Yorkshire Dance

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Sustainability Actions: What we have done so far

Yorkshire Dance believes that the climate crisis is one of the major issues facing our world and society at the current time. We commit to taking action and making positive changes in all aspects of our operations and programming in order to influence and bring about positive environmental change.

What have we done so far?

As a National Portfolio Organisation (funded by Arts Council England), we must monitor our impact on the environment and report this using the Julie’s Bicycle ‘Creative Green Tools’ carbon calculators. For the purpose of this document, we have decided not to include our data from 2020 – 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that our building was closed for a total of 6 months. For the year 2019 – 2020, our carbon footprint was 53 tonnes of C02 emissions, made up of energy use, water consumption and waste generation / recycling. We do also monitor paper use and going forward, would like to start monitoring business travel. Over the last 5 years, we are pleased to have made considerable reductions in electricity use and waste generation. We have increased consumption in gas, paper and water so will be focusing on reducing these as part of our long term goal.


Between 2015 and 2020, we reduced our electricity consumption by 27.02%. As part of a phased plan, we have changed to LED lighting in high footfall areas, including the dance studios, changing rooms, corridors and foyer. We encourage turning off lights with “switch off” stickers above switches. We ask staff and tenants to turn off computer equipment when away from their desks. We changed to a green tariff for electricity in July 2020.



Between 2015 and 2020, our gas consumption increased by 28.61%. This could partly be a result of a 10% increase in footfall in our building due to more studio and meeting room hires, and being open on more Sundays during the year. We have upgraded two boilers in the last few years to more efficient models. We monitor the temperature of the building daily and turn down radiator thermostats when we can. We turn the central heating onto holiday mode when the building is closed. We understand that we still have a lot of work to do in reducing our gas consumption.


Between 2015 and 2020, our water consumption increased by 6.06%. We think this is partly due to increased footfall and therefore more people using the toilets, sinks and showers. We encourage reporting of any drips and leaks, have water saving flushing bags installed in some of the toilets, fitted “push” taps on the changing room sinks to avoid taps being left running, run the kitchen dishwasher on “eco mode”, and have a water fountain for building users to refill reusable bottles. We understand that we still have a lot of work to do in reducing our water usage.



Between 2015 and 2020, we reduced our waste tonnage by 9.63%. We have general waste and dry mixed recycling bins throughout the building. None of our waste goes to landfill and instead it goes to either a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) or is converted to Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and burnt to produce electricity. We no longer sell plastic water bottles and instead sell aluminium cans of still water as a more environmentally friendly alternative. We do not provide cups for our water cooler and encourage visitors to refill reusable bottles.




Between 2016 and 2020, our paper usage has reduced by 10%. We no longer print tickets for performances and events. All staff members receive their payslips electronically. For all office printing we use 100% recycled paper. A limited amount of flyers and programmes are printed on FSC certified paper and the FSC logo is included on all our marketing and publications. We have invested in e-signing software so that we no longer need to print contracts.



Our building is well-located for travelling by public transport, at less than a 5 minute walk from Leeds Bus Station and a 15 minute walk from Leeds Train Station. Wherever possible, staff are encouraged to conduct all meetings virtually using online applications such as Zoom or Whereby. If they do have to attend meetings in-person or conduct business outside of the building, they are asked to travel by public transport. Staff have access to the Cycle To Work scheme can also claim back cycling mileage expenses to incentivise travelling to meetings by bike. If it is necessary to travel by car due to location and a lack of public transport infrastructure, car sharing is encouraged.



  • We only provide vegetarian catering for internal events.
  • The tea and coffee we provide for staff and as hospitality for hirers is all Fairtrade certified.
  • Where possible, we use bicycle-couriers for distributing any parcels or marketing material.
  • We have recently built an indoor planter out of recycled materials to put in one of our sunny corridors. We are starting to grow vegetables, salad and herbs for staff to enjoy.
  • We have a “Green Team” who meet monthly and move forward actions around sustainability.
  • We are members of SAIL (Sustainable Arts in Leeds) and our Marketing team sit on the SAIL steering group. SAIL was created with the mission “Working together to create a zero carbon/zero waste future for the cultural and creative industries of Leeds.”
  • “Environment and Sustainability” appears as a standing agenda item at monthly staff meetings and management meetings, and at quarterly Board of Directors meetings.
  • The new starter staff induction includes the “Environmental Policy”.
  • We are working towards having all staff trained in Carbon Literacy so that we can register as a ‘carbon literate organisation’. Carbon Literacy is “An Awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, in an individual, community and organisational basis”.
  • We are currently developing a Yorkshire Dance carbon roadmap to help us cut our carbon footprint by a % each year in line with the net zero by 2030 target for Leeds.
  • We are asking artists in residency in our studios to be environmentally conscious during their time with us.
  • We are asking the tenants based in our building to be environmentally conscious and commit to sustainable actions.
  • We are currently investigating the possibility of connecting to the Leeds Pipes Network, which would mean we could heat our building and hot water using heat already being produced at Leeds’s Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility in Cross Green.


Below you can read our Carbon Roadmap, which shows our projections for Yorkshire Dance over the next 9 nice years. You can also download the Roadmap here: Yorkshire Dance Carbon Roadmap – Download

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