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NGCV environmental leadership

1st October 2014

NGCV’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental sustainability has been cited as an example of best practice by the industry body that recognises environmental leadership in the music, theatre and wider creative industries.

Earlier this year, Julie’s Bicycle, which promotes cultural sector sustainability, heralded NGCV’s “progressive and engaging environmental approaches” after twenty one cultural organisations across the North East, including all nineteen venues operated by the ten NGCV partners, were awarded the Industry Green Certification in recognition of their commitment to environmental achievement.

Industry Green (IG) is the leading certification scheme for environmental sustainability in the cultural sector.

NGCV has been working in partnership to address sustainability across the network since 2011 when its Green Campaign was launched. The campaign raises awareness of green issues and encourages staff, the public and visiting artists and cultural professionals to think and be as green as possible.

The Green Campaign has developed a range of activities to raise awareness and improve activities across all the organisations, building on the expertise already in place and drawing on external knowledge and good practice. 

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of Theatre Royal Newcastle and Champion of NGCV’s Green Campaign said: “Since launching the Green Campaign NGCV has worked with staff, audiences and industry partners to introduce a number of initiatives that reduce our impact on the environment.

“Working in partnership with Julie’s Bicyle, Newcastle and Gateshead local authorities and Sustrans, we’ve run a number of successful walk, cycle and public transport schemes encouraging both staff and audiences to look at greener ways of getting to our venues.

“Collectively we have been greening our buildings. Here at Theatre Royal Newcastle we have installed solar panels and timed, LED lights in our dressing rooms. Northern Stage has begun an innovative sponsorship deal with an LED provider for studio and event lighting and Sage Gateshead has changed its lighting to low-energy LED bulbs, installed highly efficient new air-conditioning filters, and decreased the amount of gas used for heating.”

All NGCV partners are committed to recycling and have worked together and with local companies to dramatically reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Waste is often recycled locally into useable products from paper towels to uses in road-building.  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art has made a conscious effort to recycle everything from exhibition materials, to office waste and glass from its cafes and restaurants.  Baltic has even used recycled glass to create tables.   

Audiences across NGCV’s 19 venues have also been taking part in the Green Campaign. The Green Explorer initiative, delivered in partnership with sustainable transport charity Sustrans, encouraged children under 16 and their families to cycle, walk, scoot or take public transport to 26 cultural venues in Tyne & Wear. Families collected stickers and badges as they travelled sustainably to and between venues.

An annual audience travel survey undertaken by NGCV has also helped understand how audiences travel to venues and what issues might prevent them from exploring more sustainable modes of transport. As a network, NGCV has supported national and international environmental awareness campaigns including National Bike Week, Green Office Week, National Cycle to Work Day and National Recycling Week.

Collectively NGCV has introduced renewable energy technologies, improved energy management and engaged both staff and the public in promoting environmental sustainability.

Alison Tickell, Chief Executive of Julie's Bicycle said: “NewcastleGateshead Cultural Venues (NGCV) form a large part of a well established and thriving network of cultural organisations in the North East. By working together the network has been responsible for positioning the North East as an exemplar for cultural investment as a driver for regional regeneration.

“Less known, but as significant, is their pioneering work embedding environmental sustainability across the network. Through their highly successful ‘Green Campaign’ NGCV’s progressive and engaging environmental approaches have reduced impacts and captured the imaginations of staff, audiences and artists. Our work at Julie's Bicycle gives us a bird’s eye of national and international practice and we regularly champion the work of NGCV as leaders in the field and an inspiration to us.”

For more information about NGCV’s Green Campaign, click here

For more information about Julie’s Bicycle, the national Industry Green Standard and the support and resources available for the cultural sector, click here

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