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Climate change and the environment

Imagine 2020 Summer Lab 2018, produced by Artsadmin. Mama D workshop. Photo by Rob Harris.

We believe that artists and arts organisations have an important role to play in exploring, communicating and taking practical action against issues around climate change and the environment.

Artsadmin is continually working to reduce the environmental impact of the work we do across our artistic programme, how we run our organisation and building, and how we are funded.

Sustainability and Our Artistic Programme

Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle co-delivered Season for Change from 2020-21, a UK-wide programme of cultural responses celebrating the environment and inspiring urgent action on climate change.

As founder members of a European network called Imagine 2020, we have produced projects our biannual festival of art, climate and community What Shall We Build Here, previously 2 Degrees Festival (in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019) and commissioned Plunge and Empathy Museum, in collaboration with LIFT.

In 2019, we secured EU funding from Creative Europe to continue this collaborative work on art and climate change through a 4-year project called ACT (Art Climate Transition).

We work with artists and activists, supporting grassroots activity as well as commissioning and producing particular projects. We also take steps to make the way we work more sustainable, both at our Toynbee Studios home and in the projects that we produce all over the world.


Our communications team has been exploring greener ways of working – they even wrote a blog about it. In terms of physical marketing materials, we only produce what we need, and seek out greener alternatives where possible.

We are in the process of migrating our web servers to Krystal which is still powered by 100% renewable energy, which we hope to be completed by June 2024.

Read more about greener marketing approaches

Ethical Funding

In 2015 we joined Platform’s initiative Fossil Funds Free, which means we do not take any oil, coal, or gas corporate sponsorship for our cultural work. We have been an active voice in the arts about ethical funding and we created an Ethical Fundraising Policy in 2015, which has been reviewed and evolved over the years. You can download and read our policy, which encourages relationships with organisations that actively operate for the positive benefit of people, animals and the environment in a fair and transparent way.

Toynbee Studios

Artsadmin runs Toynbee Studios as sustainably as we can and are working towards carbon neutrality. In 2023 we completed a capital project which has put us on track to reduce our carbon footprint by 43%. This involved installing:

  • An air-source heat pump on our roof 
  • A state of the art building management system including zoning and temperature controls to reduce energy in unused spaces each week, with on-site and remote digital access for key staff amidst hybrid working

We replaced our three failing and inefficient gas boilers with:

  • Two new highly efficient condensing boilers
  • A 300-litre hot water cylinder fed by the new boilers, which replaced a 1,200-litre cylinder that wasted considerable water and energy
  • A new water pressure management unit 
  • 59 LoRaWAN wireless thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) linked to the BMS 
  • Four point of use (POU) hot water heaters for remote sinks, to reduce the 15% of energy lost transporting hot water across a large building 

We have a Green Team that meet quarterly and monitor our Environmental Policy and Action Plan, which you can read or download on our Policies pages. All our measures are in the Plan but some of things we do in our building include:

  • All of our electricity comes from 100% renewable sources and our roof is covered in our solar panels
  • All lighting is LED
  • We save water through devices in all toilet cisterns and water meters
  • We recycle as much as possible, from regular items like paper, metal and glass to coffee, light bulbs and electrical goods, and reuse or repurpose items like sets and furniture
  • We replaced hand towels with energy efficient hand dryers to reduce waste
  • We encourage greener travel, including commuting to work via bicycle, walking and public transports, and to use planes rather than trains for longer distance travel where possible

Between 2018-2020, Artsadmin participated in the first Accelerator programme, run by Julie’s Bicycle. Through a collaboration with Bow Arts, this shaped our thinking in relation to theoretical models of sustainability, particularly around the circular economy and facilitating sustainable studios practice for users of Toynbee Studios.

In 2014, we installed solar panels and were awarded a Green Tourism for London Gold Award and in 2012, we were runners up in the Art & Culture category of the Observer Ethical Awards.