Sector-wide Campaign Targets:

 

GCC has set four Sector-wide Targets. These are ambitious goals, and will certainly be a challenge for the entire sector. But they have been developed in consultation with environmental advisors, and in the face of the climate catastrophe, they are necessary. 

 

The campaign targets have been spread over 5 years to encourage a meaningful transition to more environmentally responsible freight operations within the sector.

 

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  1. A majority of all international art freight to be transported via non-air methods¹ - with an overall reduction in volume² - by 2028³.

  2. The majority of packing materials in circulation to be reusable or curbside recyclable⁴ by 2026, as well as an immediate phase-out of single-use plastic products with zero-waste by 2030.

  3. Local deliveries to be low or zero emissions by 2025⁷.

  4. By 2024 - all freight companies to provide standardised emissions data:

a) as estimates on all quotations so that clients can make informed decisions on shipping options based on environmental impacts as well as cost and time.

b) on all invoices allowing clients to efficiently collect the required data for emissions reporting.

 

 


 

 

(1)  For every tonne of artwork, air freight produces around 10 times more CO2e than freight the same distance by road, and around 60 times more CO2e than the same distance by sea. Currently air freight makes up 75% - 95% of the total amount shipped (in tonne-km) by a typical commercial art gallery (the remainder is a mix of road and sea freight).  As a result, air freight alone makes up around half of all the emissions from GCC members' operations (based on member footprints calculated to date). This means that reducing air freight will be hugely important for meeting the 2030 target of at least halving the emissions of the arts sector. If we can ensure that at least 50% of all internationally-transported artworks  travel by sea, road or rail by 2028, with less than 50% going via air freight, then we should be on track for our sector-wide carbon targets. 
 
(2) In addition to moving away from the dependency on air freight, there needs to be a sector wide reduction in overall volumes of shipping, in order to reach the 2030 50% CO2e reduction targets. This requires careful consideration of programming, as well as better application of packing materials solutions.
 
(3) GCC acknowledges that, due to the disruptions caused by Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Suez Canal blockage and conflict in Eastern Europe there are currently major disruptions to global freight services resulting in complications, delays and additional costs. Despite these (hopefully) temporary disruptions, GCC believes the objective is still achievable. If the situation changes and the target looks impossible to achieve, it will be revised. 
 
(4)  Cerbside recycling refers to the practice of discarding items that are picked up by a waste collection service and then sorted at a recycling facility. While some materials are theoretically recyclable, curbside recycling is region specific and many of the plastic packaging materials we use in art crating are generally not curbside recyclable. Some of these items are easily recyclable while others are not.
 
(5) Zero waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean. This target is closely interconnected to concepts of the circular economy, which is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended. In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum. When a product reaches the end of its life, its materials are kept within the economy wherever possible. These can be productively used again and again, thereby creating further value. This is a departure from the traditional, linear economic model, which is based on a take-make-consume-throw away pattern. This model relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy.
 
(6) Defined as transportation between destinations within the same city, so called 'last mile' deliveries and - wherever possible - trips to airports or sea ports. 
 
(7) Where dimensions allow, i.e. as would be for a typical 'last mile' transit vehicle but not expected for shipments that would naturally be moved in HGVs. GCC acknowledges that not every city has appropriate zero emissions fine art delivery options and this target only applies to regions where it can be implemented. The technology and use of low emissions vehicles is rapidly growing and GCC is optimistic about this target being achievable for the majority of members as long as supply can match the growing demand for EVs. If supply cannot match the demand and as a result the target becomes unachievable it will be reviewed. GCC recommends members to have conversations with their local delivery agents and general suppliers and share this information to encourage them to consider decarbonising their fleet.
 
(8) Clearly labelled CO2e emissions estimates for a low emission alternative route i.e. sea or road freight, as standard on all quotations, where routes apply. These figures can be generated by using GCC's free carbon calculator. As cost is highly variable GCC does not expect this to be provided as standard but averages for time and CO2e emissions will be accurate enough to inform decisions. See example.
 
 
(9) In addition to the final cost of the shipment, information on these additional criteria should be provided in a clear and consistent manner. We will be providing examples of this in due course. Weights should be clearly labelled as either gross weight, chargeable weight or volumetric weight, and the amount of packaging (in kg) added by the shipper should be clearly shown. This will allow customers to easily capture the details needed for carbon reporting.