How Art Institutions are Helping Individual Artists Achieve Sustainability Goals

People in the art world have been conveying powerful messages about environmental issues, social injustices and political policies that favor only the rich. Art activists have been bringing their artworks to places where they can be viewed by those who will take serious actions out of love for the earth and its natural surroundings. Yet how have art institutions transformed and what have they been up to in meeting the sustainability goals previously outlined by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UK’s Gallery Climate Coalition

The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), is a UK-based non-profit organization founded in 2020. It primarily offers a carbon calculator tool specifically tailored to the operation of businesses belonging to the commercial arts sector. The tool, which is available to use free-of-charge, helps calculate the estimated total carbon footprint based on measurements common to art galleries across today’s international art world. The GCC also offers online resources in the form of such as actionable guidelines, case studies, videos and carbon audit reports.

Julie’s Bicycle

A non-profit organization founded in 2007 in London, Julie’s Bicycle works with creative and art industries in helping them navigate climate change actions and high impact sustainability approaches. Julie’s Bicycle also provides free-to-use carbon calculator tools designed specifically for the creative industries. Moreover, Julie’s Bicycle hosts climate conversations and sustainability courses that many public art institutions harnessed in launching their sustainability programmes.

Galleries Commit

New York-based Galleries Commit is a worker-led organization coming from galleries, art alliances, and artists who have all made a formal commitment to shift to a climate-conscious future.

In addition to GB created a Climate Action Plan template and Climate Action Database. It offers a framework for structuring a sustainability action plan. GC platform shares examples of sustainability actions taken by galleries, while others have signed pledges to help those looking to adopt changes in making their art business sustainable.

Art to Zero

An organization of New York-based visual art organizations, Art to Zero takes action on climate change by working directly with individual artists to help them shift to clean energy. As many artists prefer to hold exhibit in outdoor locations they can be provided with resources, technologies and strategic tools like ground protection mats for the soil; or offers of virtual solutions following hybrid models for holding remote exhibits.