Julie’s Bicycle announced the winners of their first Creative Green Awards in a ceremony at Somerset House, attended and chaired by Diana Speigelberg (Deputy Director, Somerset House) and Alison Tuckell (CEO, Julie’s Bicycle).
The Creative Green Awards are the only pan arts award that recognise the contribution of the creative industries to climate change, celebrated by over 50 arts organisations undertaking Creative Green certification in 2016/17.
Alison Tickell, CEO of Julie’s Bicycle, commented,
“This is really about a thank you overall to many of the people who have supported us. The Creative Green awards are celebrating some of the most outstanding cultural organisations in the country. These pioneering arts organisations have been doing brilliant work combining practical actions with inspirational ideas. Many of you are pioneering a new way of bringing culture and nurturing values to express respect and care for our shared world, for which we are extremely grateful.”
The award were presented by Caroline Lucas, Co-Leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton. Lucas commented,
“We’ve got a lot to learn about how to design more compelling messages that, while based on a lot of grim realities, are also hopeful as well – that’s where the arts come in. In the face of the grim reality, it is very easy to feel disheartened, as we see support for renewable energy cut back and the environment slip down the political agenda.
I think it is easy to forget to make the space to dream, to hope, to imagine what a different world could look like. That’s the most powerful contribution of the arts, to allow us to expand our understanding of the possible. In the words of Raymond Williams,
“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.”
The arts are not needed despite climate change, you’re needed because of climate change. We need spaces where people can come together and connect with each other; where we share a vision of a better future;where the relationship between the economy and the environment is more balanced; spaces where the market isn’t all powerful; where we’re not just defined by what we consume; where we’re not just citizens and where we have respite from the endless advertising. In the words of Professor Tim Jackson,
“People are being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to make impressions that don’t last, on people we don’t care about.”
I’m honoured to be presenting these awards. Julie’s Bicycle is an incredibly inspiring organisation who make a real difference when it comes to environmental action. The creative community can have such a huge impact on our approach to sustainability and I look forward to meeting a wonderful group of environmental heroes this week.”
Nine awards were shortlisted and judged by experts in their fields, including Phil Cumming (Julie’s Bicycle Board Member), Judith Knight (Director, Artsadmin), Steve Tompkins (Founding Director, Haworth Tompkins) and Dr. Russell Layberry (Researcher, University of Oxford). The winners for each category are:
Highest Achievement for Commitment – Lyric Hammersmith
Highest Achievement for Understanding – Sheffield Theatres Trust
Highest Achievement for Improvement – Soho Theatre
Best Creative Group – Festival Republic
Best Festival – Shambala
Best Museum and Gallery – Camden Arts Centre
Best Performing Arts Venue – Young Vic Theatre
Best Office – Donmar Warehouse
Outstanding Achievement – Shambala
Staff Champions – Karen Simmonds (Universal Music UK); Helen Tully (Norwich Theatre Royal); Andrew Fletcher (Lyric Hammersmith); Daniel de la Motte-Harrison (Young Vic Theatre)
The ceremony was attended by representatives from each winning organisation, all of whom were delighted to be selected and recognised for their environmental efforts:
“The Lyric has been an avid user of Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Green certification scheme since 2010 and we have just completed our sixth annual certification. We were the first arts venue to earn the highest rate of 3 stars under the original scheme, a rating we maintained for four years and this year are delighted to have achieved 4 stars under the revised scheme, despite it being the first year in our newly extended building. For the Lyric the certification process provides us with a clear and consistent framework to assess our performance and progress over time. The advice we receive from Julie’s Bicycle through the assessment process helps us to identify priority actions and focus our efforts for the following year. For us it’s an essential part of our sustainability journey.” Sian Alexander, Executive Director, Lyric Hammersmith
“At the Young Vic we are all committed to finding sustainable and environmentally ethical ways of producing as well as carrying on the daily working life of the theatre. The arts – and theatres in particular – can play a huge role in heightening awareness of how it is possible for us collectively to limit the impact of carbon emissions on our lives. These awards help to share awareness of best practise.” David Lan, Artistic Director, Young Vic Theatre
“Shambala has always partied like there’s no tomorrow whilst keeping a positive future firmly in focus. Managing our environmental impacts is a crucial element of this. We need reliable data to assess changes, and make good decisions. The Creative Green provide the backbone of this process.” Chris Johnson, Co-Founder and Operations Director, Shambala
Running since 2009, Creative Green is a certification enabling venues, museums & galleries, festivals and offices to assess their environmental commitment, understanding and improvement. With over 250 Creative Green certificates awarded this is the only scheme designed specifically for the cultural sector.
Julie’s Bicycle’s vision is a creative community powering action on climate change. Founded in 2007, they work with more than 2,000 arts and cultural organisations across the UK and internationally to embed environmental sustainability into their operations, creative work and business practice. They also provide tools and resources that enable practical actions for ambitious transformation.
For more information about Julie’s Bicycle or Creative Green, please visit the website.
Images courtesy of Alick Cotterill.