Step 2: Environmental impact

Sustainable purchasing
It is worth analysing the impact of the institution on the supply chain through sustainable sourcing. A supply chain is a structure within which goods are created and transported to the place of consumption. Managing the supply chain should meet the highest standards of quality and responsibility. A sustainable supply chain takes responsibility for the whole life-cycle of a product: from production of resources to the moment when the product becomes waste. This means adhering to environmental norms and caring for human rights and work conditions of those engaged in the production process [link].
A cultural institution is unable to monitor the whole process but may base its decisions on the information made available by the producers. This may include certificates, e.g. related to fair trade (see: ECO-ETHICS OF COOPERATION). Some products include calculations of carbon footprint. Companies sometimes add information on the labels that they strive to reduce or offset carbon footprint. There are also less formal ways of gaining information on products and services. It is worth promoting social economy by working with local cooperatives.

Ecological education.
Employees should have access to information collected when measuring the institution’s environmental impact (e.g. link: https://unccelearn.org/). Equal access to knowledge will allow for collective decision-making, for example regarding the institution’s operation and setting of priorities. If possible, it is also worth organising training (see: EMPLOYEES).

An audit is about examining the current situation in an organisation. It may consist of the verification of documentation regarding the environmental obligations of the institution (environmental audit), analysis of the supply chain and environmental impact (audit in the field of sustainable development) or examination of the daily practices of employees, processes and how the building is used. Auditors rely on documents, interviews with employees, observation of their practices and ways of using space (human-space-environment). Using various tools, they search for areas for optimisation aimed at maximising effective use of resources (‘zero waste’ audit). (see: AUDIT)

Tenders with environmental criteria. 
It is worth verifying companies with which we cooperate by carrying out green tenders with environmental friendliness as one of the criteria, promoting cooperatives and purchasing ecological services and products. When preparing Terms of Reference (TOR) for an Invitation to Tender, it is worth including points such as: confirmation of submitting environmental reports, use of ecological and/or recycled materials, environmental criteria (e.g. how the company in question reduces carbon footprint), being up to date with sustainable solutions and keeping the clients informed about them. It is also worth paying attention to other criteria associated with sustainable development such as job security (employment contracts), equal opportunities (description of staff, remuneration policy). An example of such a tender carried out by Zachęta art gallery is available here

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