Climate Conscious Travel: Art Basel

Have you booked your travel to Art Basel?
28 Feb 2022

Climate Conscious Travel: Art Basel

Have you booked your travel to Art Basel?
28 Feb 2022

From the data collected through GCC’s carbon calculator, we know that air travel takes up a large proportion of most galleries and art businesses' carbon footprints.

As an international community, it’s neither realistic nor possible for everyone in the art sector to stop travelling, so when booking travel to an international event, what are our options?

At GCC, we advocate for climate conscious travel. By breaking out of the travel habits we’ve become accustomed to, we can take action and make gains towards our 2030 carbon reduction target.


Climate Conscious Travel

We define Climate Conscious Travel as:

  • Having an awareness of the environmental impacts of travel
  • Reducing our reliance on travel wherever possible
  • Planning schedules in advance to maximise opportunities to merge trips and avoid last-minute decision making
  • Choosing a method of travel that limits these damaging impacts when travel is necessary


Europe > Basel

Rail travel is the fastest and most practical alternative to flying for European continental routes (where the majority of our members are based).

The idea of travelling by train has an image of being less efficient,
but now, with laptops and the internet, you can turn the train into your office. It doesn't feel as easy to work on a plane.” - Tino Sehgal
With wifi and power sockets available on most trains across the world, the productivity of train travel should also be factored into decision making. Could a 7-hour train journey from Berlin to Basel be treated as a day in the office?

Stop-overs can also be productive. For example, if you were travelling from London to Basel, could you see an exhibition or plan meetings during a stop-over in Paris?

We’ve compared the emissions, costs and travel time from each of our European locations:


*Costs reflect a return journey. Flight costs include 1 small suitcase. Complimentary luggage allowance is included in most train fairs. Figures correct as of 22.02.22

 ** Stopovers are included. We have factored in the time it takes to travel to and from airports, alongside time spent in transit in an airport (estimating this to be 1.5 hours on either side). As trains take you from city centre to city centre, this additional time is not included in the above calculations.


Fly Less, Fly Better

If you are travelling to Basel from outside of Europe, there are choices you can make to ensure that your flight has as little impact as possible.

Opting to fly economy equates to the traveller being responsible for 4-5 times less carbon than by travelling in a first class seat. This is because first class seats take up more space, so fewer travellers can fit in one airplane.



Collective Action

One less flight may seemingly make little difference - but collectively, small actions can turn into radical ones.

Contact your colleagues who will be travelling from the same location and invite them to join you on the train. This valuable time could be used for meetings, lunches and general catch-ups.

“Once you change a habit, maybe for sustainability reasons, then new doors open up.”
Tino Sehgal

For more information, guidance and effective actions you can take to limit the environmental impacts of travel, go to the GCC Travel page.