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Eden Court in Inverness makes new climate emergency commitment

By Andrew Dixon

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Eden Court. Picture: James Mackenzie
Eden Court. Picture: James Mackenzie

Eden Court has published a new climate emergency commitment, following progress with the Inverness arts venue’s action plan designed to help it reach net zero by 2045.

It comes as COP28 brings world leaders together in the United Arab Emirates from today to December 12 – with climate change the key topic.

Earlier this month, the world's climate emergency was depicted in dance, theatre and song by performance groups at a special Eden Court Theatre show at Inverness Botanic Gardens called Not In My Back Garden.

Eden Court's commitment states that “arts venues can and should be part of the solution” and summarises the organisation’s continued objective to reduce the environmental impact of its building and operations. Key pledges include increasing energy efficiency, reducing waste and sourcing from locally-based and sustainable suppliers as much as possible.

Since first releasing a climate crisis policy in 2021, Eden Court has carried out consultations and energy audits to gain a deeper understanding of its carbon footprint, consequently developing a detailed action plan. Positive actions have since included reducing print materials, transitioning to compostable packaging, recycling props and costumes, using majority e-tickets and reducing gas consumption by 10 per cent in the year up to March 2023.

Eden Court chief executive Rebecca Holt said: “We recently issued a survey, Act Green, to our audiences regarding their attitudes to the climate emergency. From this, we know that over 90 per cent of respondents are worried about the impact of climate change and that 75 per cent believe cultural organisations have a responsibility to influence society and make radical change to address the climate emergency.

"With that in mind, we have redeveloped our climate commitments and produced an in-depth action plan which holds us, as an organisation, accountable for building on the significant changes already made, in order to reach our 2045 net zero target.”

Not In My Back Garden at Inverness Botanic Gardens.
Not In My Back Garden at Inverness Botanic Gardens.

Eden Court says it will continue to programme environmentally-conscious work and promote sustainable practice with staff, audiences, visiting companies and artists. Many staff have already undergone so-called climate literacy training and the priority is to embed ongoing learning and maintain consistency in behavioural changes.

In tackling the climate emergency, Eden Court endeavours to collaborate with and support like-minded organisations and community groups. Incredible Edible Inverness now utilise plant beds at Eden Court to grow food, free to harvest by anyone.

Louise Marshall, chairwoman of Eden Court’s climate emergency group, said: “We’ve been responding to the climate emergency by making significant changes across the organisation in recent years, with the intention of making Eden Court as sustainable as possible. Real progress has been made in many areas but we are under no illusion there is much work still to be done.

"We have set out our objectives in an action plan and are fully committed to enacting them as we continue to reduce our impact on the environment.”

It will review its environmental policy again in June 2025.

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