Arts & Culture declare a Climate & Ecological Emergency
The Courtyard has joined forces with other organisations in the UK, including Herefordshire Council, for Culture Declares Climate Emergency. The Courtyard is committed to reducing the effect of its activities on the environment. Safeguarding our environment for the future is everyone’s responsibility and we want to encourage environmental awareness amongst all those with whom we engage.
The Courtyard’s Declaration
The Courtyard joins forces with other arts and cultural organisations in the UK and Herefordshire Council to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Why have we made this declaration?
In October 2018 the world’s leading climate scientists warned that we have only 12 years to make the necessary changes to how we live if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate breakdown. Beyond this, the risks of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty for hundreds of millions of people significantly worsen. This is an emergency that requires an urgent response from everyone at all levels of our society – to make universal changes to policy and infrastructure but also to change the individual actions, behaviours and choices we all make. Business as usual is no longer an appropriate response.
Where does culture come in?
- Culture convenes – Culture gives space to articulate our place and survival in the web of life.
- Culture renews and transforms – The arts have a tradition of sparking cultural change and ‘speaking differently’: disrupting the status quo and creating emergent space for new ideas to engage people at an imaginative level.
- Culture builds capacities for action – Participation is key to many of today’s cultural and arts practices; building creative skills, lost crafts, and learning through doing and engaging.
- Culture lets us learn – Being bold, active players in this great reimagining is why and how culture matters.
On 8 March 2019, Herefordshire Council declared a climate emergency. There is a growing recognition of the contribution of arts organisations to raise awareness of climate change and to model practical responses.
Over the past few years we have measured and taken significant action to reduce our own environmental impact. We seek to positively influence both the cultural sector response to this issue and champion awareness in Herefordshire and our local community. Our extensive work with the young people of Herefordshire makes this issue particularly pertinent.
We will work with and support our communities, local council and stakeholders in urgently tackling this Climate Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
The Courtyard commits to the following actions:
1. Discover Truths
We will encourage everyone to discover the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency that we face and its impact. We will play our part in raising awareness of the issues, the urgent systematic change required and of positive action that can be taken.
2. Take Actions
We will take concerted action to reduce our carbon emissions and consumption levels to sustainable levels and encourage others to do the same. We will actively work to imagine and model environmentally sustainable practice and share our learning through the Hereford Cultural Partnership. We will ensure that our centre is an open space for our local community to share creative conversations – with artists, audiences and communities – around positive action. We will produce and follow an Environmental Action Plan and generate a roadmap to carbon neutral.
3. Commit to Justice
We will work to enable dialogue and expression amongst all our communities and stakeholders about how the Climate Emergency will affect them, the changes that are needed and the social justice issues involved.
What we’re doing…
We’ve seen a 44% reduction in carbon emissions since we started measurements in 2010.
- We have a highly active staff Eco Group who implement and monitor our action plan.
- We operate a zero waste to landfill policy.
- We had solar panels installed on our roof in 2015 which generate 10% of our total electrical energy consumption.
- Our catering team work to increase the amount of produce we source locally.
- We have introduced reusable plastic glasses for audiences to take into our theatres reducing single use plastic to zero by 2021.
- We roll out Green Riders to visiting companies to ensure they are as green as possible whilst here.
- We have now converted the majority of our building lighting to LED.
- We’ve installed Smart Water Management Systems across the building.
- Beryl bikes have so far saved over 1000 miles of travel to The Courtyard and counting.
How can you help?
The one thing we really need from our audience is an awareness to reduce our Carbon Footprint stats for audience travel.
Our Audience Travel Carbon Footprint has increased to 619 tonnes CO2e due to the success of our Artistic, Education & Outreach programmes, a whopping 75% of our total measurable Carbon Footprint.
– Did you know we provide ample bicycle parking and act as a hub for Beryl Bikes? Arrive by bike!
– Meeting a friend? Share Lifts!
– As part of our roadmap to carbon neutral we will install facilities for electric cars by 2022