Back to Resources

 

Effective Actions

 

Collated here are the Effective Actions for each of GCC's Resource categories; Shipping, Travel, Energy, Packaging & Materials, Waste & Recycling, Strategic Climate Funds, Circularity, NFTs & Digital, and Gallery Spaces. Visit the website for in-depth information, guidelines and best practices on each topic.

 

The resources are regularly updated, please make sure you are using the latest version. Click here to download the Effective Actions PDF.

 

Shipping

  • Prioritise consolidated road and sea freight, over air, for local and international shipments. 

  • Superior service should be predicated on environmental considerations rather than speed of delivery. 

  • Request hybrid or electric transport wherever possible. 

  • Plan shipping schedules as far in advance as possible and involve artists and clients in the process so they are aware of the deadlines and shipping times. • Use shipping companies who support sustainability. 

  • Start a conversation with your insurance company about covering sea freight. 

  • Collaborate with other galleries to coordinate and consolidate shipping wherever possible. 

  • Use Zero Emissions vehicles, or bikes, for local courier and short transport journeys. 

  • Check couriers have a green tariff. 

  • Keep a clear record of all shipments sent and received and ask shipping companies to keep their own thorough records, in line with the carbon calculator requirements; this will save time in future audits.

 

Travel

  • Wherever possible, do not fly.

  • Travel by train or sea where possible.

  • If you do have to fly, choose to go direct and in economy class. 

  • Plan travel schedules as far in advance as possible and set a quota for the maximum number of flights you take in a given year. Adhere to it!

  • If possible, plan for international exhibitions to be installed remotely, without the artists and external curators. 

  • Organise business trips back-to-back.

  • Car-share where possible.

  • When travelling, use green accommodation. Certified Green Key establishments have been awarded the Green Key. This eco-label represents a commitment that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

  • Make it easier for employees to cycle into work by providing bike storage space and join cycle to work initiatives.

 

Energy

  • Read the GCC report on Green Tariffs.

  • Switch to reputable green energy suppliers.

  • Update as much as possible the buildings insulation to minimise energy out losses.

  • Switch to LED lighting where possible.

  • Keep internal temperatures as consistent as possible, avoiding spikes of air conditioning or heating throughout the year.

  • Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to a minimum.

  • Many members or organisations may have to rely on their property owner to switch energy providers. If you have co-tenants in the building then discuss better options with them.

  • If you own your own property, or if your property owner gives you permission, consider investing in onsite power generation such as solar or wind. These generators can provide clean energy at a fraction of the cost of traditional utilities. In many cases they can even be a small source of income. Investing in your own supply of renewable energy that connects directly to your building, is the only way to ensure that the carbon footprint of your electricity is zero.

  • Read Ki Culture's Energy Ki Book.

 

 

Packaging & Materials

  • Study GCC resources and implement GCC guidelines.

  • Reduce material consumption as much as possible. Conduct a waste audit and set an annual target.

  • Ask shipping companies to review how much, and what type of, packaging they use per artwork.

  • Read Ki Culture's Waste & Materials Ki Book.

  • Reconsider material ordering and commit to reusing materials whenever possible. 

  • Only dispose of materials if absolutely necessary and when doing so, always recycle responsibly. 

  • Avoid single-use plastics. Choose durable and long-lasting organic-based packaging made from recycled materials. 

  • Look out for and invest in new developments and innovative solutions - for example Mycelium Composite, which is made from a network of fine fungal roots.

  • Consider how a material will be responsibly disposed of before using. Conduct a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for all materials prior to purchase. 

  • If in any doubt about the suitability of a packing material for an artwork, contact a conservator or experienced art handler. 

 

Waste & Recycling

  • Research commercial recycling service providers in your area. Choose those who can recycle the widest range of materials. Be aware that not all recycling companies provide the same level of service. Contact them if you can't easily find the answers you need, and request a visit to your premises for advice on waste management.

  • Conduct a waste audit to analyse your current waste management practices.

  • Set targets based on the 5 R's of the waste hierarchy. Recycling should always be the last option.

  • Reuse materials to the point of failure before replacing. Materials such as the so-called 'bags for life' are only environmentally justifiable if they are reused multiple times before being properly recycled.

  • Check with your building's maintenance staff to make sure they are properly disposing of waste. Often, the contents of both recycling and waste bins get loaded into a single skip.

  • When purchasing new materials, it is best to check the recycling capabilities in your local area before buying.

  • Avoid single-use items, especially materials made of fossil-fuel derived artificial polymers such as bottled water, packaging foam, or disposable plastic packaging.

  • Vote with your wallet by boycotting services and companies that use single-use items in their operations, such as shipping companies or food delivery services.

 

 

Strategic Climate Funds (SCFs)

  • Remove as much CO2e emissions from your operations as possible. This should be your primary focus.

  • Use the GCC Carbon Calculator to estimate your carbon footprint. Reports should be completed annually. 

  • For emissions you are unable to avoid: multiply your CO2e total by the suggested price per tonne to calculate a guideline figure. GCC advises: £50-100 / $70-140 / €60-115 per tonne of CO2e. This should be donated to a Strategic Climate Fund of your choice. To see GCC recommended schemes, go to: 

  • Continue the annual cycle of reducing behaviours that produce greenhouse gasses; complete annual carbon reports; donate to SCF schemes.

 

 

Circularity

  • Packing materials: eliminate, educate, innovate and circulate.

  • Exhibition furniture: reuse, repair and share.

  • Check your area for circularity schemes such as Barder and CAN.

  • If no such scheme operates in your area, establish a Circular Network by reaching out to other GCC members and other art organisations in your area to build a shared inventory of exhibition furniture.

  • Prior to ordering new exhibition furniture or crates, check whether an appropriate item already exists or could be adapted for the purpose.

  • Stop single use culture wherever you can. Plinths, benches, tables, vitrines, shelves, crates must be reused, repaired and shared.

  • Wherever possible, do not produce new products if they will only be used once.

  • Design new items to be adaptable, modular and reusable.

  • Speak to your suppliers and shippers to ask them to set up a Crate Bank scheme.

  • Communicate with galleries, artists, curators, and clients about the changes you are making and the reason behind your decision.

  • Inform fabricators and fit out builders that you want to reduce waste and reuse materials as much as possible.

  • Establish partnerships with studios, universities, schools and community centers, and offer them materials that might otherwise end up in landfill.

 

NFTs & Digital

  • Simple daily routines such as shutting down computers and unused devices, turning off or unplugging electronics at the wall, turning off the air conditioning, etc., are likely to have a far greater positive impact on our carbon footprint than any single organisational level decision--as well as saving significant energy costs. 

  • The most impactful change you or your organisation can make, if you have not already done so, is to switch email and business applications to Cloud Computing services. Google claims to run their data centres on 100% renewable energy, however they don't claim to run all their data centres on 100% renewable energy all the time, so care must be taken when choosing the best service.

  • Get work and personal email under control, avoid including long email threads in reply emails, unsubscribe from unnecessary lists, delete attachments saved elsewhere and use alternative messaging services other than email, where possible.

  • If thinking about using bitcoins and NFTs, then proceed cautiously and research carefully.

 

Gallery Spaces

  • Ensure consumables are made from recycled materials, or are fully recyclable, or both, where possible.

  • Optimising daylight and switching to LED lighting is effective both in reducing a carbon footprint and in lowering financial costs. LED lighting also reduces waste, as the need for replacement bulbs is greatly reduced.

  • Avoid materials which are plastic laminated. Moreover, timber materials are often pressure treated to improve durability and in some cases can release a number of harmful compounds upon breaking down.

  • Save offcuts of packing material in a 'remnants bin' to use for wrapping smaller artworks.

  • Avoid using medium-density fibreboards where practicable as these materials have been shown to release harmful amounts of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and are environmentally unfriendly.

  • Paint is by definition not reusable and care should be taken to minimise its use. When purchasing, be sure to avoid any paints which have added VOCs and/or heavy metals such as lead. There are organisations that collect leftover paint pots to reuse in community projects. Check if this is available in your area.

  • Seek to reuse built items such as plinths, wall sections, and carpets and minimise the use of non-recyclable and non-reusable materials such as vinyl, window blackouts, filler plaster.