The art market is notorious for its unsustainable practices. The industry is known for everything from wasting long-lasting materials (plastic and styrofoam) for temporary exhibits to its collective gargantuan carbon footprints since artworks, gallerists, and collectors alike frequently fly around the world to reach their next hip art event. In 2020, the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) emerged as a solution. 

The group has among its roster some of the world’s biggest galleries and art institutions, such as Christie’s, White Cube and The Tate Museum, which have come together to create sustainable best business practices. Their goal is ambitious: to reduce the sector's emissions by 50 percent and ensure that the industry creates zero waste by 2030. This makes the initiative pertinent to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action.

The GCC aims to achieve its goal through three main initiatives: knowledge sharing, community building and advocacy campaigns. One of their key programmes is called Member Key Study, where they host talks with one of their actively participating members to share their sustainable business experience.

Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) launch event by Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC). Image courtesy of @galleryclimatecoalition/Instagram.

Another one of their core campaigns is the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF). The SCF is an annual fund that GCC members donate to the group. It is calculated on a sliding scale, depending on the individual institution’s annual carbon footprint. The collected funds will then be invested in carbon reduction measures or frontline climate crisis campaigns that will make a strategic difference on the ground.

The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) booth at the 2021 Frieze London. Image courtesy of Frieze Magazine.

It is also important to note that the GCC does not consider this funding scheme as a way for its members to claim that they have achieved zero emissions by donating. “The SCF process won’t make emissions disappear, but it is a fairer way to finance effective environmental projects and will help accelerate wider systemic change,” writes the GCC on their website.

Another way the coalition has raised funds for climate initiatives is by selling artworks at premiere events such as Art Basel. In 2023, the fair donated the group an exhibition space to sell artworks from renowned artists such as Marina Perez Simão. The exhibition was aptly titled Art for the Future since a hundred percent of its sales were donated to non-profits Art to Acres and ClientEarth.

Photograph of a Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) branch in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC)‘s website.

Over the years, the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) has continued to expand and branch out its reach and impact, creating physical branches such as one in Los Angeles. Overall, the GCC takes concrete action to improve an industry rife with unsustainable practices.

Find out more about the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) and its other initiatives by checking its Instagram at @galleryclimatecoalition or its website at

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