We endeavour to reduce our environmental impacts and continue to review and report on our activity to improve our performance in this area. We actively seek ways to reduce energy use and waste production and make a positive and influential impact through our choices and activities.

CFCCA is funded by Arts Council England (ACE) – the first arts and cultural funding body in the world to make environmental reporting a requirement for the organisations that it supports. We undertake an annual report with Julie’s Bicycle in partnership with ACE, and calculate our carbon footprint through the Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green IG Tools. Our estimated carbon footprint measured between April 2018 – March 2019 was calculated at 167 tonnes CO2e, a 2% reduction on the previous years’ 170 tonnes CO2e. We are committed to continuing to reduce this figure.

We support Manchester’s vision to become a zero carbon city and we are active members of Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST), a network of arts and cultural organisations with a sustainability focus. In 2017, URBACT, the EU’s learning and exchange programme for cities, awarded MAST the Good Practice label, celebrating the practical and collaborative solutions made to integrate sustainable and environmental commitments in our city.


Suppliers and Products

Our procurement policy includes sustainability criteria to ensure that we minimise the carbon footprint of our products and services wherever possible and actively engage with our suppliers on environmental issues.

This includes everything we use in our business down to our cleaning consumables. For example our toilet paper comes from a supplier that donates 50% of their profits to building toilets for those in need, whilst the paper itself is made with 100% post-consumer waste paper (things like text books, work books, office paper, etc.) sourced primarily from schools that are local to where it is produced. It is made without the use of inks, dyes, or perfumes. The bin bags we use are made from 100% recycled British farm waste plastics that might otherwise be burnt or sent to landfill.

We work with a catering social enterprise that is part of local mental health charity Manchester Mind. Therefore our outside catering orders directly help to fund vital services for those with mental health problems in Manchester. Food is served on plastic trays that are washed and re-used and wherever possible we don’t use single-serve packaging for our refreshments and support clients to avoid over-ordering and minimise food wastage.

We are committed to the Greater Manchester Tourism and hospitality sector’s pledge to eliminate the use of single-use plastics by 2020.

Our shop supports local and independent makers and we have a sustainable products range including Huskup reusable and biodegradable coffee cups made from rice husk, a major waste product from Chinese food production that might otherwise be incinerated.

We have a longer term ambition to make our building more energy efficient by retrofitting lighting with LED fittings and aim to move to a 100% renewable energy supply by 2022.



We promote zero-carbon commuting through the cycle-to-work scheme, and encourage visitors and clients to make use of the excellent public transport links available to them when visiting CFCCA. Where possible staff opt for tele-conferencing options to hold meetings to avoid unnecessary travel and local and national travel is by public transport wherever practicable.


Artistic Programme

We believe in demonstrating environmental leadership through highlighting artistic practices and creative responses that support a move towards a more sustainable future. We encourage conversations and engagement with our artists, staff, visitors and partners through our exhibitions, events and interpretation.

Artist Jorge Manes Rubio presented his findings from a journey along the Yangtze River that evidenced the shocking environmental and human impact of China’s Three Gorges Dam construction in his exhibition Normal Pool Level, 2014. Micro-Micro Revolution, 2015, invited three socially-engaged projects from Taiwan to present their projects in an exhibition format, each treating the arts as a vehicle for addressing environmental issues. An accompanying symposium about environmental arts practices in the UK and Taiwan was delivered with our higher education partners. Our group exhibition Digital Matters: The Earth behind the Screen, 2017, explored the environmental costs of our consumer desires for the latest technologies with a focus on the impacts in the Greater China region. In 2018 we delivered the 6-month programme Season for Change, raising awareness of issues including water scarcity, the impacts of climate change on traditional ways of life in Taiwanese tribes and the unsettling truth about waste pollution in the oceans particularly in the waters surrounding Hong Kong.

The archive of our previous exhibitions and events is now searchable via our online archive catalogue.

We endeavour to re-purpose or recycle the majority of materials used in artistic production and encourage artists to produce their work on-site or in the UK to avoid unnecessary international shipping. We work with our technicians in designing exhibitions to reduce the new materials used as far as possible and EMERGE to reclaim timber used for temporary structures in the gallery that we can no longer use. We have previously donated unwanted paint to the Community RePaint scheme.