1. Make a plan for climate action


VISION: A gallery with a carbon negative footprint, achieved with offsets starting in 2021, and by eliminating carbon emissions by 2030.

Requirements to fulfill: 

  • Convert building energy to a clean source.

    • NYS Power to Choose - available to everyone, even renters, immediately

    • NYC 2030 - covers buildings in Tribeca, Chinatown, East Village, and parts of Brooklyn

    • Collective solar panel purchase - this could be an option for owned buildings in other neighborhoods if organized

  • Turn the AC down.
    • Set gallery-wide policy for temperature setting​

  • Upgrade lighting.

    • Best option: Update halogens, halide track lighting, or fluorescents​ to LED fixtures

    • If that's too expensive, then identify and outline how you will take alternative actions that are accessible:

      • install dimmers

      • install motion sensors to automatically turn lights off when not in use

      • update any fixtures that use standard bulbs to LEDS

  • Create a travel policy

    • Travel Policy should outline how the gallery will address these areas:

      • Reducing flights / consolidating travel

      • Economy only flights (½ the carbon footprint of business class)

      • Prioritize mass transit over car travel

      • Rail travel always used if a route exists

    • Calculate and offset remaining travel footprint

  • Use 2019 footprint to set emission reduction goals for 2021.



VISION: A gallery that has eliminated all waste to landfill.

Requirements to fulfill: 

  • Track waste going to landfill in 2021

    • For example: Have your team mark number of 30 gallons trash bags put out ​each week on a google spreadsheet. Note weeks that are related to exhibition installation, take down, or other events.  

  • Identify and outline how you are going to implement ways to minimize waste going to landfill. 

Ideas include: 

  • Create a culture of planning ahead

  • Enact Shipping + Packing Protocols (see more ideas here)​​​

  • Recycle, and make sure it’s convenient to staff (for example, make all desk waste backets recycle bins and trash bins located only in the kitchen)

  • Use terracycle

  • Compost

  • Ban single use plastics that are purchased by the gallery

  • Use green cleaning products

  • Purchase only recycled/sustainably sourced paper products

  • Make all gallery sponsored meals vegetarian/vegan and locally sourced

  • Eliminate Amazon and Uline orders, especially next day shipping orders

  • Assign someone to research and identify more sustainable products

  • Write to your regular vendors and ask them about availability of eco-friendly alternatives



VISION: A gallery where the whole team recognizes and feels ownership over the overall priority for climate-consciousness.

Requirements to fulfill: 


  • Produce a document that outlines the gallery's Climate-Conscious Cuiding Principles that staff members from each type of role at the gallery has had a chance to weigh in on and sign.​

Things to consider addressing in this document:

  • Why is climate a priority for the gallery? What else is a priority for the gallery?

  • Define the "best" option as being the most conscious option, not just the fastest or cheapest option

  • Slow down - address your exhibition, operation, and fair calendars​

  • Oppose harmful systems of historical domination, including racism, wage and labor inequality, and threats to mid-tier and emerging galleries



VISION: A gallery where all employees feel supported, empowered, and facilitated to be able to make individual decisions that allow them to live a climate-conscious life within and outside of the gallery.

Requirements to fulfill: 


  • Produce a document that outlines what the gallery is doing to ensure that members of their team are able to make climate-conscious decisions throughout their day. 

Things to consider addressing in this document:​

  • Create incentives for using low carbon or public transportation

    • Offer bike-share membership or seasonal bike-tune ups

    • Provide monthly metrocards

    • Discourage private cars

  • Provide coffee/tea on site (that doesn’t have plastic pods!)

  • Support thoughtful lunch - Coordinate group lunch ordering from vendors without plastic containers, allow time for staff to pursue conscious lunch options

  • Provide filtered water

  • Provide time to commute to work and meetings in carbon negative ways

  • Make compost & recycle bins easily accessible

  • Switch gallery banking to a climate-conscious alternative

  • Pay staff and freelancers fair, living wages

  • Keep working hours that allow time for staff to maintain climate-conscious personal lives

  • Provide affordable, quality health care benefits

  • Provide 401Ks that have green investment options

  • Support mental health of staff

  • Actively build equity and diversity of team