While more and more artists are addressing climate change in their work, the art industry itself generates vast amounts of CO₂. Many institutions are aware of this and are questioning their values, operating models and programmes. Among the examples below you will find CO₂ calculators, toolkits and guides.
Positive examples from Switzerland and abroad
- The Swiss Happy Museums initiative is working towards a global, sustainable future in the museum and exhibition sector. It was launched by Helvetas and Mercator Switzerland.
- In Switzerland and in Germany, the sustainability network for art and culture Netzwerk Nachhaltigkeit in Kunst und Kultur (2N2K) supports artists, cultural institutions, organisations and initiatives in the cultural sector in developing, introducing and successfully implementing sustainability strategies and activities.
- The German Museums Association has compiled a list of recommended actions and energy-saving tips for museums. In addition, the project Climate Protection and Sustainability in Museums provides a guideline as well as various measures and practices for CO2 reduction.
- The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) was founded by a group of London gallery owners and experts from the commercial art sector, with the goal of finding an effective, industry-specific solution to the growing climate crisis. The GCC website provides practical information for galleries, artist studios, non-profit organisations and institutions, and other businesses in the art sector.
- The GCC has also developed a free and easy-to-use carbon calculator especially for the galleries sector.
- The Toolkit on Environmental Sustainability in the Museum Practice (2021) from the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CiMAM) was specially developed for museums of modern and contemporary art.
- The artist-led collective Artists Commit, founded in 2021, is committed to a climate-conscious, resilient, and equitable future. The artists are supported by the Galleries Commit initiative, joined by over 60 New York galleries.
- In the book The Future of the Museum (2020), the voices of 28 international museum directors are heard. The dialogues each deal with a specific topic that will be of importance to art institutions now and in the future.
- Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals (2019): this guide by Henry McGhie aims to help museums do their bit in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Couldn’t find what you were looking for?
We’re currently working on this page. In the meantime, visit our Film page for plenty of recommendations and measures that apply across industries. The checklists from the film industry will certainly help you make your work more environmentally sustainable.
Got experience in museum work or designing exhibitions, as well as an interest in sustainability?
Do you work in the museum sector? Are you interested in a more sustainable way of doing business and would you like to contribute to the development of this website’s content? Then please feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to include your practical knowledge on our website.