European Music Council
June 04, 2020
SHIFT Website
SHIFT Newsletter June 2020: Environmental Sustainability

Welcome to the first SHIFT Share Your Stories

SHIFT – Sharing Initiatives for Training is an Erasmus+ funded strategic partnership project, bringing together several cultural networks with the ambition to contribute to a better and more sustainable future as recognised in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SHIFT aims to develop training for cultural leaders on the topics of environmental sustainability, gender and power relations, inclusion, and cultural leadership.
Through bimonthly thematic newsletters, we hope to inspire you to join us in imagining a sustainable future for the arts and culture sector. The first SHIFT newsletter explores best practices of cultural organisations striving for environmental sustainability.
Successful greening efforts take into account the many facets of climate neutrality and are specific to the needs of cultural organisations. This newsletter dives into innovative and holistic best practices, including an interview with the high-spirited team of HOME, part of Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST). MAST sets a gold standard for the cultural sector, tackling one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change. 
ELIA SHIFT Project Partner
This newsletter has been produced by ELIA, leading SHIFT partner on the topic of environmental sustainability, and in collaboration with EMC, SHIFT project leader. More information about SHIFT can be found on
Do you want to share your own greening initiative with us?
Contact Lea Myllykallio at

Real change goes beyond coffee cups and plastic stirrers

MAST SHIFT Newsletter
“You don’t sit and wait. You just do it yourself and get ahead of the curve.” This is the way Dave Moutrey, Director of HOME, an art centre based in Manchester, summarises his organisation’s approach to environmental sustainability.
HOME has been at the forefront in the greening of the British cultural sector. Established in 2015, the Mancunian centre is a cultural hub for contemporary visual arts, theatre and film, which is committed to environmental sustainability. The art’s hub has achieved outstanding BREEAM credentials and a 4-star Creative Green certification by Julie’s Bicycle, a London based charity that supports the creative community to act on environmental sustainability, demonstrating green leadership qualities. Aside from its institutional achievements, HOME has also received collective recognition through the Manchester Art Sustainability Team (MAST), of which HOME is a dynamic member.
DGTL_SHIFT Newsletter
DGTL – a Circular Festival Plan
DGTL Festival, based in Amsterdam, is aiming to become the world’s first fully circular festival. To make this happen, DGTL had to fundamentally redesign the way it operates. In 2017, the team introduced a material flow analysis as a baseline measurement which was key to reducing the environmental impact of the festival and enforcing the transition from a linear system to a circular one. DGTL sought to: Redefine waste as a resource”, “Identify all incoming and outgoing resource flows”, “Redesign and reorganise all supply chains”, while “creating new products and services from the remaining resources". DGTL has been successful in its mission, re-using almost all of its waste, and now serves as a testing ground for sustainable and circular technologies. It was the first festival to introduce a completely circular food court. DGTL continually collaborates with companies, such as ACE & TATE, to rethink the way products are consumed and thrown away. They don’t stand alone, as a positive trend is emerging among festivals around the world taking important steps to become environmentally sustainable.
REVERB – A Green Touring Company
Touring is considered to be a highly unsustainable industry but also a key part of the business model of the music industry. A 2009 study by Julie’s Bicycle focusing on the UK and British acts touring overseas, estimated that the live music sector had generated approximately 85,000 tCO2 in a single year. Major acts are now starting to take note. For example, triggered by a growing concern about their carbon footprint, the band Coldplay announced that they would stop touring for environmental reasons. Conscious of the environmental impact, Lauren Sullivan and her husband, Adam Gardner of the band Guster, founded the non-profit REVERB in 2004, offering an alternative approach. Since then, the pair has helped to green tours of industry giants such as Maroon 5, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Harry Styles and Billie Eilish. REVERB, based in Portland, requests locally sourced food for catering in tech riders, minimises the amount of travelling of touring personnel and pushes for sustainably produced merchandise. Additionally, all travel emissions are offset. Perhaps most importantly, REVERB organises “eco villages” around concerts in order to engage concert audiences on the topic of environmental sustainability through their unCHANGEit campaign. REVERB estimates that it has avoided the emission of 120,000 tons of CO2 since 2004 and they won’t stop there.
NTU SHIFT Newsletter
Nanyang Technological University – an EcoCampus
Looking for inspiration on a large scale, we found Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, which strives to be the greenest campus in the world. Through its EcoCampus programme, launched in 2014, the University is aiming to convert its 200-hectare campus into a living lab for sustainable practices. NTU works closely with industry partners such as Siemens and Volvo to develop new green technologies, which in return can be implemented on its campus. In addition to R&D efforts, the University is applying environmental measures in its operation. In 2020, 95% of its buildings received the Green Mark Platinum certification, making the campus of NTU the first building to receive such a certification in Singapore. The University also aims to reduce its water, electricity and waste intensity by 35% between 2011 and 2020. NTU is part of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), which seeks to support higher education institutions in the exchange of information, and ideas in terms of environmental sustainability. And if you are wondering what this story is doing in the SHIFT newsletter, look no further than NTU’s beautiful School of Art, Design and Media with its sloping green roof, bringing together iconic architecture and ecological progress in an arts building.
IES_SHIFT Newsletter
Institute for Environmental Solutions – Former Brewery with Ecological Purpose
Take an old brewery, add scientists, artists and engineers, and see what happens. The Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) in the Latvian city of Cēsis embodies the idea that environmental issues should be examined through an interdisciplinary approach. Since 2013, it has served as a network where scientists, artists and engineers can develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges together. At the centre of it all lies the old brewery of Cēsis, an industrial building, which IES has regenerated with the vision of making it an international centre of excellence where arts and science meet. The building itself follows an environmental ethos. For the renovation of the brewery, a “slow architecture” approach was chosen, allowing for the gradual and organic development of the site. With success: on the science end, the network has conducted multiple projects in its immediate surroundings and has been chosen to be a partner of the Copernicus project, the EU’s Earth Observation programme. Artistically, the Cēsis brewery has become an important cultural venue in Latvia. It houses many exhibitions, including the latest ‘NOT out of sight, NOT out of mind’ addressing how we perceive waste. IES also has been home to the JCE Biennale for young emerging artists since 2018.
Tips & Tidbits
Online Panel Discussion - EFM Online Series
World Environment Day 5 June 2020: we recommend an online panel discussion of politicians and musicians to debate framework conditions for artists and their audience to respect the environment. The panel features EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture and Youth Mariya Gabriel and takes place on 5 June 2020 at 11:30 CEST. This Panel Discussion in the frame of the EFM Online Series is hosted by SHIFT coordinator European Music Council in cooperation with BTHVN 2020 and partner of Beethoven Pastoral Project and can be followed LIVE via Facebook. The EFM Online Series are supported by EMC funders and NAMM.
Julie's Bicycle SHIFT Newsletter
► Read on if you have time and would like to get started, taking the first steps towards environmental sustainability in the cultural sector. Get involved in a creative programme or find out more about JB’s work in policy and their international projects. Visit Julie's Bicycle and be inspired.
Creative Carbon Scotland_ SHIFT Newsletter
Track your carbon footprint as an international professional: we researched many options but really liked this footprint calculator developed by Creative Carbon Scotland, which offers good functionality and excellent analytics.
BBC _ SHIFT Newsletter
Podcast: Will the COVID-19 pandemic make us rethink our attitude towards climate change? We recommend this recent BBC conversation which explores this question with four leading thinkers: Fallout: The Future for the Environment.
SHIFT is co-funded by the programme Erasmus+ of the European Union
The SHIFT Project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
The EMC is a regional group of the
The EMC is supported by
  This communication reflects the views of the EMC only and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.  
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