Resource

Environmental sustainability resources: master list

Environmental

A collection of resources and further reading on sustainability

Without Walls has been working with festivals and artists to help them to assess what is realistic, affordable, and achievable within the context and scale of their work. We have gathered a collection of resources and further reading which we have found useful, and hope can support others on their own journey.  

Making Sustainable Productions Without Walls Artist workshop with the Theatre Green Book
In January 2022 Without Walls hosted an interactive artist workshop facilitated by Theatre Green Book founder and coordinator Paddy Dillon which covered the principles and process outlined in the ‘Sustainable Productions’ volume. The session also had contributions from William Reynolds of Metta Theatre. 

Insights from A Greener Festival Training
Over two 3-hour sessions this online training delivered by A Greener Festival with Without Walls, worked with participants to develop their understanding of how to make their outdoor events more environmentally sustainable, exploring a range of key topics. 

Insights from Green Production Lab at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space
Information, insights & video footage documenting the 3-day residency November 2021 event focused around Production Management support and the environmental impacts of festivals, events & touring productions. 

Insights from April’s Green Production Lab
Insights from April 2021’s online version of the GPL event. 

Creative Lab: Creating Environmentally Sustainable Outdoor Work
Information, insights & video footage documenting the 3-day residency September 2020 event focused around the reduction of carbon impacts and encouraging behavioural change through their organisations. 

Accessible Marketing and Environmental Literacy Training
Working with individuals who supporting those who create and present work outdoors, the March 2020 session asked us to consider how we can work together to reduce the carbon impacts of outdoor work and ensure that it is inclusive to all audiences. 

Mapping sustainability challenges in Outdoor Arts
A useful 2019 resource for artists/companies, including case studies of previously supported Without Walls artists. Handy insights on communications, production, procurement & touring. 

Sustainable web design: how to reduce your website’s carbon footprint
Guidelines on creating sustainable web-design.

Website Carbon Calculator
An online calculator which indicates the carbon cost of your website. 

ARTICLE: Six ways to change hearts and minds about climate change  

Communicating Sustainability Guide
A Julies Bicycle guide designed to support communications professionals and ‘green’ champions to communicate environmental activities and achievements effectively to a diverse range of stakeholders. 

Green Theatre Book website
An online resource with in depth guidance and resources in three separate areas. Created as ‘volumes’, below. 

TGB Book One – Sustainable Productions

TGB Book Two – Sustainable Buildings 

TGB Book Three – Sustainable Operations 

Environmental Sustainability in the Digital Age of Culture
This briefing paper draws on new data, insights and case studies of good practice to support the arts and cultural sector to navigate environmental impacts and opportunities in the emerging digital landscape. 

The Networked Condition
This tool is designed to help anyone who is interested in their carbon footprint and is planning or evaluating a livestreamed event, digital artwork or digital event. 
Utility Bidder
A calculator to estimate how much energy you could be using, based on how much time you spend on video calls each week, on average. 

ARTICLE: Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think

Manchester City Council 

Have developed a series of sustainable events guides for event organisers, suppliers, service providers and venues. Download guides covering the following: 

  • major outdoor events 
  • small outdoor events 
  • indoor events 
  • community events 
  • food and drink traders 
  • production suppliers 
  • waste and cleansing services 
  • reusable cups at events 

ROCK: Guide to Sustainable Events Guide
A guide for cities to address the environmental impact of cultural events. 

Bristol Green Events Guide
Developed to support organisers in managing their festivals and events with reduced environmental impact, helping the city to become more sustainable. 

JB Waste at Outdoor Events Guidance
A guide covering the actions you can take pre-event, during the event and post-event to manage your waste, offering advice on waste types, waste management plans and liaising with your waste supplier. It is aimed at anyone involved in the decision-making at events. 

JB Biodiversity Guide
A guide to the ways in which the creative sector can respond to the biodiversity crisis, with a focus on green infrastructure, single-use plastics, and the move away from unsustainable sources such as palm oil.

A Greener Festivals Artists Green rider

Aimed primarily at live-music events, this tool was created to assist artists and encourage stronger collaboration between promoters and venues.  

Show must go on report
An Environmental Impact Report from Vision: 2025 on energy, water & resources, food, water, travel and governance. 

Environmental Sustainability Toolkit: Making Outdoor Arts Sustainable
Published by ISAN (now Outdoor Arts UK) in 2012, this resource offers a broad guideline on creating sustainable outdoor arts.  

 

A Sustainable Production Guide

A Julie’s Bicycle resource covering the key delivery stages of your production, mapping out sustainable actions you can make from conception to take down, covering design, construction, furniture, props, lighting and sound. It is for anyone involved in the producing or designing events and exhibitions. 

Staging Change
Staging Change is an artist-led network, which supports theatre makers responding to the climate crisis. The network consists of over 250 theatre makers, venues and organisations who are working together to make the theatre and performance industry more environmentally sustainable. 

Ecostage
A website for practical guidelines, ecological values and the exchange of knowledge helping place ecological thinking at the heart of creative practice for a fair, flourishing greener future in the performing arts. 

Staging Places
An online database resource of designers, some of which have vast experience in creating eco-friendly set/costume designs. 

20 Minute Neighbourhood 

A theory in urban planning to ensure that residents have leisure facilities, schools, grocery stores, doctors and (for some) the work-place within a 20-minute walk or cycle. There being a provocation recently regarding the need for this to extend to arts provision in local communities. 

Theatre Green Book Materials Inventory template
A producers template for capturing basic information of materials used. 

Wild Rumpus Sustainable Makers Wiki
A collaborative, open-source wiki for makers to share know-how, tests, successes, and failures when creating work with sustainable materials.  

Library of Things
A social enterprise that helps people save money and reduce waste by affordably renting out useful items like drills, sound systems and sewing machines from local spaces – and by helping neighbours share practical skills. (Currently London only but expanding) 

Set Exchange
The freecycle style website for Theatre, TV, Film and Event production. 

CAN (Circular Arts Network) 

An online platform for redistributing spare, used or surplus materials, exchanging skills/labour and coordinating transport. 

 The Future Materials Bank
A crowd-sourced archive of materials for artists, that proposes non-toxic, biodegradable or otherwise sustainable alternative materials.  

ReusefulUK
Clean reusable scrap materials (which businesses find hard to recycle so would otherwise be landfilled) are made available for children to play with through a network of independent ‘scrapstores’ across the UK. 

Community Wood Recycling
A nationwide network of 30 social enterprises collecting wood waste from companies to stock in reclaimed timber stores. Wood, wooden products or bespoke commissions are all available.  

WRAP (waste resource in UK)
WRAP promotes and encourages sustainable resource use through product design, waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and reprocessing of waste materials. 

Julie’s Bicycle – Understanding and Eliminating Problem Plastics
This briefing explores the environmental issues associated with plastics and what the creative sector can do to tackle plastic pollution. 

Plastic Free Festival Guide – RAW Foundation
A free resource published by RAW Foundation, committed to educating people to move towards sustainable consumption.  

Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green Tools
A free set of carbon and environmental calculators to record, measure and understand the impacts of venues, offices, tours, productions, events or festivals.  

Julie’s Bicycle Guide to reporting on Touring using CG Tools 

Ecolibrium 

Free membership for artists and events who want to monitor the carbon impacts of their travel and touring and then access a range of carbon offsetting options if they wish. This also now includes an app which logs travel and carbon balance.  

Global Sea Logistics Carbon Calculator
For international shipping, the Global Sea Logistics Carbon Calculator provides a calculation of the CO2 emission for the door-to-door transport of full containers and part loads. 

There are many issues with offsetting. There’s lots about this online, but we particularly recommend reading: 

Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective For Community Resistance
The Indigenous Environmental Network’s publication. 

The World Needs Better Climate Pledges
GlobalEcoGuy’s article. 

If you are looking to offset your emissions, we personally recommend looking at the great work of: 

Climate Stewards 

Ecologi. 

Briefing Report: Putting a Price on Carbon
A briefing report explaining how to put a price on the carbon we emit, discussing offsetting as an option. It explores net zero emissions commitments and creating action plans and strategies as essential steps. 

The GMAST Guide to Taking Action
The GMAST Guide to Taking Action is an eLearning tool developed to support organisations developing their response to the climate and ecological crisis. 

JB Environmental Policy Guidelines
Julie’s Bicycle has developed guidelines to help Arts Council England NPOs develop their own environmental policy and provided examples to see what a policy should look like in practice. 

Creative Scotland’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Plan
Information regarding Creative Scotland’s new approach (Apr 2022) to reach net zero by 2030. 

Powerful Thinking Resources
Includes Smart Energy Guide, Festival Fuel Tool and other resources supporting smarter practice and innovation in energy management for the outdoor events and music industry.

Ethical Consumer
Well-known website, signposting people on how to be more of an ‘everyday ethical consumer’. 

Templates for Pre-Qualification Questionnaire
These are standard templates for procurement checking to which the organisation needs to add its own requirements. Questions might include: “Are the products/materials you use from sustainable sources?”, “Do you use ethical and environmentally certified products?”, “Are your supplies from local sources?”, “Do you have a low transport emissions policy?”. 

Sustainable Procurement Guide
A guide covering the basic principles of procurement decision processes, sustainability procurement policies and liaising with suppliers, as well as specific buying advice for common products and services. It is aimed at anyone who makes buying decisions at your organisation. 

Seacourt – printing net zero
A sustainable printing resource. 

The Carbon Literacy Project
The Carbon Literacy Project offers everyone a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy learning, covering – climate change, carbon footprints, how you can do your bit, and why it’s relevant to you and your audience. Through the certification of people and organisations by their participation in a brilliant days-worth of learning about climate change, which the participants themselves help devise. 

A Greener Festival Awards programme
Since 2007, the AGF Award Scheme has assessed and certified hundreds festivals, events and venues worldwide; providing independent audit and verification, and helping to improving resource efficiency, environmental impact and to ultimately become more sustainable. 

ISO Sustainable events
ISO 20121 offers guidance and best practice to help you manage your event and control its social, economic and environmental impact. 

Climate Leadership Training
Carbon Literacy Training for Business Leaders and Future Leaders. 

Julie’s Bicycle Travel Tracker 

A simple Excel template to get you started with logging travel for your team.  

Ecolibrium Travel Guide for festivals/outdoor events
A 2020 report for travel & transport for outdoor events. 

Julie’s Bicycle Practical Guide: Touring
Understanding and reducing the environmental impacts associated with your touring productions and performances. 

Julie’s Bicycle Practical Guide: Business Travel
Covering how to reduce the amount and impacts of staff commuting, business travel and delivery services. 

Julie’s Bicycle Practical Guide: Audience Travel
Understand your audience and how to encourage them to make greener travel choices. 

Metta Theatre
A London and Somerset-based theatre company founded in 2005, telling political stories with imagination & making compelling theatre using story-telling tools at their disposal.

Pigfoot Theatre
A multi-award-winning theatre company, dedicated to making collaborative, carbon-neutral theatre.  

Ergon Theatre
Manchester based theatre company making performance-based work about futures & the climate crisis. 

Manchester Day
Manchester Day is an annual event that celebrates everything great about the city, with a big green agenda. 

Wild Rumpus
A Q&A with Sarah Bird, Co-Director Wild Rumpus Festival on the sustainability of their festival.

Norfolk and Norwich Festival
A guest blog on the Vision:2025 website with a focus on establishing sustainability at the heart of NNF.

Theatre Orchard/Culture Weston
A guest blog on the Vision:2025 website with a focus on running sustainable events during COVID. 

Green Europe Experience
GEX aspiration is to rethink the production model of music & arts festivals to heal climate change. 

LAND (Land stewards AND artists) 

A multinational collaboration of art festival producers, land stewards and environmental organisations and artists from across Europe. These partners who primarily work in outdoor, landscape-based and location specific settings came together to share knowledge and practical insights.  

Vision 2025 

A growing network of over 500 outdoor events and businesses (of which Without Walls is a part of) taking climate action. We’re here to connect you to resources tools and each other, on the journey toward net zero. 

Massive Attack and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
A recently published Roadmap to Super Low Carbon Live Music touring.  

Tour Production Group
Published resources on sustainability on their website including links to a series of webinars presented in partnership with LIVE Green (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment). 

SiPA
The Sustainability in Production Alliance, a community of live production professionals who share the belief that our industry must embrace sustainability to ensure its future. 

The Climate Reframe project
Highlights some of the best Black, Brown, Asian, People of Colour and UK based Indigenous Peoples who are climate experts, campaigners and advocates living and working in the UK. 

The Colour Green podcasts
Baroness Lola Young is in conversation with artists and activists of colour who are at the forefront of social innovation – connecting climate justice, race, power and inequality.  

Drastic on Plastic Campaign – AIF
A campaign by Association of Independent Festivals to raise awareness of plastic waste in the festival sector. 

Deciphering green gibberish
A Julies Bicycle resource regularly updated in order to demystify the jargon often surrounding ‘the green agenda’. 

Why the arts are essential in addressing climate change?
By Ben Twist | TEDxHeriotWattUniversity. A 16-minute YouTube video. 

“How Bad are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything”, Mike Berners Lee 

This was a ground-breaking book when first published in 2009, when most of us were hearing the phrase ‘carbon footprint’ for the first time. A new edition updates all the figures (from data centres to hosting a World Cup) and introduces many areas that have become a regular part of modern life – Twitter, the Cloud, Bitcoin, electric bikes and cars, even space tourism.  

For the Wild Podcast
For The Wild Podcast is an anthology of the Anthropocene; focused on land-based protection, co-liberation and intersectional storytelling rooted in a paradigm shift away from human supremacy, endless growth and consumerism. 

Costing the Earth Radio Series
A variety of episodes from BBC Radio 4 on the Climate Crisis, with each episode on a different topic. 

Story of Stuff 

The Story of Stuff video is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. 

Mandy Barker
Is an international award-winning photographer whose work focuses on the crisis of marine pollution and the story behind plastic objects she finds washed up on beaches around the world. Her work is made through a meticulous process of collecting and categorising litter she has found, photographing them individually in extreme detail and using software to create intricately designed collages. Some themes explored are footballs, toothbrushes and single use plastic coffee cup lids. A project documenting the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan traced the incredible journey of waste that had originated from all over the world including the UK, Hawaii and America. 

‘Who gives a f*k about Polar Bears?’
Following his desire to give agency to voices not normally heard in climate conversations, film and theatre maker Gavin Porter developed a project interviewing and filming individuals that identify as working class about their views and understandings of climate change. He explicitly discusses the notion of ‘diversity’ in these interviews, beginning the interviews with the question of what ‘working class’ even means. Those that he was able to interview were still reluctant to speak about climate change, as they did not feel they had the knowledge or authority to speak on environmental issues. He describes how he ‘learnt to reply that this is the exact reason that I wanted to talk to them, that we are all experts in our own realities and we are all affected by climate and environmental issues’. 

Image credit: FLOOD by Theatre Témoin at Hat Fair 2022 © Cave & Sky