In March of this year, Chatsworth House Trust gained active membership status from the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC). We are one of 125 organisations/individuals that have been awarded this status, demonstrating environmental sustainability best practice in line with GCC guidance. Fellow members include MOMA, the Barbican, Sotheby’s and the Guggenheim Bilbao.

To become an active member, an organisation has to publish an environmental sustainability statement, and demonstrate it has an established Green Team. In the Devonshire Group, our green team is known as the Triple Bottom Line Steering Committee.

Chaired by Lord Burlington and with representatives from across the organisation, the group drives progress from within and evaluates performance in terms of our social, economic and environmental contributions. The group also periodically reviews our Environmental Policy Statement, which was first published by Lord Burlington in 2011.

Our other key green team is our network of Sustainability Champions; departmental representatives with a passion for sustainability. They facilitate communication with the sustainability team and help share best practice between departments.

The final requirement to become an active member of the Gallery Climate Coalition is to conduct a carbon audit. Using the Gallery Climate Coalition carbon calculator, for the first time ever we have been able to calculate our carbon footprint from air travel and air freight. These are activities with high carbon emissions, but are vital for our international loans programme.

As part of our commitment to sustainability, we have begun to implement changes to our internal processes to reduce the environmental impact of loans. These include:

  • Reusable crates. We only use reusable hire crates in which to pack our artworks, meaning crates can then be reused by other organisations. It also reduces waste as crates are often disposed of post loan. 
  • Sea freight. Having approval for the use of shipping via sea freight where possible. Air freight produces around 10 times more CO2e than shipments via road and approx. 60 times more CO2e than by sea. For our Radical Horizons exhibition in 2022, all our incoming loans were shipped via sea freight.
  • Virtual couriers and courier sharing. By courier sharing, we are reducing the amount of air travel involved in an outgoing loan. We assess each loan on a case by case basis and where possible, also offer the option of a virtual courier. This was our only method of overseeing installations during COVID 19 so we were able to develop an internal policy and agreed process for such instances.

Sustainability is a way of thinking, rather than a destination in its own right, and there will always be new ways to improve and reduce our impact. Active membership is not a certification of sustainability, nor a claim that we are doing things perfectly - none of us are at this point. As active members, we will continue to assess and reduce our impact, set targets in line with science, and take action where we can.

Latest news

Newsletter sign-up

Never miss a thing. Stay up to date with our latest news, offers and events by entering your details below:

We use a third party provider to share our email newsletters. We collect statistics, including email opens and clicks, using industry standard technologies, such as clear gifs, to help us improve our newsletter content making it more interesting and relevant. You can learn more in our privacy policy.