The Arts Green Book – a new initiative for a more sustainable arts sector

January 13, 2023

The Arts Green Book – a new initiative for a sustainable arts sector

The Arts Green Book is an initiative led by the cultural sector and supported by Arts Council England and the Greater London Authority. The project brings together arts organizations and experts to create specific guidance for making cultural spaces more environmentally friendly.

The first product from the project is the Arts Green Book: Sustainable Buildings which is a guide to make our cultural buildings more sustainable, a particular challenge in our sector where many buildings ageing and starved of investment.

Beyond the book there is also a home survey tool created by Buro Happold, and “tool kit” area of the website which links to guidance on a range of topics such as Building Management Systems and energy purchasing.

It’s a free resource for anyone in the UK arts sectors. It’s designed for everyone from boards to builders and funders to facilities managers. It’s for anyone who faces the challenge of taking a cultural building and making it fit for purpose in the context of the climate emergency.


Lean Clean Green infographic, showing main savings are from insulation and efficiency.

Creative Land Trust have been involved in this project, contributing our thoughts specifically on the topic of creative workspace and artists’ studios. Many artists and studio providers actively promote sustainability in their practice, but carrying out investment in the places where art is created is often difficult – both for financial reasons, and because these premises are often held on short term “meanwhile” leases. One of the advantages of CLT’s long term solution to providing creative workspace is that we also have the motivation to make the spaces as sustainable as possible from the outset and to tailor them specifically for artists’ use.

Back to the Green Book: we’ll be referring to it for reviewing our acquisitions and portfolio, as well as working further on sector-specific research – such as a better understanding of what the best sustainability measures are for creative workspace, and how we can achieve these. We have also voluntarily adopted the Greenhouse Gas protocol for measuring and reporting our carbon emissions and will continue to develop this to look at the spaces we let.

Infographic from The Arts Green Book.