At this stage, supporting the urban ecosystem requires more logistical and financial investment, as well as time. Architectural and botanical consultations will also be indispensable. It is also worth preceding such activities with observation, consulting the local community for ideas to take into account the diverse needs and perspectives of residents, including non-human ones.
At this stage, it is important to implement systemic action, supporting pro-environmental attitudes.
At this stage, we recommend buying more advanced infrastructural elements supporting energy efficiency of buildings. It is also worth investing in them due to the increasingly strict EU regulations associated with energy efficiency standards. Renovated and newly-built buildings will be obliged to have a very low demand for energy.
At this stage, it is important to think systemically concerning conscious choices of pro-environmental IT solutions providers. The energy consumed by servers, network devices, power and cooling systems is systematically increasing, which is why movements such as Green IT or Green Data Center which act for greening ICT are on the rise.
Carrying out a series of activities following principles of good neighbourliness will allow you to explore the multitude of perspectives and needs intersecting in one place. An institution is only one component. In this way, we learn to look deeply and carefully at the surrounding area and the neighbouring microcosms. It is through small actions and cooperation that we learn responsibility and solidarity across sectors and species. After a series of such community experiences and practices, focus on creating tools that will help disseminate these activities in your institution and your neighbourhood.
When going through the subsequent changes in the employee and work organisation policy, it is important to ensure that all members of the team are involved in the process. It is good to share knowledge gained with staff from other institutions, create support and knowledge-exchange networks and wider-reaching coalitions.
This is the right time for you and other institutions to jointly think about how to ensure circulation of the materials you already possess, that is how to cooperate, share materials and equipment and create a common repository for cultural productions.
This is a good time to find out the opinions of your participants and offset the carbon footprint of events which could not be reduced beforehand. At this stage it is also worth working out the rules of green events at your organisation and preparing a custom-made eco-checklist, which would provide an easy summary of your solutions.
Prepare for a multi-stage and long-term process of implementing the recommendations and decide whether you will take this challenge single-handedly or with external training and consulting support.
Once we monitor the consumption of selected resources, we can proceed to the next step, i.e. changing the supply chain. It is worth verifying purchases in terms of their environmental impact (certified products, e.g. fair trade, products of companies committed to reducing carbon footprint or products of local cooperatives) and introducing tenders with environmental criteria. At the same time, at every stage of introducing changes, develop staff awareness concerning environmental education through self-education or external training. Audit is a more complicated activity requiring larger investments.
Cooperate with institutions and entities operating within culture, but not only. Try cooperating with environmental movements as well and creating climate coalitions. Initiatives involving multiple entities will be more efficient in demanding changes in legal regulations. The obligation to respect environmental indicators when running various social activities should constitute a common goal.
At this stage, the programme of an ecological cultural institution – emphasising both the need to permanently include climate crisis themes in its activities and to implement internal changes – should become an element of the institution’s policy. This will elevate the importance of necessary pro-ecological changes, their constant links with social and economic challenges, and integrate us into joint activities with other organisations.
If you have managed to introduce socially and ecologically responsible ethics of cooperation with businesses in your institution, it is worth promoting this attitude. However, remember to support your attitudes with specific actions and require the same from cooperating entities. Be vigilant and make sure these are not just self-serving actions (‘greenwashing’).
Transforming a cultural institution into an ecological institution does not always mean investing extensive financial resources. Note how many practices can be introduced at no cost. What they require is reorganisation of management by dealing with thought patterns and habits. Such changes are not expensive in terms of money. The cost is the effort associated with changing habits and dealing with the sense of longer realisation times, or even apparent inefficiency, which sometimes creeps in. However, it is important not to treat ‘going green’ as yet another project but to consider it as a (re)organising framework. Therefore, before you decide to look for extra funding which would cover the cost of changes, think about whether you really need it.
Teamwork based on an inclusive process of collecting and exchanging knowledge and spreading awareness about the Climate Emergency, will help to develop broad support for introducing changes to the institution. It is worth remembering at least two directions of action: inside and outside. The internal dimension should be defined by adopting an eco-strategy. Support for change will not be purely theoretical, but will take the form of a specific implementation plan. The external dimension is the space for cooperation and advocacy. In many places of the Guide, we emphasise the need for cooperation and encourage you to create coalitions. Two-way optics is especially important because we know that it is necessary to start changes ourselves and create networks in parallel to influence systemic changes. These are the basic two directions, and without supporting them, little can be done.