#9 Change-making in our practices

This step will help you decide a process for keeping on track with your plans

Siobhan Davies, Endangered Species, 2006 (still)

You will need to have a process for keeping on track with your plans. These plans might be very technical, but try to avoid ‘sweating the small stuff’. Keep in mind that these actions are a key route to:

  • Transforming your organisation so that it is resilient and a force for justice in the Earth Crisis
  • Modelling good practice to your sector, stakeholders and audiences
  • Creating a culture that shares pro-environmental and pro-social values.
man addresses a crowd at a public gathering
Sam Lee, Declarers Assemble in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Kelly Hill.


make detailed notes on your environmental practices and adaptation plans

Your plans should include, where possible:

  • Who is responsible
  • By when you will take action
  • How you will afford any investments if needed, and/or make savings 
  • Any measurable targets, based on current practice.

Bear in mind the Culture Takes Action framework:

  • Truth-telling: Your declaration of emergency and the principles behind your policy.
  • Care-taking: Outlining risks to your work, colleagues, assets and communities, and how you will care for them in the face of these risks. 
  • Change-making: How you will reduce your footprint, and proactively work for systemic change at different scales. 


Create a copy of the canvas document to write notes for the prompts below.

Prompts for resilience in our practice and organisation 

  • What measures are there for staff and visitors? 
  • What controls are in place to create shelter and cool air (while saving energy)?

  • How much is our programming or business at risk from impacts e.g. extreme weather affecting performances? 
  • Do we need to make changes to our insurance policies?

  • What plans do we have to find alternatives to goods and resources, such as luxury items, or raw materials that we use, if the supply should dry up? 
  • Can we start to use more available and sustainable resources now? 

  • What contingencies do we have in place to protect our buildings from high wind and rainfall? 
  • How will we increase maintenance after damage? 
  • What plans do we have for travel and work during or after storms?

  • What plans do we have to continue our practice and income generation in the event of pandemic restrictions? 
  • How do we adapt to account for diminished capacities of people with longer-term effects of infection, including mental health and social isolation? 
  • Note that other zoonotic pandemics are likely due to environmental harms, as well as the continued presence of COVID-19.

  • How protected are we against flooding? If there is a high risk, what should we do? 
  • How safe is our IT equipment and data? 
  • How can we upgrade buildings and move assets to protect against the effects of flooding? 
  • Does our insurance cover flooding and storms?

  • What measures are in place to reduce our exposure to financial risk as price rises continue? 
  • What can we continue doing if there are interruptions to supplies of materials, energy or food? 
  • How can we be proactive to ensure we and our communities can access food and energy to meet their needs?
Prompts for change-making in our practice or organisation 

  • How ethical are the financial services we use, such as insurance, banking and pensions?
  • How ethical are our sponsorship arrangements with companies? (See the Decision Checklist for Assessing Potential Funders).

  • How can we reduce consumption of water (e.g. using wastewater)?
  • How can we reduce toxic matter entering water sources?
  • How can we manage water in outdoor sites to increase biodiversity?

  • Can we contribute to a healthy, low-carbon food system by going plant-based as a default?
  • How can we avoid highly processed and packaged food? 
  • What can we do to source more local food?
  • How will we balance sourcing affordable food as prices rise with planet-friendly food? 

  • What else is particular to our practice that we need to address? 
  • In general, what proactive and innovative methods will we use to be more planet-kind in our practice and encourage those around us?

  • How can we manage outdoor spaces to maximise biodiversity?
  • How can we minimise noise and light pollution?
  • How can we promote biodiversity-friendly practices when in other sites or with communities?

  • How can we manage waste so that it is significantly reduced and reused, or can be fully recycled, and if not it avoids landfill?
  • How can we use local systems where waste can be reused by others? 
  • How can we avoid generating toxic waste?

  • What can we do to limit journeys, especially by car or flying?
  • How can we encourage walking, cycling and public transport (e.g. by incentives, information and modelling good practice)?
  • What’s the possibility of using remote or digital methods of reaching people to save on travel?

  • How can we insulate and reduce consumption to conserve energy to save emissions and cost?
  • Can we source our energy entirely from renewable sources, including microgeneration on site?
  • Can we use devices that consume less energy, and use our existing devices more efficiently? 
  • What are the best ways of managing airflow and temperature?

  • How can we choose and use materials from sources that do not deforest, pollute, create emissions or harm biodiversity? 
  • How can we make more use of local materials?
  • How can we be innovative with our material use e.g. generating our own paper from waste?
  • How can we avoid materials that are toxic to human and animal health in their production, use and disposal? 

  • Digital platforms can use ‘hidden’ energy, such as data servers, especially audio, visual and film files on cloud computing and websites. What can we do about that? 
  • This overlaps with the section on energy use, in consideration of digital hardware. 
  • Note that large digital companies contribute more to GHG emissions through their financial investments than the digital activities they support.

Continue working through the guide

Culture Takes Action: Tools for an Emergency Response


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