic, achievable and motivating, approach to environmental sustainability which puts the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and keeping global temperatures well below 2 degrees of warming as a core goal.  It has been co-designed with the creative and science communities, with a clear approach to commitment, understanding and improvement. This year we are celebrating with our first Creative Green Awards with workshops and bulletins to share ideas and learning with peers. Many certified organisations are achieving the Paris targets, and can account for, and understand,  their impacts and influence in relation to Paris. Creative Green is a critical part of the road map to 2050.

It really matters what we do on climate change.

Image credit: Peter and the Starcatcher, 2012

Sustaining Creativity