New Capital Investment Scheme Prioritises Organisations Reducing Their Carbon Footprint
The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht announced a new €4.7m capital investment scheme for arts and culture centres.
This scheme will prioritise projects that reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint and make a real and positive impact on the environment. It will run from 2019-2022 and focus on enhancing the existing stock of arts and culture centres throughout the country. Note that the scheme closes on 7 January 2020 and that you must register your details before applying and can only apply online, all at www.licences.ie
The Department is inviting applications under three separate Streams:
Stream A will offer grants up to €50,000 for small enhancement/expansion/ refurbishment projects which may involve construction works to arts and culture facilities and/or upgrading of equipment.
Stream B will offer grants from €50,000 up to €300,000 for larger enhancement /expansion/ refurbishment projects involving construction works to arts and culture facilities.
Stream C will be a separate scheme aimed at the upgrading of visual artists’ workspaces. Applications for this Stream are being invited separately.
Further information on Streams A & B is available on the Department’s website.
Preparing your Capital Investment Scheme application
Here are some questions to get you thinking about your organisation’s carbon footprint before applying to the Scheme.
Do you know what your current carbon footprint is?
If not, why not? It is easy enough to work out utilities-related carbon retrospectively using your annual electricity/oil/gas bills. If your building has a BER or a DEC (certificates issued to show how energy efficient your building is), it will have an approximate estimate of the CO2 emissions of your building. Do look at our Green Arts Initiative in Ireland Guide to Energy resource.
Have you set up a Green Team with a senior manager on it?
If not, why not? A Green Team that spreads the responsibility around your organisation is an important first step. Incorporating diverse roles and levels is important though having a senior person involved is crucial to the team having real traction. This team can lead on your environmental policy which will benefit from having people ready and willing to implement it. Have a look at our Green Arts Initiative in Ireland Guide to Creating a Green Team
Have you made contact with local and national organisations that can help?
You should be able to access information, expertise and resources from local and national energy conservation and environmental groups and organisations, including your local authority, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), local SECs and energy agencies (for example, Codema, for any Dublin based organisations). If in doubt, just email email@example.com
Does this environmental work have the backing of the board and management?
If so, it is much more likely to be successful.
Future proofing your capital investment
Here are a few ways that you could future proof this capital investment.
Sustainability and climate change are central to plans
Sustainability and climate change are fundamental to the project aims, endorsed by the project team as well as the board, and non-negotiable if budgets come under pressure.
Remember that energy is likely to account for more than three quarters of your building’s emissions. So it makes good sense to prioritise reducing energy demand (insulation, triple glazing etc, zoning the building so you can heat only the parts in use) with the added benefit of making your organisation more financially sustainable. Tackling renewables and travel can be done in parallel with the refurbishment work.
Prepare for future technologies
Future proof your plans by planning for technologies that are not yet available. There may be improved air- and ground-source heat pumps in future which may require larger radiators or under-floor heating. So be ready for this. Check for any planned district or community heating schemes and put in the connections while doing any other work.
Build-in the potential for later retrofit
For example, solar panels might be too expensive for this stage of your project. Though putting the wiring in while you’re refurbishing might be feasible, making it much easier and cheaper to complete the job later.
Green Arts resources
Join Green Arts and email Catríona Fallon at firstname.lastname@example.org for practical advice and support on greening your organisation.