• 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 and consult  GCC’s best practice for insuring sea shipments

    • 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.

     

     


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    Travel

    • Wherever possible, do not fly.

    • Travel by train or sea where possible.

    • If you do have to fly, follow the 10 Steps to Limit the Impact of Air Travel

    • 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 back-to-back meetings to maximise the efficiency of business trips.

    • 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. GCC will be expanding resources on this in the future.

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

    • Aim to locate any new premises in areas with good public transport/cycling links, to help reduce the carbon footprints of your staff and visitors.

     

     


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    Energy

    • Read GCC's commissioned 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.

    • Some members 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.

     

     


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    Packaging 

    • 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.

     

     


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    Waste

    • 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. See suggestions for Berlin and London here.

    • 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.

     

     


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    Green Teams

    • Recruit a Green Team with an open call for volunteers. Green Teams should be made up of passionate and positive individuals.

    • Green Teams should have input from throughout the organisation. Depending on the type and size of an organisation this may include a: Registrar, Technician, Gallery / Studio / Facilities Manager, Financial Director, HR.

    • Once recruited, allocate roles and responsibilities. Appoint a team member responsible for scheduling and leading meetings. GCC recommends making the Green Team leader the GCC point contact to share and disseminate information. 

    • Follow GCC’s Green Teams: Guidelines & Actions for a breakdown of responsibilities and tasks to get you started.

     

     


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    Strategic Climate Funds

    • Remove as much CO2e emmissions 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. This should be donated to a Strategic Climate Fund of your choice. GCC reccommends the schemes detailed on this page.

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

     

     


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    Digital

     
    • Keeping digital devices in use for as long as possible, through care and repair, is the most effective way to reduce the embedded emissions within digital usage.

    • Check the carbon footprint of your cloud services, and if possible move to a more sustainable one.

    • Declutter your storage. Simple file management practices can make a difference. Only save what is necessary, and delete large files that are no longer useful. 

    • Ask your website and cloud hosting services about their sustainability goals and energy consumption of their data centres. Show suppliers that their emissions matter to your organisation.

    • Video and image content are usually the largest items on a website, so reducing the number and resolution of these can also have an impact on the amount of bandwidth required to load a page. 

    • Use instant messaging applications over email wherever appropriate.

    • Speak on the phone rather than via video conferencingwhenever possible. If appropriate, keep your camera off during video calls.

    • Get work and personal emails 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. 

     

     


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    NFTs

    • Understand and evaluate the environmental impact of your blockchain activities. 

    • Opt for low-carbon alternatives that use “proof-of-stake” blockchains (which use a different methodology that requires only a tiny amount of energy use per transaction).

    • If you do decide to work with NFTs, make sure you include them in your carbon calculations as this will likely make up a significant part of your carbon footprint. To put it into context, every transaction on the Ethereum blockchain produces a carbon footprint similar to a domestic UK flight.

     

     


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    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.

     

     


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    Finance

    • Assess your current investments and which bank you use.

    • Investigate switching to a more ethical bank, especially if your current bank is one of the more carbon-intensive lenders mentioned above.

    • Talk to your funds manager/pension provider about options available with your existing pension providers/partners. If they don’t offer anything low-carbon enough then investigate other options. If you’re in the UK, then the Ethical Consumer suggestions above should give you some good starting points.

    • Seek professional financial advice before making any major changes to your financial position or investments. While many ethical investments do, in fact, perform as well (or better) than fossil-fuelled funds overall, and may well become a safer bet than oil, gas and coal as more climate regulations kick in around the world, not all ethical funds will perform equally and there are risks and challenges with every investment. It’s important to understand all the implications of this before making a final decision.

    • Maximise the impact of these changes by letting your stakeholders and partners know what you’ve done, and why.

    • Produce an Ethical Fundriasing Policy for your organisation. For more detailed advice on drawing up a fundraising policy and examples of other organisations’ policies, we’d recommend these resources from Culture Unstained and InsightX.

     

     


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