There is a lot of attention for Socially Responsible Enterprise (MVO), sustainability and sustainable enterprise. Every self-respecting organisation joins in, with the world of industry and commerce in the front line: they consider it important to do something in return for society with their commercial activities. But what about the cultural sector? The cultural field is naturally socially involved, in addition, there is more attention for sustainable production, buildings and events.

What is sustainability or MVO

With sustainability we deliberately focus on the future generations. The concern that they will be able to live and work in a congenial environment is a responsibility for our generation. The way in which many organisations have translated this awareness into action is also referred to as MVO. The terms ‘sustainability’, ‘sustainable enterprise’ and ‘MVO’ are often used interchangeably.

What could be the result?

  • Raison d’être: you enhance your reason to be here, for your company to exist, through sustainable enterprise.
  • Fun: it is fun to join with colleagues in thinking about sustainability, especially if you think of the advantages it offers.
  • Network: it opens doors to new networks, to organisations or people who share the same attitude.
  • Reputation: sustainable enterprise is a process of becoming aware. The more sustainable your enterprise is, the more attractive you become for government bodies or for companies who want to invest in you on the basis of their MVO policy!

Role of the cultural sector

The cultural sector can also commit itself to a more sustainable living environment by raising awareness. Arts have the special power to encourage change by providing insight or interpreting urgent matters. As a result, there can be raised more awareness for social issues such as sustainability. For example, look at the international initiative Music Declares Emergency.

Triple P approach

How to produce in a more sustainable way? We will discuss a number of topics using the triple P approach. MVO is a form of entrepreneurship aimed at economic performance (profit), with respect for the social aspect (people), within the ecological preconditions (planet). It is about finding a balance between people, profit and planet. In the tabs at the bottom of this page you will find many more tools to get started and some inspirational examples.


  • Waste: what do you do with marketing material, exhibition material, etc.?
  • Use of energy: do you use LED lighting, do you think twice about printing, etc.?
  • Transport: is the place where you work, show or perform easy to reach by public transport?


  • How can you cut down on costs: you can spend less instead of earning more.
  • Think in terms of partnerships: can you share a depot, workspace or storage facility, or buy green electricity together with others?


  • Social responsibility: do you take good care of the people you work with or who provide you with a service? Is there scope for personal development? Do you work with volunteers? Do you work with people with a distance to the jobmarket?
  • Impact on your surroundings: do you make use of local suppliers? Are locals involved in your activities? Do you work on a long-term relation? Do you establish links with social institutions or companies in the neighbourhood, for example for the use of premises, logistical support or sponsoring?
  • International responsibility: where do the materials you work with come from? Is there child labour involved? Do you use fair trade products and do you also communicate about it?