Waste Reduction

The Step Up to Net Zero action plan set Impact Arts the mission of reducing general waste volumes and increasing recycling by 10% during the placement. Since the Step Up to Net Zero Coordinators joined Impact Arts, recycled waste increased by 19% and general waste has been reduced by 4%! In May, Impact Arts increased its recycling to 60% of its waste, up by 20% from the previous month!

So how did we achieve a 20% increase in just one month?

5 ways to increase recycling

  1. A Lunch & Learn session – we identified that staff training was crucial in clearly communicating the why and how.
  2. Increased signage and much better labeling on all of our bins – we know people need access to the right information quickly
  3. Reducing how many bins we have. We got rid of all those pesky under desk waste paper bins and now encourage staff to walk to our recycling centres- the screen break is good for your eyes too.
  4. We introduced a compost in our courtyard vegetable garden to reduce food waste.
  5. Our Coordinators invited staff to take part in the very popular Rubbish Quiz!

The overall goal for the future is to reach rates of 80% recycling to 20% general waste. We still have some way to go on the road to Net Zero, but we are on the right track. We are pleased to work with the fantastic recycling provider Changewaste Recycling who support us in recycling and tracking our progress with ease.

With a staff Green Team briefed and ready to take the baton from Cara and Poppy, and as members of the Green Arts Initiative, we’re confident that Impact Arts and the wider arts community will pull together to contribute to a happier, healthier and hopeful future. Thank you to Step Up to Net Zero, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow City Council for this invaluable opportunity. 

 Courtyard Composting

Our Courtyard Compost and just some of the vegetables our staff gardening group has been growing.

Lettuces, radishes, courgettes, tomatoes and cress!

Cutting Carbon Emissions

Over the course of our Step Up To Net Zero placement with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, our Coordinators Poppy & Cara were able to assess our carbon emissions in much greater detail.  We have now been able to comprehensively calculate our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, allowing us to identify areas to focus on. 

A staff travel survey was conducted in May to assist with this.  We found that approx 88% of commuting emissions at Impact Arts are produced by car travel. Given we work in locations across central Scotland, from Irvine to Polmont and Govan to the Grange, our artists and staff do often need to travel around and frequently have a range of art materials with them. With the introduction of the LEZ in Glasgow, we hope that our car travel to Glasgow is naturally likely to reduce and help us with carbon reduction. To further tackle this statistic and other significant carbon contributors, a Green Team has been established at Impact Arts to run climate awareness campaigns such as a car share campaign. We continue to deliver training and professional development opportunities for creatives living out with the major cities so that we can recruit locally wherever possible. We’re also progressing plans to get a bike rack installed at The Boardwalk and to start making use of our showers for people using active travel!

Active Travel

“Working with Impact Arts has given me the opportunity to pursue my interest in how the arts must adapt to the climate crisis. While a challenging topic, working with the team at Impact Arts has been an encouraging and empowering experience which will propel me into the next chapter. Thank you!”  


Funded by Glasgow City Council, Step Up to Net Zero by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has allowed Impact Arts to go further than ever before in its efforts to address the climate crisis. Over the past 4 months, Step Up to Net Zero Coordinators Cara and Poppy worked with Impact Arts to realise an action plan that was expertly developed by the Step Up to Net Zero Team. With the placement now complete, we wanted to share a few highlights.

Circular Economy

The Step Up to Net Zero placement has helped Impact Arts identify how to increase the lifespan of all the art materials we purchase for delivery of our arts projects. As a result of the placement we have pledged that going forward all of our creative programmes will prioritise materials that have had a previous life, continue to keep left over materials in storage or collaborate with the local community to pass on leftover materials.

To achieve our circular economy targets, we know that communicating the message across our team is going to be key. We have devised the LIFE acronym to keep circularity at the fore front of our thinking.

 Sustainable thinking = LIFE!

To get started, we have set ourselves these baseline targets:
50% items have had a previous life
100% of plastics are recyclable
65% of items are to be recycled or reused

We look forward to reporting back on progress!