Yearly Archives: 2015

Carbon Reporting for Creative Scotland RFOs: Frequently Asked Questions

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

In the past five months, we’ve engaged with approximately 100 of Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded Organisations on topics of carbon emissions recording, reporting and environmental policies. Through our training programme, we have offered support for RFOs to fulfill the mandatory carbon emissions reporting requirement set by Creative Scotland, which will come into effect for the period of April 2015 – March 2016.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from RFOs about the requirements of Creative Scotland’s carbon emissions reporting process.

Will we be judged on the level of emissions reported to Creative Scotland? 

No. We don’t yet understand the level of emissions which result from carrying out your activities. That’s one of the reasons we are asking everyone to report emissions.

What do we have to include in the report? 

We are asking organisations to look at their activities and to record waste (landfill and recycling), utility use (building energy and water) and travel (for business) and calculate emissions from those. Creative Scotland’s reporting form is in preparation and will be made available shortly to help you understand what you will be expected to report.

What level of emissions is good/bad? 

We think that you are more likely to know the answer to that question than we are. After you have recorded and reported your emissions for a year or so you will be able to recognise whether you can achieve reductions. We will try to provide examples of best practice so that you can make your own assessment.

How do we calculate emissions? 

For most emissions sources we can provide emission factors. A simple multiplication will allow you to calculate kg of CO2e (carbon dioxide emissions) from kWh of electricity or cubic meters of water, for example.  We expect to supply this in the form of a simple spreadsheet.

We recommend that you create an account with our ClaimExpenses tool to calculate emissions for travel, as this can be more complex.

Are we supposed to reduce emissions each year? 

We expect that once you begin recording your emissions, you will start to recognise ways in which you can become more efficient, but we also recognise that your activities may change from year to year so that actual reductions or increases may not be a useful measure of improving efficiency.

Will we be given targets?

We will not be in a position to give organisations targets in terms of amounts of emissions. Instead we have been developing tailored action plans which encourage Regularly Funded Organisations to set their own targets for adoption of an environmental policy and for having a system of recording in place in time for the 2015-16 annual report to Creative Scotland.

Do you have more questions about carbon recording and reporting? Feel free to get in touch with Fiona MacLennan, Carbon Reduction Project Manager, via email or by calling us at 0131 529 7909.


Image: Flickr/Wee Sen Goh

The post Carbon Reporting for Creative Scotland RFOs: Frequently Asked Questions appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

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Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Green Tease Reflections: Launching ArtCOP Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

This past April, Creative Carbon Scotland hosted Green Tease gatherings in Edinburgh and Glasgow to discuss the possibility of an ArtCOP in Scotland which engages with the global climate change negotiations taking place in Paris this winter.

What is ArtCOP Scotland?

ArtCOP Scotland would provide a local response in Scotland to the UN Conference of Parties (COP21), which will happen this coming December in Paris. The COP21 meeting will bring together the world’s leaders to engage in crucial climate change negotiations. ArtCOP21 is a parallel event taking place in Paris in December where artists will use their work to raise awareness of the issues and encourage the leaders to take bold steps to protect the environment and humanity.

Following the active engagement, passion and motivation demonstrated by all who were involved with Glasgow’s Green: Imagining a Sustainable City, as well as the on-going interest in the Green Tease programme, we believe that an ArtCOP Scotland could provide an exciting collective milestone for the arts and sustainability Community Of Practice (or our very own “COP”) in Scotland. ArtCOP Scotland will make use of the opportunity of COP21 to think about what roles arts and culture can play in addressing sustainability and climate change in Scotland. What we’d love is for every city, town and village in Scotland to have some form of cultural response or engagement with sustainability or climate change through grassroots and community-led activity in November and December 2015.

At our first ArtCOP Scotland Green Tease meeting this past April, we asked the groups if ArtCOP Scotland would be of interest and the right direction for this community of practice to pursue, what form it might take, and what Creative Carbon Scotland’s role should be in helping to make it happen.

What do we hope to achieve?

We were very happy to receive an encouraging response, with many of the artists, venues and organisations represented at Green Tease pledging their involvement. We came away with some useful ideas on how to move forward and shape our ambitions.

Our first aim is to support lots of activity as stated above which gets people of all ages and interests involved in the project:

  • Encourage regularly occurring events that have an established audience to plan green-themed programming
  • Involve educational institutions and student groups: students and researchers at ECA and GSA both have strong interests in sustainability
  • Engage venues: an opportunity for greater staff engagement and green challenge between visiting companies
  • Harness the power of media: using social media to generate buzz, referencing other big media campaigns involved with similar topics

Our second aim is to support the development of high quality, innovative artistic work which engages with this area. We want to encourage artists to explore how they can make work in order to shift or influence our wider culture and the way we live.

How do we make this happen?

Creative Carbon Scotland’s role has been clarified through these gatherings, as it is clear that we will be responsible for organising, promoting and creating a hub for the ArtCOP Scotland activity. This may include an ArtCOP Scotland webpage, where participants can interact with each other and find inspiration in what others are doing. We will be setting the challenge or inviting participation from a range of creative practitioners, arts venues, community organisations and youth groups. It is clear that the invitation to participate should encourage experimentation and a variety of approaches, which in turn will show the diversity of ideas about arts and sustainability that Scotland’s cultural sector has to offer.

Our April Green Tease gatherings were full of energy and important contributions to the development of ArtCOP Scotland. We will be gathering our own resources and thoughts over the next couple weeks, launching ArtCOP Scotland in the near future. If you have further ideas about how this event could take place, share them with us on Twitter @CCScotland, or come along to our next Green Tease events on 25 May (Edinburgh) and 26 May (Glasgow).


Image: Flickr Creative Commons/Matthew Bradley

 

The post Green Tease Reflections: Launching ArtCOP Scotland appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Design/Ecology/Politics: Within and Beyond Error

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Originally posted on EcoLabs:

Today I signed a contract with Berg / Bloomsbury Academic Publishers for a book called Design/ Ecology/ Politics: Within and Beyond Error, due April 2015.

Design/Ecology/Politics is a clear articulation of the powerful role for design – once informed by ecological literacy and critical perspectives. This book moves the debate in sustainable design beyond its narrow focus on the design of marginally more sustainable consumer products. Ecological theory exposes philosophical problems at the root of the environmental crisis. Social theory exposes the social and political function of design. This book will describe the relationship between these three dynamics. While there are prominent movements in design working towards socially responsive practice, these efforts are hampered by the manner in which power relations are constructed, reproduced and obfuscated by design. Revealing these dynamics creates new possibilities for transformative practice – i.e. design which will create ways of living enabling human prosperity…

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ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

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Caledonian Everyday Discussions – Glossaries

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Edvard Munch, The Yellow Log, 1912,

A panel of Foresters (2pm Saturday 16 May, Summerhall, Edinburgh), perhaps a Glossary might be in order (thanks to Robert Macfarlane and his new book Landmarks for the idea and the resources).

Forestry Commission Research Glossary. (Page to a letter, i.e. not particularly good for browsing).

Royal Forestry Society Glossary. (Some terms and some links – full glossary available to members, but one also finds a link to an article on Forestry and Painting by Andy Moffat arguing that specific paintings of forests contribute to foresters’ understanding).

Forests and Chases in England and Wales, c. 1000 to c. 1850; A Glossary of Terms and Definitions. (Obviously it’s England and Wales not Scotland, but an interesting historical resource). 

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

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Pursuing Active Hope in Houston

This post comes from the Artists and Climate Change Blog

What does the intersection of art and environmental activism look like? Along with Lina Dib and Tony Day, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University, recently created Fossilized in Houston. Fifteen local artists were commissioned to produce images of species endangered by climate change. These images were then used to create lawn signs and thousands of posters and stickers that are being distributed throughout Houston in a guerilla public art campaign. Each week between March and July 2015, a new species makes its appearance. The goal is “to contribute to an enhanced intellectual and emotional awareness about climate change and the ongoing mass extinction, and hopefully push decision-makers in energy companies, city planners and individual citizens to reconsider collectively destructive yet normative behaviors.”

Matthew wrote a great article about why this project matters in the Houston Chronicle. And photos of the lawn signs, posters and stickers in various locations around Houston can be found here.

Turtle - Fossilized in HoustonWhere did the idea for Fossilized in Houston come from?

Distantly, it probably came from growing up amidst lots of amazing street art in New York City in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and then later on from my interest in the Situationists. More recently, moving to Houston and teaching about climate change was definitely eye-opening, because in Houston, the “Energy Capital of the World,” you can’t pretend that fossil fuels don’t power our lives like you can in many places. How can climate change be so urgent, yet so absent from daily life? Absence enables avoidance, and avoidance leads to business as usual. Scholars like Kari Norgaard have covered this topic in great depth, and my book Peak Oil is interested in it as well, but I suppose this project is a modest attempt to combat that absence.

Chameleon - Fossilized in HoustonWhat kind of impact are you hoping to have on people who see the images?

 Our hope is that the repeated reminders that our images provide, especially when people are exposed to this issue when they least expect it—waiting in line for coffee, driving around their neighborhood, in the bathroom of their favorite bar on a Saturday night—will contribute to the necessary shift in consciousness. It’s emotional, as it should be. Change is never as simple as “x sees this, and does y;” it’s an aggregate, and we’d like to be one small part. But consciousness-raising is only meaningful when it leads to action. The possibilities for action are endless—the nice thing about the scale of the transformation demanded by climate change is that there are lots of things people can do. Ultimately politics is what matters. Citizens of democracies (especially Texans) need to vote differently, and support or get involved with existing movements that are growing in strength. In Houston, for example, there are lots of amazing organizations that are taking on the hard work of opposing extreme extraction and fighting for environmental justice (T.E.J.A.S., Tar Sands Blockade, NoKXL). It’s only when these movements have popular support that the kind of actions required by our historical moment become possible.

Coral - Fossilized in HoustonIf you had unlimited time, funding and resources for this project, what else would you do?

If we could equal the campaign financing of all American corporations, we would create our own political party, elect some honest citizens to Congress and the Senate, begin financing the transition to renewable energy sources with the same vigor that the federal government has financed automobility and fossil fuels for decades, and then pass a constitutional amendment for public financing of elections. Less ambitiously, I’m convinced that a massive advertising campaign would have some effect. Corporatism and short-termism are two primary obstacles—the average American see thousands of advertisements each year, and they condition us to think in the short-term and to ignore anything beyond our own satisfaction (and perhaps that of our family and close friends). I might be naive, but I’d like to think that if Fossilized in Houston could regularly purchase billboards, TV air time, web ads, and sponsor radio shows and events throughout Houston it would have a real impact. You wouldn’t convert climate deniers to environmental activists, of course, but you can move people from one category on the spectrum to another—deniers to skeptics, skeptics to believers, believers to people to who support action, and those folks to active citizens and activists. There are a small number of people who just don’t care, for ideological or financial reasons, but most human beings are deeply troubled by the reports they can’t help but notice about climate change, increasingly frequent and damaging extreme weather events, and the ongoing mass extinction. That empathy for other people as well as non-human creatures is always present, but it’s dulled by routine, by social and cultural norms, and by capitalism in its various manifestations. Artists can contribute by not only helping people see that this is an issue which influences them personally, but by nurturing and encouraging empathy. That’s a powerful force for action, and that’s what we need right now, and in the days to come.

Lynx - Fossilized in HoustonWhat is the single most important thing artists can do to address the problem of climate change?

Artists are already doing a great deal to portray different aspects of this issue, and bringing that kind of intellectual and emotional awareness to audiences is key. What I’d like to see more people do is what our project tries to do—bring this work out of the galleries, theatres, and art-house cinemas, where it is accessible only by people who seek it out and can afford it, and into the streets.

More broadly, I think we need a revivification of pleasures and satisfactions that have been forgotten in the United States. Advertising and cultural expectations create a desire for a life whose pleasures and excitements are extremely carbon-intensive, based on flying and driving wherever you like and consuming whatever you want. These pleasures are fleeting, don’t make people happy, don’t create robust and resilient communities, and are incredibly ecologically destructive in aggregate. Insofar as climate change is a signal that we need to not only decrease our carbon emissions but transform our way of life, it would be interesting to see artists contribute to a counter-movement that illustrates and explores ecologically sustainable pleasures and virtues. In my book I’m critical of some aspects of James Howard Kunstler’s novel World Made By Hand, but I love the way that Kunstler tried to accomplish this. I’d love to see artists of all stripes take on this challenge.

Grasshopper - Fossilized in HoustonWhat gives you hope?

My students definitely give me hope—the honest and earnest responses they have to learning about climate change and environmental injustice is very inspiring. Websites like yours, and similar networks of scholars, artists and activists, also give me hope. But I also believe that the conventional conception of “hope” is flawed. What it often implies, and means for many people, is that we won’t commit to action unless our desired outcome seems likely and we can feel certain that we’ll have contributed in a direct way to that outcome. If that’s the standard, people will rarely take action. I much prefer Joanna Macy’s idea of active hopeas she’s argued, “passive hope is about waiting for external agencies to bring about what we desire,” while “active hope is about becoming active participants in bringing about what we hope for.” What gives me hope is not so much waiting for the news that everything’s going to be alright, or viewing on social media what others are doing, but taking action myself.

Filed under: Painting, Public Art

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Artists and Climate Change is a blog that tracks artistic responses from all disciplines to the problem of climate change. It is both a study about what is being done, and a resource for anyone interested in the subject. Art has the power to reframe the conversation about our environmental crisis so it is inclusive, constructive, and conducive to action. Art can, and should, shape our values and behavior so we are better equipped to face the formidable challenge in front of us.

Go to the Artists and Climate Change Blog

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