Our city’s shared plan to tackle climate change


Manchester arts leading the way on climate change

by Claire Buckley

Hot on the heels of its European URBACT Good Practice award, the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) is launching its 5-year report at the city’s annual climate change conference on 10th July 2017 hosted by the Royal Exchange Theatre.  


A network of 27 arts and cultural organisations, from community-based arts centres and iconic cultural venues to an internationally renowned festival and national broadcasters, MAST has much to celebrate since it was founded in 2011.

·       16% emissions reduction over three years

·       Avoiding 2,800 tonnes CO2 and £890,000 in energy costs

·       A third of members now generating or purchasing low or zero carbon energy

·       Contributing to city’s new ambitious new strategy, including through Climate Lab, an experimental programme inviting the people of Manchester to imagine a more sustainable city

·       A wide range of initiatives to inspire audiences to think about sustainability and take action too, from exhibitions exploring our relationship to nature, to theatre productions on climate change and urban gardening projects

·       A wide range of partnerships, from joint collaboration with the city’s Carbon Literacy programme, to partnerships between individual members and organisations such as Transport for Greater Manchester and the National Trust


MAST’s combination of participatory and collaborative working in a city which recognises the value of culture and is itself demonstrating climate change leadership has helped to make this programme so successful. It has not only become one of the city’s, and indeed the country’s, most successful demonstrations of the vital role the sector can play in positive environmental change on a city level, but also stands as an example to other sectors.


“MAST has demonstrated the range and diversity of creative responses to the sustainability challenge, a fine examples of Manchester’s deep commitment to cultural and community values.”

Nick Nuttall, Head of Communications and Outreach and Spokesperson for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change


MAST is now focusing on developing its plans to lead in working towards the city’s climate change ambitions and grow its reach and influence across the arts and culture in Manchester and beyond.

- http://manchesterclimate.com/news/2017/07/manchester%E2%80%99s-award-win...

- The report is by Julie’s Bicycle which has been supporting MAST since it began in 2011. It can be downloaded at

- http://manchesterclimate.com/events/manchester-climate-change-annual-con...

- Based on 13 organisations, 1400 tonnes CO2e saved between 2012/13 and 2015/16

- Combined savings based on 5% annual reduction vs. no change over 3 years

- http://www.carbonliteracy.com/