Step 3: Institutional policy

A document in which you write down goals, define working methods, divide the work into specific stages corresponding to the resources and capabilities of the team and budget and set a time horizon is, first and foremost, a practical and useful document. You don’t have to call it ‘eco-strategy’ if the name seems overwhelming to you. What matters most is its usefulness: such a document allows you to embed all practice, knowledge and plans for the present and future. Make sure to gather knowledge and practice from all areas of the institution’s work. Let this material be shared and discussed widely. Look at your own experiences cross-sectionally, find out what was possible to implement and where you encountered obstacles. Define priority areas of work appropriate to the specificity of your team and institution. Point out both easy and difficult tasks. Take care of a sense of agency, do not set only the demanding, difficult to achieve goals. Seek balance and satisfaction. Schedule time for checking, summing up and possible revisions in action plans. Be understanding with each other. We need radical changes which concern not only goals, but also radical changes in working methods. When defining an eco-strategy, take into account the team’s capabilities and external conditions. Share the goals and working methods set out in your eco-strategy with other organisations, as this knowledge comes under the commons protocol and will grow as it is disseminated.

Ecological ethics included in the institution’s mission
Creating a set of universally advocated values is as important as defining an eco-strategy action plan. The ecological nature of an institution obliges it to focus on community, common resources, intersectional wellbeing, lowering carbon and employee footprints* as core considerations (for an explanation of the concept of employee footprint, see: EMPLOYEES). This is about showing respect to all employees, regardless of employment form. This is about applying moderation in programming and production. Supporting and promoting entities of the social and solidarity economy. Taking responsibility for non-human neighbours, through supportive care over ecosystems, ensuring good living conditions for the natural, animate and inanimate world. Go beyond the usual pattern of promotion and contact with the public focusing on energy-intensive and ethically or politically questionable social networks. Create new forms of relationships and cooperation with recipients of your activities and with local communities. An interesting and strong example comes from the National Theatre of Wales, which invites residents of Cardiff to join its programme council and adheres to the principle that all of Wales is the stage of the national theatre.

Allied lobbying in the cultural sector
Eco-ethics permeates the whole body of an institution: its educational and core work, administrative, production and communication aspects, as well as its external impact. Therefore, you should share systemic solutions with other institutions and support each other in frank and kind discussion. Create coalitions and lobby for change, bearing in mind that the perceptions and practices organising the work and function of culture must radically change. We are in this together! Signing the Declaration and joining the Culture for Climate initiative may be the first step to creating a network of people and entities involved in joint advocacy for the changes in the realm of culture (see: DECLARATION).

Movement for climate
Arts and cultural institutions enjoy social authority and have a wide range of influence, so it is important for them to join the climate movement. It is good to look for partnerships with local ecological activist groups and support the national and global ones. Publicly expressing support for specific movements will give them a symbolic reinforcement and will have tangible effects in publicising the cause and demanding a political response. You can also offer cooperation, find out what needs groups have, what they need support for, find ways to join in with a specific issue. The climate crisis requires everyone to set ambitious goals. The cultural community can organise itself to participate in the creation of climate policy at local, national and global levels and work together with environmental organisations and the activist community.

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