Dirk Vanduffel, Managing Editor of ArtDependence had a conversation with The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), on how they are reaching art institutions based on their core objectives, which is, facilitating a greener and more sustainable art world.
The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) was founded in the UK with the express aim of facilitating a greener and more sustainable art world. We sat down with Heath Lowndes, Managing Director of GCC, to find out more about the aims of the coalition and how they’re reaching out to galleries and art businesses around the world.
ArtDependence (AD): When was The Gallery Climate Coalition founded and why?
Heath Lowndes (HL): The GCC was founded in 2020 by a group of London-based gallerists and professionals working in the arts as an attempt to develop a meaningful and industry-specific response to the growing climate crisis. A lot of work had already been done with institutions, and organisations such as Julie’s Bicycle, but there wasn’t the same level of guidance for commercial galleries that addressed the particular concerns pertaining to the nature of our business, which have a lot to do with travel and shipping. The GCC founders came together in early 2020 to address this. Among the founding committee are: Thomas Dane; Kate MacGarry; Sadie Coles; Greg Hilty (Lisson Gallery); Victoria Siddall and Matthew Slotover from Frieze; digital art solutions firm, ArtLogic; and arts PR firm, Scott & Co.
AD: What do you want to accomplish?
HL: The core goal of the GCC is to facilitate a greener and more sustainable art world. Our aim is to provide the necessary resources and guidelines so that we can collectively reduce our carbon footprint by a minimum of 50% by 2030 (in line with the Paris Agreement) as well as promoting near-zero-waste practices. The GCC website has been developed as a key tool and central platform for resources and information to help members achieve these targets.
AD: Who can you become a member and how do you go about it?
HL: The GCC is open to everyone across the art world internationally - businesses and individuals. You can sign up via the GCC website. Member benefits include access to the carbon calculator and regular newsletters, research and information which includes a substantial body of support to help realise a meaningful reduction in our detrimental effect on the climate. As a non-profit, the GCC will be funded by voluntary donations and in kind support from its membership. Members can contribute at the point of joining. All funds raised through membership or other donations will be used to sustain and expand day-to-day operations, conduct research, develop new tools, and host on going industry-specific events.
AD: How are you promoting the GCC’s mission?
HL: Since we were founded in October 2020 we have been actively recruiting through the networks of the founding members, as well as spreading our message through the press, social media, and a series of online events. Since October 2020 our membership has grown to over 400 members worldwide. Most recently, the GCC has launched a dedicated branch in Berlin, with the aim of developing specific resources for Germany-based businesses and arts professionals. We plan to launch further regional sub-groups in the coming months to activate different geographies around the world. We believe we can bring about greater change and be more effective as a unified global network.
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