Increasing numbers of actors on the cultural scene have raised their concern about climate change and shared their own ways of reducing their emission load. This complex subject has been dealt with in exhibitions, seminars, discussions and stunts. At the end of 2018, IHME, too, announced its new operating model, in which ecological reconstruction emerges as a key guideline. IHME and its new Advisory Board have been giving thought to sustainable operating models that suit the contemporary art scene.
Climate actions already taken
A year ago, IHME measured its office’s carbon footprint using the British Julie’s Bicycle carbon-footprint calculator designed especially for cultural organizations. At that same time, IHME committed to acting to minimize its carbon footprint in various ways. One of the concrete climate actions taken by IHME Helsinki is compensating for the flight emissions generated by unavoidable journeys using the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation’s (FANC) Hiilipörssi (carbon exchange) scheme, which restores wetlands that act as carbon sinks. The food served at IHME’s meetings and public events has been vegan and has been ordered according to the principle of equality. The venues chosen for public events have been easy to reach without a private car, and office staff generally opt to travel to their daily work by public transport or bicycle. To thank members of IHME’s Advisory Board and Board who have finished their terms in office for their longstanding work, we have commemorated them with a donation to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, which uses its funds to acquire old-growth forests in need of protection.
Towards more ecological work production
A large portion of the emissions from our operations come from IHME’s core operations, i.e. the production of artworks. IHME Helsinki’s first commissioned work for 2020 is currently being made with the artist Jana Winderen. It is obvious that works made by international artists require travel, and the resultant carbon footprint will be compensated for in the future, too. IHME Commissions are always created in relation to Helsinki or its environs, and the production process generally takes place in Helsinki. The site and situation-specific nature of the works, and the immaterial form, for example, of sound and film works do not require long-distance transportation that places a load on the environment, but they do always require technology and consume energy. Ways of operating that are kind to the environment can thus be used in all sorts of subsidiary aspects of production.
IHME Helsinki has further sought out and shared with its followers information about the artworld discussion of the state of the environment, for instance, on social media. We feel that it is important for us to learn from other actors about good practices in both small and large-scale climate actions.
Do you have any environmental tips? Let us know at: info[at]ihmehelsinki.fi