Climate Change

Published on: May 5th 2021

With the support of a working group of members, we have created a strategic environmental priorities document, which outlines our Climate Change Action Plan and how we intend to support members. We have also reviewed our own role as membership association and have developed an environmental policy for Community Leisure UK as organisation.

Environmental Policy

This policy is supported by a Climate Change Action plan detailing how we support members, and by an internal Environmental Sustainability Action Plan which outlines the actions that Community Leisure UK staff and the Board will take to incorporate environmental sustainability through the way we work.

At Community Leisure UK, we recognise the climate change emergency and take responsibility as a membership body to support our members in their resilience and their local role in achieving environmental targets.

Our core work is to represent and provide a network for leisure and culture trusts across the UK, promote the trust model, and harness the power of the collective to strengthen our members’ contribution to communities.

To this end, we identified three commitments that guide our environmental work:

1.      Reduce our carbon emissions and restore our environmental impact where reduction is not possible.

We are conscious of our environmental impact as an organisation. Our main impact comes from the way we travel and organise our member events, for which we will set new guidelines and considerations aligned with our objective to support the resilience and sustainability of the public leisure and culture sectors.

2.      Encourage dialogue amongst the membership about how climate change affects them and the changes that are needed to ensure environmentally sustainable operations.

The leisure and culture sectors need to mitigate the impact of climate change by ensuring their practices are resilient and in support of wider environmental targets.

Leisure and culture trusts, together with local government and other voluntary and third sector partners play an important role in educating staff and the public, local recycling efforts, encouraging sustainable and active travel, and investing in ageing facilities to improve their environmental footprint.

3.      Raise awareness of the need to include the public leisure and culture sector in decarbonisation efforts.

Leisure facilities can produce up to 40% of Councils’ direct carbon emissions; it is therefore vital that any local strategic action against climate change is done in collaboration with leisure and culture operators. Leisure and culture trusts can make a significant contribution to the climate targets set by local and national governments.

Community Leisure UK’s COP26 Briefing

Following the publication of our Climate Change Action Plan, in the weeks leading up to COP26, we published a new briefing demonstrating the significant contribution that leisure and culture trusts make to tackling the climate change emergency.


Projects and Networks

Climate Change & Physical Activity Working Group

Community Leisure UK is part of a working group in England that is developing policy asks that will support the public leisure sector to become more environmentally friendly. These policy asks will be presented to the UK Government ahead of COP26.


Theatre Green Book

Community Leisure UK is pleased to support the Theatre Green Book. The project, spearheaded by ABTT, Buro Happold and Theatres Trust and coordinated by Paddy Dillon, builds upon the work of Julie’s Bicycle, Creative Carbon Scotland, SiPA, Ecostage and others.

The Theatre Green Book initiative pulls together existing guidance and creates a shared standard for environmentally responsible theatre across three volumes:

  • Sustainable Operations

For more information on the Theatre Green Book, please see Theatres Trust’s introduction here.