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SHIFTing towards eco practices: international cultural networks take lead

Today, Culture Action Europe, together with 15 other international  cultural networks, launched the SHIFT eco-certification pilot phase. The aim of this process is to co-develop a bespoke eco-certification for cultural networks, taking into account their specific needs and working methods. Such a certification, established in partnership with Creative Carbon Scotland and Green Leisure Group, environmental sustainability specialists from Scotland and the Netherlands, will provide a  scheme to improve, measure, monitor and evaluate efforts towards sustainability. This pilot project will also encourage active climate action among the wider cultural sector and create a new alliance of like-minded networks and associations. Participating networks aim to get eco-certified by the end of 2023. 

The SHIFT eco-certification pilot phase is an opportunity to rethink our practices as international cultural networks and change our mindsets and behaviours. SHIFT guidelines give a perfect framework and support for this transformation. We hope the process will act as an inspiration for our members and wider (cultural) communities to act for the environment”, – says Lars Ebert, Secretary General of Culture Action Europe. 

The SHIFT pilot phase targets the development of a tailor-made scheme, leading to a first audit and green certification for the participating cultural networks. The guidelines for the certificate have been developed in the course of an Erasmus+ co-funded cooperation project. Expert organisations and  participating networks of the pilot are already identified. 

Natalie Giorgadze, Communications and Community Director and a green team member of Culture Action Europe: “We are proud to participate in this pilot phase. This experience, and ultimately the certificate, will help us to establish a credible track record of concrete actions to be able to prove to future partners and funders our commitment to become a more sustainable and socially responsible organisation”.

Participating networks have chosen a collaborative approach to implement this process. Facilitated by Creative Carbon Scotland and Green Leisure Group, this will be brought to life through regular workshops for all participants to review and reflect on progress while continually developing the guidelines underpinning certification. 

During the first year of implementation of mandatory measures embedded in the SHIFT eco-guidelines, the work will not only be done with the core group of participating organisations but also discussed and shared with the 16 networks’ members. This multiplying effect of the eco-certificate will be seen over the longer term through inspiring other networks (at international and national levels) or membership-based associations to green their practices while using the SHIFT eco-guidelines. Participating cultural networks believe that eventually, upon completion of the pilot phase, the eco-certificate will have the potential to become financially self-sustainable while bringing more networks into the certification process and a collective ‘eco-system’ of change.