Arts & Culture

Arts study finds 77% want cultural bodies to drive ‘radical’ climate action

Photo by Michael Afonso on Unsplash

New research from across the UK’s arts sector has found that 77% think cultural organisations have a responsibility to influence society to make radical change regarding the environment.

The survey of 17,500 people at 86 organisations found that 87% are worried about climate change and 93% have made changes to their lifestyle to help tackle it.

The Act Green study, conducted by arts audience insights specialists Indigo for the second successive year, found that 93% expect organisations to ensure their buildings are as energy efficient as possible. However, the survey found that audiences and visitors think organisations are not doing enough or feel that they are not communicating what they are doing effectively.

49% of the respondents considered themselves “very worried” about the impact of climate change, which was up on the 44% that said the same in the 2022 study. Just 12% of the respondents were neither “very” or “somewhat” worried

Some three in four respondents want information from organisations about how they can act more sustainably. Audiences and visitors want to play their part to help organisations fulfil their sustainability goals.

Katy Raines, Indigo’s chief executive, said: “The results of this year’s Act Green clearly show what audiences and visitors perceive the role of cultural organisations to be in tackling the climate emergency. They have high expectations for what organisations should be doing to reduce their own carbon emissions, and how they should be facilitating conversations and inspiring action in their communities.

“There is a challenge for organisations to effectively communicate what they’re doing and engage audiences to help them reach their sustainability goals through provision of information and infrastructure.”

Survey respondents were regular visitors to cultural attractions such as theatres and arts centres, with 43% attending at least once a month. Some 60% were 55 or over with just 9% under 35.

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