Creative & interactive industries

The Low Carbon Transition: Implications for the Creative and Interactive Industries

The Opportunities and Challenges Sub-group has sponsored a process to help the Creative and Interactive industries address the opportunities and challenges presented by the low carbon transition. It aims to:

  1. Provide a deeper understanding of specific business implications and opportunities relating to the low carbon transition;
  2. Identify the strategic preparedness of the Creative & Interactive industries;
  3. Recommend further collaborative work needed to address the issues/opportunities and embed these within the industry-led strategies.

Initial findings:

  • An agenda of opportunity: there are clear benefits from increasing resource efficiency, sharing infrastructural investment and developing new and innovative business models across the industries. The final report highlights the priority opportunities;
  • Good practice is so far largely fragmented: while there are some excellent examples of organisations and initiatives who are proactively addressing sustainability issues, these are largely fragmented at present. A critical mass does not yet exist and more needs to take place to raise awareness within both industries;
  • Leadership is crucial: the Creative and Interactive industries both currently lack strategic leadership and direction in responding to the low carbon agenda;
  • Reducing the carbon footprint also brings wider benefits: while many view the low carbon agenda as an ‘environmental’ issue, its relevance is much broader. Indeed, many of the organisational opportunities are arguably as much to do with organisational growth and innovation as emissions reduction;
  • The role of the Creative and Interactive Industries in wider public engagement: the industries’ unique role in engaging public audiences should be acknowledged by the Scottish Government (and others) in helping to deliver its climate change Public Engagement Strategy.

Recommendations for action:

The report below sets out a number of recommendations for ‘next steps’. These include both clear ‘top down’ leadership from industry and trade associations as well as ‘bottom up’ action from leading industry players.

  1. The Digital Media and ICT Industry Advisory Groups should discuss the implications of the low carbon transition for their industries, drawing on this report as well as other materials;
  2. Envirodigital should help establish a new consortium of relevant trade associations to promote greater collaboration on this issue across the creative industries;
  3. SE, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government should meet to discuss the findings and implications of the report, including the possible implications for future funding decisions;
  4. Envirodigital should map the key influencers in the Scottish Creative Industries and by sharing this via online networks, help facilitate access to wider resources and opportunities to promote greater collaboration and create stronger critical mass;
  5. Interactive Scotland should be encouraged to share the activities to date and help promote the issues and implications of the low carbon transition among businesses within the creative and digital industries;
  6. The 2020 Climate Group should continue to support this initiative and report to the Scottish Government on the barriers which are preventing more rapid progress in embedding low carbon throughout the Creative and Interactive Industries.

The Opportunities and Challenges Sub-group is continuing to support this process, including by hosting this webpage as a focus for activity. Further information on this process is available from either Ewan Mearns, Scottish Enterprise, ( or Hannah Rudman, Envirodigital (

Full report

The Low Carbon Transition: Implications for the Creative and Interactive Industries, March 2011

Good practice

Festivals Edinburgh: With more than four million participants and audiences each year the Edinburgh Festivals are working hard to help shape a future that is sustainable, that respects and enhances the environment and that puts Edinburgh firmly on the road towards a low carbon city.

Julie’s Bicycle is making environmental sustainability an intrinsic part of music and performing arts. Established in 2007 by and for the UK music industry, it is a non-profit company working with the arts and creative industries to understand and reduce their environmental impacts, focusing on practical solutions which balance artistic, financial and social considerations.

Industry Green is a simple voluntary certification programme that enables your company to demonstrate leadership on climate change action with scientific integrity.

Do the Green Thing is a not-for-profit public service that inspires people to lead a greener life. With the help of brilliant videos and inspiring stories from creative people and community members around the world, Green Thing focuses on seven things you can do – and enjoy doing.

Sustainable Ability is a project led by Mission Models Money to help drive forward transformative responses to resource scarcity and climate change from individuals and organisations working in the arts.

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