Since early 2022, staff from each department have gathered to discuss the Contemporary Art Society’s position in relation to sustainability, the environment, and a future carbon-neutral position.
This is a work in progress. We are all learning: internally, from one another on; and externally, from other arts and culture organisations. The Contemporary Art Society recognises that there are measures other organisations can take in the short term to meaningfully reduce environmental impact: The organisation has joined the Gallery Climate Coalition to further support the missions and goals of the broader cultural landscape. Our initial investigations in all departments were completed in summer 2022 resulting in this statement. From here, action needs to be taken with further investigations carried out. It forms the spine for our Climate Protection & Sustainability actions and will be reviewed and interrogated on a quarterly basis. To keep up to date with our work on Climate Protection & Sustainability, sign up here. In the longer term, the Team recommends a period of in-depth research lasting six months (January to June 2023) that can further inform the Contemporary Art Society’s commitment to supporting a sustainable environment. Findings and actions from this research will culminate to form a policy reflecting different activities in our organisation, whilst acknowledging the Contemporary Art Society’s position as an influential advocate for our museum members and consultancy clients. This policy will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, with the Team reporting back to the wider organisation
What we can do now
From regularly clearing emails to ensuring all office products carry Green credentials, there are many ways in the coming months that we can reduce its environmental impact. The Team will offer staff tutorials and update on a regular basis.
The Team has identified the need for a regularly reviewed Framework that clearly outlines ambitions and targets. This Framework will be informed by a report documenting the six-month research period. At this point, the Team has identified three strands for the framework
Creating a Framework
- Internal we need to take the organisation on this journey, sharing findings and encouraging all staff in independent research – there is tremendous scope for streamlining internal communications; creating QI Database management solutions, etc
- External as CAS, we have a wide sphere of influence – we can share our work with colleagues in the museum and gallery context; fundraising and hospitality sectors, IT and office management and construction and strategic work
- We can share our research findings with others, devising a Sustainable Practices Toolkit that can be shared with museum member
- We can develop a set of commissioning principles for delivering more sustainable artworks
- We can devise and deliver workshops and forums across departments to be delivered online and made freely available for viewing
- We can provide Green messaging to our networks, from environmentally-friendly ways for Patrons to travel to events to advocating for locally-produced, seasonal catering
The Green Team is committed to creating a meaningful Framework for sustainability that can be actioned and evaluated on a regular basis.