Case Study: Green Arts Initiative

21 September 2015

Challenge: How can we increase the visibility of our environmental efforts, and build a collaborative community across the arts sector?

Solution: Develop the Green Arts Initiative: a community of practice centred on providing those affecting their environmental impact with mutual support, useful tools and tailored advice.

Project Outline:

We instigated the creation of the Green Arts Initiative (previously known as the Green Venue Initiative), to attempt to communicate and collaborate on sustainability issues with the range of venues that we work with every year. However, it has since grown to include not only venues, but arts companies, offices, studios, individuals, and the festivals themselves, throughout the country.

Green Venue website

The GAI began as a branding accreditation scheme, through which participating members committed to reducing their environmental impact, and reporting on their efforts, with the ability to use particular branding to identify themselves as doing such to other organisations and audience members. It made it easier for participating organisations to know who else across the cultural sector was committed to their sustainability work.

However, over time, the initiative has developed beyond this initial branding:

  • A network of green organisations – Joining the GAI places organisations within a growing group of Scotland-wide organisations working on sustainability issues. Members are kept up-to-date with the progress of others, and have the opportunity to learn from those in similar artistic fields or physical surrounds.
  • Raising awareness of our green projects and places - Members of the GAI are listed on the Creative Carbon Scotland website, and can be viewed through an interactive map, with online and physical branding stickers heightening the visibility of green arts efforts across organisational strategy, programming and arts spaces.
  • Encouraging sustainability across the sector - Membership of the Green Arts Initiative also provides a platform for those involved to grow further greening of the arts sector. Members are encouraged to inspire their working partners (like suppliers, venues and artists) to align to their environmental goals: driving behavioural change and sustainability commitment throughout supply chains.

(Map viewable -


Growing from a 2013 membership base of 20, over 100 organisations across Scotland are now members of the Green Arts Initiative – including all of Edinburgh's Festivals – working individually and collaboratively to drive action in the cultural sector.

Green Arts 2015

During 2015, the initiative is developing further to expand its benefits to members, and to promote greater cross-organisational interaction; creating a Scotland-wide community of practice. This will facilitate the continuing green efforts of our festivals, their neighbouring arts organisations, and those they work with to make their events happen.

Click here to find out more about the Green Art Initiative.

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