Environmental Sustainability Statement
We recognise our responsibility to help protect the planet. We are committed to minimising the impact our galleries and our operations have on the environment and supporting those who are working to improve global environmental sustainability.
Serpentine acknowledges the climate emergency and recognises it as the most urgent issue of our time. We are a public institution committed to supporting artists and their visions of the future; we pledge ourselves to new ways of thinking and acting and that approach extends to our commitment to environmental sustainability.
As a central pillar of our programming, we have embedded environmental and ecological concerns across Serpentine’s programmes, infrastructure and networks. We aim via our main activities to contribute positively to cultural, behavioural and systemic shifts towards environmental sustainability and thriving.
We are actively reducing our environmental impact. Serpentine has been part of the Arts Council England Sustainability Spotlight Programme 2018-23 delivered by Julie’s Bicycle, striving to reduce the environmental impacts of Band 3 National Portfolio Organisations to achieve measurable carbon reductions through the development of environmental management practice. From this work, we have developed and are implementing the Serpentine Sustainability Action Plan.
Our environmental statement informs all of our operations, from procurement and travel to cleaning products and energy and water consumption. This includes using a renewable electricity supplier, Green IT, waste recycling, using recycled and environmentally friendly products where possible and moving towards ‘paperless’. We are collaborating with all suppliers to obtain better data on our consumption of resources, with a view to monitoring and reducing usage in future, and are developing alternative sustainable sources where possible.
Serpentine is committed to pooling knowledge and convening its networks to share best practices for taking action against the climate emergency through Julie’s Bicycle.
Through its networks of artists and organisations, Serpentine seeks to develop and prototype new infrastructures and new protocols for positive and reparative environmental action through art and culture. We aim to move beyond the principle of ‘do less harm’ and towards that of ‘leave things better’.
Our recent activities include:
- Major capital investment in our AHUs, ending the reliance on gas boilers for heating and cooling of the South Gallery exhibition space. The use of electric air source heat pumps is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 times, compared to our previous gas-based installation, as well as increasing energy efficiency for heating.
- Presentation of a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions that drew attention to urgent environmental questions, as well as artists’ and culture’s role towards environmental justice and balance.
- Fabrication materials recycled from shows to shows, for example: Radio Ballads’ material (Rory Pilgrim’s curved space) was reused for the Back to Earth exhibition (IKUM Temple and Dineo Seshee Bopape’s cob wall installation), then also recycled for Barbara Chase-Riboud’s Infinite Folds wall materials.
Priorities for the coming year include:
- Ensuring our governance framework is used to help embed environmental responsibility and sustainability throughout our operations, with staff responsible for these key areas in all departments and at all levels across the organisation;
- Continuing to programme in an environmentally conscious and sustainable way, embedding environmental and ecological concerns across the galleries’ programmes, infrastructure and networks;
- Communicating our environmental commitment and action to our visitors and stakeholders and taking an active role in supporting other social initiatives and networks which can support our approach to environmental sustainability;
- Continuing to monitor and minimise the energy use of our buildings and the technologies that we use;
- Monitoring and minimising the environmental impacts of our business travel and encouraging staff to consider low emission commuting options. As a gallery with an international reach we welcome dialogue with our artists and partners to monitor and justify all of our journeys and foster sustainable change;
- Supporting our visitors to make sustainable choices by continuing to promote Climavore in partnership with Benugo at The Magazine Restaurant;
- Continuing to hold ourselves to account through our collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle and other cultural networks, by monitoring and sharing data on our consumption of resources;
- Reducing the production of waste from our offices and exhibition and event production processes by continually improving the sustainability of the products we procure, ensuring they can be reused or recycled, adopting circular models where possible.
We seek to take the long view. As an organisation, we acknowledge that we belong to this planet and share responsibility for its thriving. Through our actions and advocacy, we act in the best interest of future generations of humans and more-than-human beings.