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Environmental Sustainability Policy


DanceEast is custodian and curator of the Jerwood DanceHouse, the home of dance in the East of England. Its vision is to make the East of England a place where everyone has the opportunity to engage with great dance. Its mission is to raise aspirations and transform lives through a programme of work that champions excellence, engages the public and inspires artists.

In its home, DanceEast provides a wide range of classes and participatory activities, performances, residencies and support services for artists, professional development courses and events, the DanceEast Centre for Advanced Training for young people with exceptional dance potential, and spaces are available for hire. It operates nearly every day of the year, apart from the Christmas and New Year period and statutory Bank Holidays. Beyond the Jerwood DanceHouse, DanceEast provides work in schools, libraries, hospitals and hospices, community projects in partnership with district councils and other partners. It also supports a number of youth and community performance groups and manages performances by such groups. DanceEast facilitates youth dance across the region, and is the regional hub for Big Dance. Performances and activities are provided in venues such as Snape Maltings, Ipswich Regent Theatre and other venues throughout the region.

DanceEast moved into the purpose-built Jerwood DanceHouse in 2009, on the Ipswich Waterfront where it is a major player in the regeneration of the area. Unfortunately, the impact of the financial crisis in 2008 and continuing challenging economic climate has left the Jerwood DanceHouse stranded amid derelict, incomplete and empty buildings and wasteland. Access is further inhibited by inadequately lit footpaths and roads. For all of these reasons, the Jerwood DanceHouse has to be well-lit at all times it is open to the public, and the spillage of internal lighting contributes to improving the lighting of the surrounding streets.

The Jerwood DanceHouse comprises a studio theatre, four dance studios, changing and other spaces for performers, reception and foyer area for the public, café, offices and meeting room, together with circulation spaces, toilets and other services. It is located on the ground, first and second floors of the tallest building in Ipswich, the rest of which is currently a completed shell awaiting development into apartments.


2.1 Jerwood DanceHouse – the studios, café, backstage, offices and other spaces serving both staff and the public.

Primary environmental impacts – energy for heating, lighting, ventilation and operating of plant and machinery; water consumption; and waste generation.

2.2 Classes, performances and events – artists, audiences, participants and others travel to provide and take part in classes, performances and events at the Jerwood DanceHouse and other locations where DanceEast operates; this can involve local, national and international travel, and hotel stays.

Primary environmental impacts – fossil fuel energy consumption; and waste generation.

2.3 Goods and services procurement – office equipment and supplies, networked IT services, banking, printed and web-based communications and marketing materials, cleaning and building maintenance.

Primary environmental impacts – paper resource consumption; toxicity of inks and finishes; servers involved in website hosting, e-marketing, blogging and audience feedback; cleaning and maintenance materials.

2.4 Business travel – most staff live locally but limited local transport links require some to travel by car; travel for business reasons by sponsored pool car or train where possible.

Primary environmental impacts – fossil fuel energy consumption.


DanceEast is committed to working to reduce its environmental impact while delivering its mission and operating cost effectively.

Following completion of the building of the Jerwood DanceHouse in 2009 an energy performance review was commissioned. This benchmarked the energy efficiency of the fabric of the building and the heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting systems. The review resulted in a score of 48, achieving band B in the scale.

A Resource Efficiency Report was commissioned from Suffolk Carbon Leaders in 2015, and a number of opportunities were identified, which identified a number of potential savings in utility costs and carbon savings. One of the opportunities identified required a relatively capital-intensive investment – implementing improvements to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system in the studios better by installing occupancy controls, which are linked to the Building Management system which resets the HVAC back to a minimum level when the space has been empty for a set amount of time. These controls were installed during the period September to December 2015; and integrated into the computerised Building Management system. Following a full year of operation, savings of circa £9,000 were achieved, resulting in a payback time for the capital investment of two years.

In 2016, DanceEast’s waste management provider ceased sending non-recyclable waste to landfill, instead sending it to an energy-from-waste site.

DanceEast recognises a number of challenges that impact on its capacity to reduce its environmental impact. These include being situated in a relatively rural area with limited public transport infrastructure; the building being purpose built in 2008/09 with energy efficiencies built in; being the only occupied space in a larger development so the surrounding empty space does not yet provide the intended insulation; the immediate environment lacking adequate lighting; and the limited, but growing, provision of hotels in Ipswich.

Many of these challenges are beyond the control of DanceEast which is, however, committed to:

  • Influencing the environmental awareness of its Board, staff, visiting artists, audiences and participants.
  • Minimising the environmental impact of its operations and activities within the Jerwood DanceHouse.
  • Minimising the environmental impact of the activities it provides beyond the Jerwood DanceHouse.

Working with Julie’s Bicycle, we have calculated a comprehensive carbon footprint for our operations covering emissions from natural gas, company cars, electricity consumption, rail travel, air travel and waste. We have worked hard over the previous six years to reduce our annual emissions from 271 tonnes in 2014/15 to 131 tonnes in 2019/20 (previous full year pre-pandemic).

We recognise that climate change is a serious global problem and as a business we are committed to minimising our contribution to it. To this end, we have committed to an overarching target of further 5% reductions annually.

To achieve this we will:

  • Manage heating and ventilation in our studios better.
  • Further improve the energy efficiency of our light sources.
  • Investigate the potential for better controls on our lighting .

This document is DanceEast’s third Environmental Policy and Action Plan and seeks to develop on the previous plans.  The following action plan covers a three-year period, 2022/25 and will be reviewed and revised annually.

The policy and action plan will be communicated to our staff through our action board in the staff rest area. The action board will show our commitments, initial action plan and the subsequent results. To embed the policy throughout the organisation, an internal green group consisting of key representatives from each team (Operations, Creative, Communications & Development and Front of House) will be responsible for the action plan implementation and subsequent reduction of our carbon footprint.

This Environmental Policy and Action Plan was developed using guidelines from Julie’s Bicycle,


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