Fermynwoods Contemporary Art is an educational charity that supports life through art by commissioning innovative and meaningful ways for artists to engage with audiences, in public spaces across Northamptonshire and online.
We currently operate from a small office in Thrapston, and a converted hunters lodge situated within a meadow and Site of Special Scientific Interest within Fermyn Woods.
As a small arts organisation the concept of sustainability is not unfamiliar to Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, as we have always existed in an environment of limited resources, as is common for artists and others in the creative industries.
As Andrew Simonet notes in Making, Your Life as an Artist,
“[We] already have the skills [we] need to build a beautiful, sustainable life. Artists are over-skilled and work incredibly hard. We see value where others do not. We are brilliant problem-solvers and tool-users. We have the meta-skill of learning new skills. Artists are connected to intricate and resilient webs of community. Our communities give us resources to grow and stability to fall back on.
Our culture needs [us] to make [our] most visionary work for as long as possible”.
As an organisation that engages with the environment we seek to extend this thinking into both sustainability for the organisation and for the environment as a whole, applying the skills, creativity, and resourcefulness of art practice to the world at large, better managing our resources and seeking to minimise the adverse environmental impact of our work.
As the organisation grows and develops our motivations for taking positive environmental action are as follows:
• As an organisation we recognise the dangers of climate change and our individual responsibilities in seeking to mitigate these dangers and to avoid any future environmental damage, thereby enjoying a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations.
• As an organisation we aim to make savings to exist sustainably for as long as possible in order to deliver our charitable mission and aims, whilst contributing to and advocating for the improvement of the local, national and global environment.
• We aim to comply with increasingly forward thinking and environmentally sound funding and client requirements, in addition to environmental legislation, regulations, pushing the boundaries or challenging the relevant clients where we believe those requirements are detrimental to an aim for environmental sustainability.
• We aim to enhance our reputation as an organisation by celebrating positive environmental change, continually improving our environmental impact performance and demonstrating best practice to our partners and others.
Our policy aims to maintain a working environment that, where reasonably possible, strives to:
• Ensure efficient, environmentally responsible use of resources, particularly energy and water, including green tariffs wherever possible.
• Ensure environmentally responsible procurement of the acquisition of goods and services, weighing products and services that cause less harm to the environment favourably against other considerations.
• Reducing the negative environmental impacts of our communications materials, such as paper and inks, transport for printed materials, in addition to reducing our digital and ICT impacts.
• Apply proper principles of good waste management with a view to reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and/or dispose of waste products.
• Minimise adverse environmental impact in decommissioning and disposing of assets.
• Promote and encourage the reduction of pollution.
• Minimise the impact of travel on the environment, for example by promoting the use of home working, public transport, cycling, running and walking where appropriate.
• Examine opportunities to promote, advocate and investigate environmental sustainability through our artistic programme with a view to bring into account the importance of environmental considerations.
• To understand, measure, improve, and communicate our environmental performance as much as possible, through benchmarking with comparable organisations and industry averages through the use of Creative Industry Green Tools.
• To communicate, engage and train staff on environmental issues.
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis by our team and board of trustees, and updated as and when necessary. An Environmental Action Plan supports the policy. Our environmental monitoring, measurement and feedback from engaging with our internal and external stakeholders inform the action plan. It is reviewed and updated on an annual basis alongside this policy.