ECDP Environmental Policy

View this policy as a PDF: ECDP Environmental Policy (133kb)

Why this Policy Matters to Us

This policy underlines Essex Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP)’s commitment to sustainability, providing a unifying direction to guide the actions of all those involved in the organisation. We believe it is the responsibility of all organisations, large and small, to minimise negative impact on the environment, and be part of a new creative ecology that is more ethical in the way we do business. As a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) we also have a leadership role in the arts and cultural  sectors, and consider that ECDP can have a positive impact on environmental sustainability, as we have for issues relating to ethnic and cultural diversity.

Along with data collected about our organisation’s sustainability, this document and its accompanying action plan feeds directly into Arts Council England’s (ACE) Environmental Programme, working in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle, as part of our NPO funding agreement.

This policy aims to be forward thinking and a live document, to be updated regularly to reflect what we learn as we move through our sustainability journey.

Current Areas of Focus


ECDP currently has four part-time freelancers and a full-time PAYE Artistic Director as part of its core team, who work remotely in different parts of the region (including Colchester, Southend, Brentwood/Poole and Gravesend). The Team meets regularly, with a Board meeting every two to three months. We programme and deliver activity, events and festivals across mainly Essex and South East England, with occasional research trips to develop partnerships nationally and abroad. Since becoming a new NPO in 2018, we’ve entered a period of growth and increased activity.

Our focus for this policy will be on our approach to Travel, Waste, Procurement, Commissioning and  Advocacy. Although the areas have been specifically included in this document, this list is by no means exhaustive and other areas that can be identified as having an impact on the environment will be considered as falling within the scope of this policy.


Our work usually involves much travel for a relatively small team, as we work on activities and events  across the region and the country, undertake research and training both in the UK and abroad, and meet with partners based locally, nationally and internationally. Since the global Coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, ensuing lockdowns and social distancing requirements, many of our meetings have moved online. This has reduced our need to travel, allowing us to pilot new communication platforms and foster good practice in terms of decisions regarding non-essential travel.

We are committed to reviewing the travel of our core team and Trustees as well as our participants and audiences, and explore ways to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. We will continue to practice the following:

  1. Reduce the number of face-to-face meetings, with telephone communications and Zoom meetings where appropriate
  2. Use The Creative IG Tools (a free set of carbon calculators developed by Julie’s Bicycle) to upload our business and audience travel information, and measure our carbon footprint
  3. Encourage car sharing for the core team and Trustees wherever possible
  4. Promote the use of public transport for the core team and Trustees, as well as for our audiences when sharing information about activities and events
  5. When working with and transporting large groups of participants or audiences, we will consider arranging group travel via coaches and minibuses where funding is available.


We aim to minimise waste, advocating reduce / reuse / recycle wherever possible. We will also look at:

Reducing our use of paper by encouraging digital file sharing; using laptops, a projector and tablets at meetings rather than printed documents; and using tablets at events and post event e-surveys to capture audience responses, to minimise the use of printed surveys

Reviewing our use of single-use plastics (largely used for catering at events) and set targets for  reduction but where the use of plastics is unavoidable, we will use recycled plastics where practicable, and/or make sure we recycle the plastic we use after the event.

Reducing waste where possible from any events that ECDP is running and ensuring that everything that can be recycled is recycled where possible


A core part of our programme is commissioning artists to produce work relating to specific issues in locations across Essex, and we are increasingly seeing opportunities to initiate commissioning programmes elsewhere in the region and across the UK. Each commission has a specific brief which includes an introduction to the opportunity and a scope for any proposals that the artists should respond to. We will consider environmental sustainability as a component that artists should respond to, and we will make reference to this in the brief.

We will consider the following issues:

  • Artists should consider whether materials they intend to use are made from recycled materials or  sustainably sourced, or can be repurposed or recyclable after the commission
  • Artists should consider where possible/appropriate choosing accessible locations for activities and  events i.e., locations that can be easily accessed by public transport/walking
  • ECDP will support commissioned artists where possible to consider and implement environmental  measures during commissions.


We will identify and review the sustainability risks and impacts of the products and services we procure, including looking at the venues we use, caterers, designers, printers etc. Where possible we will aim to use ethically sourced products, with consideration given to products that either contain recycled products, from sustainable sources, or those that are recyclable after use. We will also review the equipment we hire for events and festivals, such as hiring emission-free generators


Our programme of training, commissions and projects provides a perfect platform on which to discuss and raise awareness about a number of issues, and we regularly explore challenging subject matter and  themes. Therefore we will look for opportunities through our activity and artistic programme to advocate and explore issues related to the environment and climate change, to help our audiences engage with wider themes. We will also aim to continue sharing examples of good practice with other organisations.

Advisors and Influential Documents to Read

Julie’s Bicycle is a London based charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. They believe that the creative community is uniquely placed  to transform the conversation around climate change and translate it into action. Working in partnership with Arts Council England, JB offers a number of free resources and webinars via their website, and have created The Creative IG Tools, a free set of carbon calculators to help NPOs with their environmental reporting to ACE.

Working with Julie’s Bicycle, Arts Council England became the first cultural body to include action on environmental sustainability in their funding agreements with NPOs. Ambitions and achievements are laid out in their Environmental Report 2018/19

Key Contacts

Change Record

  • 04/2019 – Created and approved by board. Uploaded to Julie’s Bicycle for ACE environmental monitoring 2019-2020
  • 10/2020 – Updated and uploaded to Julie’s Bicycle for ACE environmental monitoring 2021-22
  • 03/2022 – Updated for 2022-23, shared with members of ECDP core team and Trustees
  • 05/2022 – Approved by ECDP Trustees at AGM | Named Trustee contact added | Policy posted online