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Creating a Green Year of Culture

Climate change is a clear and present existential danger for all of us. Dealing with it, both artistically and operationally, must be a given for Leeds 2023 as we seek to find ways of achieving mass impact in a responsible way. While also supporting Leeds City Council in their ambition to achieve carbon neutrality in the city by 2030.

Being conscious about our impact on the environment will thread through all that we do, from how we travel to work to the kind of projects we commission. We will also use the opportunity of our landmark year of culture to raise awareness and highlight solutions to the climate crisis. And through culture and creativity, we hope to inspire and empower the people and businesses of Leeds to assume their role in ensuring Leeds is a healthy, thriving city.

One way we are sharing learning and best practice is through our membership with Sustainable Arts in Leeds (SAIL)!

SAIL is a collective of organisations and individuals from the cultural and creative sectors of Leeds, that have come together to build a zero-carbon and zero-waste future for the sector. SAIL currently consists of members from many areas of the creative industries, some of the current members include ITV, Opera North, Channel 4, Yorkshire Dance, East St Arts and Leeds Arts University.

SAIL provides resources and support to educate and inspire those working in the creative sector to improve practices and operations. Exclusive benefits are available to members such as free carbon literacy training, workshops and networking events, access to a renewable energy deal as well as online resources and toolkits on a range of sustainability topics. Members submit their carbon footprint, which helps SAIL to track the impact of the sector as a whole and see any improvements. The Leeds 2023 team and board of trustees all completed a virtual Carbon Literacy training earlier this year with SAIL founder Jamie Saye, the first Carbon Literacy trainer in Leeds! The training was very inspiring and enjoyable, with everyone taking away practical changes they can make in their own lives as well as at Leeds 2023.

This year we also worked with Danielle Pipe, a placement student from the MSc Sustainability and Consultancy course at the University of Leeds. Danielle developed our sustainability policy and helped us to begin to scope our work around ensuring we build a sustainable year.

With the support of SAIL, we are very excited to be a part of creating a more sustainable future for the creative and cultural industries in Leeds!

To find out more about SAIL and becoming a member visit https://wearesail.org/ (membership is free!)

Photo by Gustavo Quepón on Unsplash