The London Sinfonietta believes that the earth is experiencing an unprecedented global climate change emergency, destruction of its ecosystems and threats to the biodiversity that enables our survival as a species. As an organisation that engages with the ideas and concerns of contemporary society and works with artists that seek to respond to and re-make the world around them through music and other art forms, the London Sinfonietta acknowledges its responsibility and the moral imperative to respond to this global emergency. Arts and culture, uniquely, have the power to change hearts and minds and provide a creative space for artists and audiences to respond to an issue that can feel overwhelming in its magnitude.
The board, management team and ensemble are committed to enacting change in order to minimise the organisation’s impact on the environment, mitigate the impacts of climate change and raise awareness of these issues. We have already taken steps over the past 10 years to reduce our carbon footprint and have commissioned and produced work, such as Tansy Davies’ music theatre work Cave (2017), that engages with the subjects of climate, waste and biodiversity. The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent reduction of our artistic activities has allowed us some space to evaluate how we plan to move forward to face the significant challenge the climate crisis poses over the next decade and beyond.
We aim to find more sustainable ways of operating (working alongside partners and venues); to promote environmental awareness to our audiences, artists, performers, participants, partners and stakeholders; and to highlight the need for environmental responsibility in the communities in which we work. This will be underpinned by a commitment to improving our data collection and understanding, as well as monitoring and reporting on our progress to encourage learning and improvement.
We openly admit that we do not currently have all the answers but we are committed to finding a sustainable path towards environmental responsibility and to integrating sustainability into our activities and structures.
We are already taking action to reduce our carbon footprint and to raise awareness of the climate and ecological emergency by:
- considering environmental sustainability and carbon reduction when making strategic and operational decisions, led by the organisation’s Green Team.
- commissioning and producing inspiring music and art projects, such as Richard Ayres semi-staged concert work The Garden and Matthew Herbert’s more more more that explore environmental themes
- engaging audiences and participants by raising awareness of the climate crisis and other environmental issues
- signing up to Music Declares Emergency and supporting their Earth Day 2021 campaign.
In the next year we will be:
- going on a journey to deepen our understanding of the impact of our activity through collecting, measuring and analysing data.
- developing a longer-term strategic plan for responding to climate change as an organisation.
- producing a new work with composer Laura Bowler and librettist Cordelia Lynn that explores climate anxiety.
- sharing our experience with the wider sector and reporting on our progress annually.
Black Tortoise by Jasmin Kent Rodgman
On Earth Day 2021 we joined over 1,000 music organisations in signing a declaration for urgent action on climate change. As an organisation that engages with composers, artists and the ideas and concerns of contemporary society, we acknowledge our responsibility and the moral imperative to respond to this global emergency. To commemorate this, we've recorded a specially arranged excerpt of Black Tortoise by Jasmin Kent Rodgman, a piece which the composer describes as "bringing together climate and cultural references in an energetic call to action, remembering that the planet is an incredible, sustaining, magical life force that we should respect and take care of, as it does for us".
This excerpt was recorded at Kings Place in April 2021.