Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)
We are taking responsibility for our commitment to the goals set by The Paris Climate Agreement of the United Nations by signing up to the Science Based Targets initiative. SBTi’s provide companies with a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The WWF state that SBTi’s are significant due to the crucial role they play in meeting reduction targets to help organisations reach the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature increases well-below 1.5°C.
Energy decarbonisation plans
We continue to work with ERM – Environmental Resources Management, which has already assisted in measuring the direct and indirect greenhouse emissions associated with the gallery’s global operations for 2019 and 2020. Based on these metrics alongside our SBTi target, our reductions are underway through a comprehensive strategy across our galleries. We are transitioning to LED lighting; procuring renewable energy, even in locations where 100% renewable energy is not available through utility providers; optimising our heating and cooling systems and switching to electric vehicles.
According to the Gallery Climate Coalition, in terms of energy efficiency, the single biggest change organisations can make is to switch to more sustainable energy providers. We are working hard towards 100% fully renewable energy and already have switched our providers in the UK, Switzerland and Spain, saving 500 tCO2e.
Introducing Carbon Budgets
SBTi’s are essentially carbon budgets for our global energy efficiency. To reduce our environmental impact, we’re working towards allocating each exhibition and art fair a ‘carbon budget’, commensurate with financial cost controls. The plans for the carbon budgets have been developed in consultation with internationally recognised consultants, the Carbon Accounting Company.
Industry collaboration and leadership
We are committed to sharing knowledge and initiating dialogue with the global art world to participate in our sector’s collective shift towards environmental sustainability. This is happening with the Gallery Climate Coalition and Galleries Commit on renewable energy, packaging and recycling initiatives so that we are able to inspire and support each other to become increasingly climate conscious.
Iwan Wirth said:
‘We commend initiatives such as the Gallery Climate Coalition and Galleries Commit which are helping to galvanize the art world to take positive action. As we take this journey and learn from it, we will also share knowledge with our wider art community and, in doing so, create opportunities for greater change. Each day we are taking steps to find new, increasingly innovative, and more sustainable ways of conducting our business. The scale of the challenges facing all of us will require both immediate action and long-term commitment. The state of our planet has long been of critical concern to our artists, including Mika Rottenberg, George Condo and Rashid Johnson, who inspired our land conservation partnership with Art to Acres.’
You can listen to Iwan Wirth discuss the gallery’s efforts with Dr. Haley Mellin and CNBC’s Tania Bryer. Learn more →
Gallery Climate Coalition
We support the development of a meaningful and industry-specific response to the growing climate crisis. Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) aims to inspire and educate, as well as provide tools that help the art world reduce its impact on the climate. We have been patrons of the GCC since 2020. Our Global Head of Environmental Sustainability, Cliodhna Murphy, is a member of the London GCC regional group and a co-lead of their packaging and recycling sub-committee.
As a sector we need collective, shared standards of sustainable practice and the GCC provides tools that help the art world reduce its impact on the climate.
Additional organizations and networks that are building climate conscious communities and sharing knowledge in the art world include:
Art/Switch/ NY and Amsterdam
Galleries Commit/ NY
Ki Culture/ Amsterdam
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