Creative Carbon Scotland

Artist callout: Transforming audience travel through art

Perth Theatre and Concert Hall and Creative Carbon Scotland are recruiting a creative practitioner to work on a new project exploring sustainable travel. Drawing on your own artistic practice, the role involves contributing to the overall design of the project, running a series of creative workshops, and collaborating with participants to document their journeys to Perth Theatre and Concert Hall. Application form below. 


Eligibility: Open to any creative practitioner of any discipline. You must be based within easy traveling distance of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall to limit transport emissions associated with the project and ensure a good connection with the local area. We recommend that you should have to travel no more than a maximum of 25 miles to reach the venues. You must have the right to work in the UK.

Fee: £10,800. Based on a Scottish Artist Union day-rate of £336. A budget is also available to cover expenses for artist materials and local travel up to a distance of 25 miles from Perth Theatre and Concert Hall.

Time commitment: 30 days, spread across May 2023-March 2024, with the majority of time falling during July 2023-November 2023 (see below for an estimated breakdown). Timing is flexible, but will very likely need to involve evening and weekend working to reach the right audiences.

Application: Application form; responses to four questions to be submitted in written or video format, plus equalities monitoring form.

Location: Activities will take place at Perth Theatre and Concert Hall and in some other locations around the Perth region. Some elements of the work can be done remotely from any location. Due to the nature of the role, it is particularly well suited to someone based in or near Perth.

Deadline: Sunday 23 April 2023 23:59pm

A full artist brief is available further down this page. If you have any questions or would like to request a PDF copy of the information, please contact


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SPRINGBOARD 2023: a short reflection

Creative Carbon Scotland’s Director Ben Twist offers some thoughts about how SPRINGBOARD went and what the next steps are.

As noted in a previous what and why blog, SPRINGBOARD: Assembly for creative climate action, began on 27 February 2023. We held the four-day online assembly as part of the long-term, collaborative SPRINGBOARD project, which aims to bring about transformational change in Scotland’s creative sector to help build a net-zero, climate-ready world. 

SPRINGBOARD is a jumping-off point for Creative Carbon Scotland and, we hope, for others. The waters we are leaping into are perhaps choppy and uncertain, but the reason for jumping is clear and present: the increasing urgency of the climate emergency. Alongside this, Creative Scotland’s Climate Emergency & Sustainability Plan provides a spur for action, asking the cultural and other sectors to think about what the plan means for them and how they can contribute. To push the metaphor further, the springboard provides some height enabling us to see more clearly where we want to get to and will provide extra energy to jump there.

Our idea for the online assembly was to bring together people with similar interests, nationally rather than locally (as in our local assemblies), and to encourage collaboration between climate- and culturally-focused organisations and individuals. There are challenges to working online, but it also means that people from Orkney and Dumfries can collaborate without having to travel. We were trying something new and we didn’t know whether it would work, but this first annual assembly had 12 cross-sectoral cohortsof people working on their shared interests, 28 speakers and more than 200 attendees.  

What have we learnt so far? 

I think we’re still absorbing the lessons and they’ll become clearer in coming weeks, both in terms of what they are and how we need to respond, but I want to offer some initial reflections or takeaways from my own experience of SPRINGBOARD 2023. 

We need transformational, not incremental change 

Alongside the aims I’ve mentioned above the online assembly also aimed to shift our own and others’ thinking about how we respond to the climate emergency. We’ve been doing good work in the cultural sector: energy use amongst Creative Scotland’s Regular Funded Organisations is down by around 35% since we started measuring; organisations are coming up with imaginative ways to reduce their emissions; some are starting to think about adapting to the climate impacts we can expect. But the trajectory to very low carbon is steep: we need massive reductions quickly. The changes we need to make are not simple or linear, and the reductions won’t be achieved by simply doing what we currently do more efficiently. Adapting to climate change will ask us all to rethink all sorts of elements of our work and lives. We need transformational change.  

During the assembly I showed a slide with a useful definition of transformational change from the health field, which I’ve also mentioned in that previous blog: 

Black text on a yellow background reads: “Transformational change is the emergence of an entirely new state, prompted by a shift in what is considered possible or necessary, which results in a profoundly different structure, culture or level of performance.” King’s Fund.

The morning ’conference’ element of the assembly aimed to lead us all from a very quick introduction to what transformational change might look like within the cultural field (Carly McLachlan’s keynote on the super-low carbon road map for music touring), through why transformational change in wider society is necessary and how culture can help (Halliki Kreinin’s keynote on ‘Decolonising the social imaginary: degrowth, culture and new narratives of the good life’) to what transformational change might require in organisations and individuals (our keynote panel on enabling transformation). Interestingly this last was less about the practicalities of bringing about change on a large scale, as I had expected, and more about leadership, the need to be vulnerable, to accept you could be wrong and to be open to change yourself, as well as the need for collaboration with new and different partners. 

Our panel discussions also sought to widen the discussion from simple carbon management to more radical change, focusing on climate justice, adaptation and resilience, place-based working and the journey to net zero. All of these featured collaboration, and speakers from fields other than culture were keen to join the panels. 

Artistic interventions 

For the morning sessions, three poets were commissioned to write and/or perform their work, partly to demonstrate (as if we needed it) the power of art and partly to provide other perspectives. They certainly inspired us and I felt their words resonated and especially so when they touched on aspects of our own lives and experiences which is, of course, what all good art does. 


Assembly participants can access EventsAir and re/watch any of the sessions until the end of August 2023 by logging into the portal and proceeding to the auditorium. We are adding recordings of key sessions to a SPRINGBOARD showcase on our Vimeo site over the next few weeks so that they are available to everyone: some are already there. We also have a reading list of useful articles, websites and books relating to many of the sessions and the cohorts. 

The cohorts: collaborative working in real time 

The afternoon sessions focused on intra- and inter-sectoral collaborative working. Twelve cohorts of people with shared interests or concerns, proposed by individuals or groups that responded to our call for suggestions, met over four days. Most used a structure that we had developed based on our experience of two processes: 

  • a systems-thinking process used by EIT Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate change innovation hub 
  • a French workshop project we participated in last year 

We wanted to make sure that the collaborative work led to action that would continue after the assembly – too often (and this has been our experience) a workshop ends and there is no follow-up, no road map for continued work.  

Using the structure wasn’t compulsory and the aim was to provide a process that enabled different groups to focus on their field’s needs and aims. We at CCS didn’t want to dictate what should happen or what should be discussed. The cohort convenors deserve a round of applause for their commitment and work – it was a big ask. 

Many groups people found the cohort process useful, although undoubtedly it was rushed – a result of the tension between not wanting to ask people to meet online for long periods or commit to many hours of work time and trying to do some difficult collaborative thinking. Some people found the process restrictive, which possibly reflects the same issue: with more time it could have been more open. We will reflect, listen and learn from this. Encouragingly, 10 of the 12 cohorts have planned their next meetings, confirming that the work will continue outside the assembly. 

The outputs of all the cohorts are available for all to see on a Miro board here and a quick review of them reveals some common themes. Groups perceived some key blockages to systemic change to work on, including: 

  • Funding models and possibly commissioners of art being focused on unsustainable outcomes and ways of working, and perhaps particularly focused on growth 
  • A lack of knowledge and information within the sector – where to find suppliers or experts in more technical areas; understanding of concepts such as degrowth. This might be connected to a need for training and skills development in new areas which hadn’t previously been considered important for cultural practitioners and staff 
  • A lack of awareness and understanding of the potential of culture and cultural practitioners in the transformation of society. This also relates to the need for support for freelancers – artists and others – if they are to contribute to this work 
A turning point, a jumping off point 

In January I outlined to the CCS team four objectives for SPRINGBOARD:  

  1. Increase the climate ambitions of the cultural sector
  2. Strengthen CCS’s own and others’ understanding of transformational change
  3. Increase collaboration between cultural and non-cultural sectors
  4. Help the cultural sector respond to Creative Scotland’s Climate Emergency & Sustainability Plan 

I’m confident we made good progress on all of these. I am particularly pleased that there seems to be both a desire for and a willingness to work for transformational change, which is difficult and long-term, with no easy answers. But there’s more. I am enthused by the interest shown in our post-event surveys in the concept of degrowth, which is a difficult idea to get your head around. And I finished the week knowing that around 150 people in the cohorts had committed time, energy and brain power to collaborative working on challenging problems. We at CCS had facilitated that, but the willingness and the effort belonged to others. This felt like the result of many years of work: the knowledge, interest and commitment of others was combining with ours to chart a way forward. We’ll be learning from and working with the cohorts as they progress through the year towards our next assembly in 2024.

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Opportunity: Climate Fringe Festival 2023

The Climate Fringe Festival will be back between 10 and 18 June for its 2023 edition.

The Climate Fringe Festival is a community-led and community-organised series of events taking place across the whole of Scotland. It’s Scotland’s call for action on climate change, and will take place between 10 and 18 June.

  • Already organising an event for those dates?
  • Have a campaign planned for that time?
  • Want to organise an event with a focus on climate, nature, or sustainability?

The Climate Fringe would love to hear from you! Together, we can show decision-makers – including the new First Minister – that our communities are coming together across Scotland to call for strong action to tackle the climate and nature crises.

For more information, go to the website – – and make sure to subscribe to our organisers’ newsletter for the latest updates.

Funding grants are now available; you can find more information at

Add your voice to Scotland’s call for action on climate change as we demand meaningful action now – for a greener, low carbon, more sustainable future.

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Opportunity: Artist commission – Crichton Carbon Centre

Multidisciplinary residence/commission working alongside Crichton Carbon Centre researchers.

The Crichton Carbon Centre (CCC) is seeking to commission an artist to create new work in relation to the environment of the Upper Blackwater of Dee catchment as part of our multi-disciplinary water quality research initiative, Water Cycle, part of our Peatland Connections project.

Water Cycle has three elements:

  1. Physical Science to collect baseline water quality data at 13 sites along the Upper Blackwater of Dee catchment: pH levels, peat particulate content, and water temperature.
  2. Citizen Science to actively involve people in the process of data collection and conversations arising from the project.
  3. Contemporary Art to contextualise the catchment and landscape dynamics.

We welcome applications across all forms of contemporary practice including inter and transdisciplinary approaches.

Contemporary artists, like contemporary scientists, conduct research to reveal new insights into the world around us. Accordingly, art holds potential to contribute to new forms of knowledge production and new ways of seeing and understanding environmental issues and complexities. At CCC, we recognise that art approaches can be an innovative, potentially unconventional, means of data collection; and that through combining art and science approaches our capacity to connect to a landscape and begin to understand it is greatly deepened.

Application deadline: 27 March

Artist fee: £6,048.00 for a min of 18 days

For full details about the commission / residence and how to apply:

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Job: Freelance Project Manager

We are seeking an experienced freelancer with project management and arts engagement experience.

Chrysalis Arts Development (CAD), is seeking an experienced freelancer with project management and arts engagement experience to contribute to our current programme of creative development work. This is an exciting opportunity to work as part of a highly skilled and collaborative team on an innovative programme of place-based and environmental arts-led activity with a particular role in helping us to improve the reach and impact of our audience engagement.

A priority for this opportunity is contributing to the creative consultation programme for Marton Wood, a new ten-year Slow Art initiative in North Yorkshire. The introductory programme for this project has commenced and currently includes workshops and taster activities led by freelance artists, seasonal workshops with local schools, community consultation events and a programme of artist engagement activity.

The project manager will be responsible for organising and facilitating activities for schools, youth and community groups which are contributing to the project’s development, including attendance at regular workshops and other engagement sessions. The role will also involve research to extend the reach of the Marton Wood project, working closely with the rest of the CAD team to identify additional audiences and project partners, including underserved and isolated groups and contributing to the research and writing of an audience development plan.

Fee and time

The work is offered on a freelance basis for 1.5 days per week, based on a daily rate of £170 per day, including VAT if applicable. A day is based on 7 hours. Working hours may be flexible, although a regular working pattern is required. This contract is offered for an initial period of six months commencing in April 2023, due for completion by the end of October 2023, with the option of renewal subject to successful funding being secured.

  • Facilitation and co-ordination of engagement programmes of activity in conjunction with CAD’s core team. This will include research and consultation, particularly with schools and community groups, organisation of venues, liaison with artists and other workshop leaders, attendance at participatory sessions and gathering of participants feedback and other relevant information.
  • Contributing to the planning and implementation of CAD’s current project work which focuses on community engagement, art and environmental issues and place.
  • Contributing to the development of online community engagement content.
  • Data collection, evaluation, and presentation of material and project information.
  • Attendance at weekly team meetings – a combination of online and in-person.
  • Contribution to the research and writing of an audience development plan to underpin this work.


  • Knowledge/experience of arts and community engagement practice and project management
  • Strong communication and facilitation skills and confidence in engaging with young people, older people and underserved groups
  • Excellent organisational and planning abilities
  • Experience in audience research, data collection, analysis and evaluation
  • Flexibility, willingness to travel and work evenings and weekends as required
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team with a strong collaborative ethos


  • Knowledge of visual arts practice
  • Enthusiasm for and understanding of CAD’s artistic and environmental goals and values
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team with a strong collaborative ethos
  • Digital Skills
To apply

Please see the full job posting on our website [opens in a new tab]
Deadline for applications: Friday 24 March 2023

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What is SPRINGBOARD and why are we doing it?

As this post goes live, so too is SPRINGBOARD: Assembly for creative climate action going live online for the first of four days of collaboration, networking and thinking with more than 200 cross-sector delegates. It’s an apt moment to remind ourselves, and you, what SPRINGBOARD is and why we’re doing it. 

SPRINGBOARD is Creative Carbon Scotland’s response to the increasing urgency of the climate emergency.

Creative Carbon Scotland has been working on climate change with Scotland’s arts organisations and others for the past 11 years, and together we have done good work and made great progress. But the challenge has become more urgent, with tougher carbon reduction targets and the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change in Scotland and around the world, which we are seeing almost daily now. We need to step up our actions, our work.

We’re clear that culture – the arts, screen, creative industries, museums and heritage and libraries – needs to massively decarbonise to achieve zero carbon, and to be resilient in the face of a changed and changing climate. And we’re also clear that the rest of society needs to do the same, and that culture has a huge role to play in what will be a transformation of society. Art and culture help society think through difficult questions; cultural organisations enable communities to come together to do that thinking. Culture has knowledge, skills, ways of working and contacts to offer to those working on climate change; those climate change people have knowledge, technologies, finance and skills that culture needs. So, cultural- and climate-focused organisations and practitioners need to work together, and they need to work together at multiple levels. Deep decarbonisation and resilience can’t be achieved by anyone on their own.

Our aim with SPRINGBOARD is to strengthen the ambition of the cultural sector in this important work, to understand the transformational change that cultural organisations and individuals will need to undertake and enable them to start the process. We want the cultural and other sectors to recognise the essential role culture has to play in this transformational change and importantly, to facilitate their collaboration to address systemic blockages to deep decarbonisation. And we, Creative Carbon Scotland, want to know what we can and need to do to help.

But what is ‘transformational change’?

Here’s a useful definition from the health sector:

‘Transformational change is the emergence of an entirely new state, prompted by a shift in what is considered possible or necessary, which results in a profoundly different structure, culture or level of performance.’

(King’s Fund[1])

Transformational change is about more than scaling up; it is complex and it will challenge us all. We believe it involves (and our thanks to Ruth Wolstenholme, Managing Director of the resilience charity Sniffer, for her ideas about this):

  • Taking a whole system approach, by which we mean thinking about interventions to bring about change at multiple scales and across sectoral divides rather than one-off interventions. An example of this from the health sector, because there isn’t a climate sector one yet, might be the UK-wide smoking ban. That change affected individuals, organisations such as pubs and cafes, which had to change their policies and behaviours, and had an impact on social structures including the health service, with many fewer heart attacks and strokes. We could even say it influenced the whole of society: how we see smoking, how we see pubs, how we see the impacts of our own choices on people around us.
  • Going beyond a business-as-usual model and looking afresh at our aims and objectives and thinking about how we can achieve these in different ways, not simply doing what we currently do more efficiently.
  • Considering ethical questions, including challenging the status quo of the current system. For example, looking at power imbalances in terms of who makes the decisions, who is dominant. How much of a say do young people and future generations, who will have to deal with the impacts of climate change, have?
  • Taking a social justice approach. This means addressing the underlying socio-ecological root causes of the actions and activities that are causing climate change and the vulnerability to it. As well as a climate crisis and a biodiversity crisis – among others! – we are also in the midst of an inequality crisis, and this is being further exacerbated by climate change. Pakistan is responsible for almost none of the global carbon emissions but the monsoon flooding last year has pushed around 9m people into poverty. At home those most affected by climate change are generally the poorer and more disadvantaged, who have the lowest emissions.
  • Acknowledging that transformation is complex and requires greater investment and longer time frames than one-off measures. These sorts of changes won’t happen quickly, which underlines the urgency of getting started and planning well.

So transformational change isn’t just about doing more or doing more efficiently – it’s about being differently.

And that’s a complex task, but that’s why we believe the SPRINGBOARD assembly is an important thing to do: Scotland – the whole world! – needs people and organisations at all levels and from all fields to work together now to meet the challenge of climate change. Creative Carbon Scotland is proud to be leading this charge and we look forward to you joining us on the journey.

Follow #ClimateNeedsCulture on Twitter throughout SPRINGBOARD.

Apart from the assembly taking place from 27 February to 2 March, the SPRINGBOARD project has another strand:

  • A series of in-person local assemblies for creative climate action around Scotland – informal networks of cultural- and climate-focused organisations of individuals, meeting in-person to share knowledge, learn together and collaborate. Creative Carbon Scotland is supporting local partners to establish these assemblies.

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Opportunity: John Muir Open – In Our Hands

Where do books go?
Can you recycle, up-cycle or repurpose unwanted books?

The future can be in our hands
In the beginning was the word. The invention of the Guttenberg press spread the word and was a catalyst for change and scientific progress.

The books we read hold their own social history between the pages. Books develop our intellect, inform and inspire, they hold special meaning and some are precious to us.

But what now for the book?

Not to be too sentimental but are books to become just an expected casualty of modern technology, to be pulped or become just another filler of our landfill sites? It is a terrifying statistic that thousands of unsold books are destroyed each year. Bookshelves throughout the country are groaning with books that are unread but too cherished to be discarded.

Where do books go?

Can you recycle, up-cycle or repurpose the books we no longer want to tell new green stories? We want this exhibition to be about the books that are in one form or another a continuing part of our lives and sustainability.

How does a book feel in your hands?

Does it have the power to take you to another place?
Is it the words that excite you or are you inspired to create visual images, three dimensional works or performance?
The future is in your hands.


Newly made or existing artworks/words/video can be submitted for exhibition/performance by: 12.00noon Monday 8 May 2023.

Up to £150 is available to exhibited artists to go towards materials and expenses.

The exhibition takes place at The Town House Museum & Gallery Dunbar Main Street throughout June 2023. Installation in late May.

If you have any questions or if you can offer sustainable workshops around the theme, please get in touch with us:

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Green Tease with BBC The Social: How to make engaging environmental content

8th of February 2023 BBC The Social and Creative Carbon Scotland ran a workshop on creating video content about climate change, how to raise awareness, cut through the noise and engage people. 

BBC The Social is a talent development project at BBC Scotland. They work with new content creators from all across Scotland and have helped develop people’s skills to get media industry jobs and also helped them develop content for the BBC Scotland channel, iPlayer and beyond. They work with new creators and publish their content on social and digital channels and people get paid when their content is published. Read more here. 

At this Green Tease event BBC The Social were looking for the next generation of passionate creators who make compelling content about the climate crisis and have real impact. Here’s a collection of their previous content on the environment. First Ryan Pasi, Content Producer, BBC The Social, introduced BBC the Social and the challenge of making engaging content on climate. Some of the biggest challenges he pointed out were that people when confronted with the climate crisis easily can feel disempowered, and overwhelmed and it can feel like something distant. 

Communicating the climate crisis in different ways 

The main speaker of the evening, Christina Sinclair shared her journey from a BBC the Social contributor to an Assistant Producer with the Natural History Unit on Frozen Planet II’s digital campaign. She focused on her own learnings on how to make engaging environmental content. The key message was that today everyone is aware of climate change but the perceptions of it vary: no one piece is going to engage everyone on climate, so the more diverse content the better.  

For Frozen Planet, they have created a range of pieces to reach different audiences. Some of their videos call for a sense of urgency by sharing powerful imagery of climate disasters and emotive stories from people who are impacted. Others invite people to reflect upon our connection to nature by, for example, inviting indigenous people to share their knowledge. Finally, they produce videos that focus on hope and inspiration to tackle climate change, which are just as important as the ones that communicate urgency. Finally, she gave her top tips on communicating the climate crisis.  

Top three tips in communicate the climate crisis 

  1. Knowing your audience 

The most important tip is to tailor your content to your audience. People’s perceptions, experiences, feelings and knowledge of climate vary and so should the content. The first step should therefore always be to find information on the audience such as demographic, geographic, lifestyle, and interests. The better you can identify the interest of your audience, the better the content you can create to engage them.  

  1. Be creative 

Content on climate does not have to be about science or environmental impacts. We need to have conversations about all aspects of our life. Christina Sinclair’s advice is to be creative and think about any aspect of your life and then connect it to climate change. She also encourages people to be creative about formats. Think of comedy, cooking, dancing or other creative elements to start the conversation.  

  1. Focus on what matters to you  

Choose a topic you are passionate about. If it matters to you, it will shine through. So whether it’s food, theatre, sport, oceans, travel… make content on that.  

Pitching ideas 

After Christina Sinclair’s presentation people went into breakout groups to create ideas for a short video on climate. When people came back, they pitched their idea to BBC The Social. One was about finding inspiration in what granny would do because older generations often lived a lot more sustainably and another was about eco-anxiety and creating community. If you are interested in reading more about BBC The Social you can read more here. 

About Green Tease 

The Green Tease events series and network is a project organised by Creative Carbon Scotland, bringing together people from arts and environmental backgrounds to discuss, share expertise, and collaborate. Green Tease forms part of our culture/SHIFT programme. 

Submit an idea to the Green Tease Call for Collaborators 

The Green Tease Call for Collaborators is a funded opportunity for artists, cultural and environmental sustainability organisations to co-organise an event with us and contribute to the development of the Green Tease network. Find out more and submit your ideas for a Green Tease event.

New publication: SEASOH deep dive report 1

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Creative Carbon Scotland and Vattenfall announce SPRINGBOARD sponsorship

Creative Carbon Scotland (CCS), the arts and sustainability charity, and Vattenfall, the energy company working toward fossil-free living within one generation, are delighted to announce a deal that sees Vattenfall become a corporate sponsor of SPRINGBOARD, Creative Carbon Scotland’s newest initiative to harness the power of the arts and culture for the transformation to a net-zero, climate-ready Scotland and world. 

SPRINGBOARD: assembly for creative climate action, taking place online 27 February – 2 March, is a key part of the multi-faceted SPRINGBOARD project, and Vattenfall is providing financial support that helps ensure that cultural and climate actors from across Scotland will be able to attend amidst the cost-of-living crisis.

CCS Director Ben Twist said: ‘This partnership between CCS and Vattenfall makes great sense. Vattenfall values the roles of the arts and culture and community engagement in achieving its objectives as a renewable energy leader. CCS, for more than a decade, has been helping the cultural sector become sustainable itself, lend its unique creativity to collaborations on climate change, and use its voice and influence for the transformation to a fairer, greener society.’

Frank Elsworth, Head of Onshore Wind Development UK at Vattenfall, said: ‘Our goal is to make fossil free living possible within a generation. Across our wind farm sites, we have a history of involving our communities through art and culture in our projects – from artist residencies at our wind farms to community art and cultural initiatives. We’re delighted to support people across Scotland to get involved in this exciting event.’

SPRINGBOARD takes the nascent, growing collaboration between people and organisations working on culture and those working on climate change to the next level. It is bringing together cultural, environmental and community organisations and individual practitioners, local authorities, businesses, charities, government and public organisations to collaborate on the transformational change needed to address the climate emergency. 

Learn more and keep up to date on SPRINGBOARD here.

About Creative Carbon Scotland: Creative Carbon Scotland believes in the essential role of the arts, screen, cultural and creative industries in contributing to the transformational change to a more environmentally sustainable Scotland. We work directly with individuals, organisations and strategic bodies engaged across cultural and sustainability sectors to harness the role of culture in achieving this change. Through year-round work and one-off projects, we combine strategic expertise and consultancy; bespoke carbon management training and guidance; and a range of programmes supporting the development of artistic practices in Scotland which address sustainability and climate change. Stay in touch with us via TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

About Vattenfall: Vattenfall is one of Europe’s largest producers and retailers of electricity and heat with approximately 20,000 employees. For more than 100 years we have electrified industries, supplied energy to people’s homes and modernised our way of living through innovation and cooperation. We now want to make fossil free living possible within one generation. Visit  [opens in a new tab].

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Environmental reporting round-up 2021/22

This year, Creative Carbon Scotland has again supported cultural organisations to measure and manage their environmental impact through our environmental reporting programme.

As part of the journey to net zero by 2045 (at the very latest!), and in collaboration with our arts funding partners, this programme aims to increase environmental stewardship in the sector and drive ambition for transformational change within arts and culture, and beyond.

We received reports this year from 133 organisations across three groups:

  1. Edinburgh Festivals, who are members of Environmental Sustainability Working Group (ESWG)
  2. Organisations receiving revenue funding from the City of Edinburgh Council – Culture Service
  3. Creative Scotland regularly funded organisations (RFOs)
Reporting more data than ever before

Though the sector still has a long way to go before it reaches net zero, this year saw more organisations reporting more data than ever before, laying the groundwork for continuing ambition in emissions reductions in the years to come. Furthermore, we saw organisations taking the lead in the use of influence and storytelling to catalyse change beyond the sector itself. As we head into the fourth year of this most important decade for climate action, we believe that more of this ambition and more of this leadership is required to deliver the transformational change needed.

What do we mean by net zero?

When we refer to ‘net zero’, we follow the lead of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)’s Net-Zero Standard. This focuses on the need to first reduce absolute emissions to limit global temperature increase to 1.5⁰C rather than balance all emissions through offsetting.

It can be a confusing term, but it is the official term used by Scottish government, as well as the IPCC and UNFCCC, which inform and bring together international climate negotiations.

Emissions reporting

To manage their emissions, organisations need to measure and monitor them. That is why we ask all organisations to report on their energy and utilities consumption, waste disposal, and travel emissions.

As we aim for net zero by 2045, we need to see these emissions reducing. The graph shows the total emissions reported by reporting organisations each year since 2019 in tonnes of CO2e. There is a downward trend from over 10,000 tonnes in 2019 to 7819 tonnes this year. Considering that more organisations are now reporting than in 2019 and they are reporting on more emission sources, this is especially impressive. It shows that more RFOs are engaging fully in the process of emissions reporting, building the measurement and reporting of these emissions into their business processes.

Graph showing the total emissions reported by reporting organisations each year since 2019 in tonnes of CO2e.

Here are some further insights from reported emissions:

  • 77% of emissions come from energy and utilities making it by far the largest emissions source for the sector.
  • The second largest source of emissions is travel at 13%. Travel emissions have bounced back from last year but are not at pre-pandemic levels. However, many RFOs indicated that they expect to see travel emissions increase as they ‘return to normal’.
  • Electricity emissions have reduced by 35% since 2019, but absolute consumption has only decreased by 8%. While actions taken by reporting organisations account for that reduction in consumption, the reduction in emissions is mostly due to the overall lower carbon intensity of electricity since there’s now more renewable energy in the national grid.
Carbon management plans

Once organisations are measuring their emissions, they can then use that data to inform their carbon reduction in the form of a carbon management plan. This year, we asked organisations to provide an action plan for the next three years with associated emissions reductions each year. We hoped this approach would encourage organisations to look forward with their carbon management plans and create bold but achievable targets that could be tracked and measured year-on-year.

All but one of the organisations were able to provide detail on actions they planned to take. Here is a word cloud to offer an idea of the themes covered in the actions this year:

Word cloud based on the proposed actions from cultural organisations.

Additionally, we highlight some of the most interesting and impactful planned actions here:

Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) – They have appointed a Creative Change Maker for Climate Action, a role focused on working with artists, arts and cultural organisations, local communities, and regional and national partners to support sustainability and build resilience. They will be exploring how APA can use the arts to continue to be a more environmentally conscious organisation.

The Stove Network – Alongside their capital work to develop the capabilities and efficiencies of their venue at 100 High Street, Stovies are developing their community-led programming strand Open Hoose, which encourages project development with a strong focus on environmental and de-carbonising activities. These have so far included Climate Kitchen, a monthly space exploring opportunities for individuals to improve their own carbon footprint, Doughlicious, a community bread making club, and Nith Life, a group seeking to influence sustainable management & flood prevention.

Festivals Edinburgh – After identifying that travel has historically been their greatest source of emissions, the six-strong team who support Edinburgh’s international festivals are setting a three-year carbon budget of 30 tonnes (shared across the three years) for their travel carbon footprint for the period 2022/23 through 2024/25 to allow for different activity patterns each year.

Need to do more

Individually, many organisations are making some great steps towards reducing the impact of their operations, with some like those above even looking to use the power they have as arts organisations to influence the wider ecosystem of business, communities, and policymakers. However, if we look at the sector as a whole, examining all 134 organisations and the pledges they have made, it is clear that we still need to do more:

  • 74% of organisations were able to calculate emissions reductions associated with their planned actions.
  • Of those that reported reductions, 23% are on target to be net zero by 2045 and 11% are on target to be net zero by 2030.

We need to work together to increase this ambition and drive for transformational change in the sector. Since the reporting period, Creative Carbon Scotland, in collaboration with many organisations across Scotland, have been working to increase this ambition through our SPRINGBOARD local assemblies, and we will be bringing arts and culture organisations together with policy makers, climate specialists and others in our online assembly at the end of February.

We continue to provide support to organisations hoping to reduce their footprint and guidance on collaborative and transformative approaches to reach net zero whether the organisation currently reports its emissions or not. Check out our tools and resources for the more practical help and get in touch with Matthew – – if you have any questions or ideas you would like to discuss.

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