It consumes a lot of energy everywhere: in museums there are air-conditioning systems, in book publishing it is paper, and in theater it is lighting. But there is another way. We searched around for perfect ideas. A lot of them are in the cultural life of Stuttgart.
The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra has shown the way: note music on a tablet, cycling to rehearsals and concerts, green electricity to keep warm: As the first German orchestra, the Stuttgart Orchestra operates and produces music in a climate-neutral manner. . “All the activities of the orchestra were taken into account, as well as the environmental footprint of the goods and services purchased,” says Artistic Director Marcus Kurslet. Even carbon dioxide emissions from the public were taken into account.
Read from our bonus show: The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra fights for art and climate
But what about other institutions? We provide an overview of the actions, and how cultural life in Stuttgart (and the rest of the world) is reacting to the challenges of the climate crisis.
Book publishers: Energy-consuming paper and ways out
Book production is not only associated with massive consumption of intellectual resources, but also releases large amounts of greenhouse gases. And the first thing the buyer comes into contact with, the tamper evident seal of the plastic film, is still the smallest component. It takes as much energy to make a ton of paper as it does to make a ton of steel. Printing machines eat up extra amounts of energy. Paints are made on the basis of mineral oil, and then there is transportation.
Therefore, more and more publishers, such as the Klett-Cotta group of companies in Stuttgart, have set themselves the goal of becoming as climate neutral as possible. “We produce in Germany,” says production manager Ulrike Wollenberg. This not only shortens transportation routes, but is also subject to stricter environmental legislation. Printed on paper made from wood from sustainably managed forests. According to Wollenberg, an important point is distribution planning: “The worst thing is the books that have been produced for free. That is why we make sure from the start that we have to waste as little as possible.” No matter how optimal production conditions are, emissions are released, so the publishing house that publishes the books of climate activist Louisa Neubauer cannot do without compensation by supporting climate projects.
Film production: Sustainable Heartbeats of Stuttgart
A working group called “Green Shooting” developed minimum environmental standards for sustainable film production on January 1, 2022. In accordance with the will of the film funding agencies of the federal and state governments and Secretary of State for Culture, Claudia Roth, these should apply uniformly to all German film, and television and video-on-demand, as of January 1, 2023. “Funding guidance should be more geared toward the sustainability goal,” Roth said at the beginning of February. The first impetus for sustainable production and the “green photography” brand came from the southwest: Karl Bergengroen, president of the Media and Film Association of Baden-Württemberg (MFG) in Stuttgart, has been campaigning for the topic for years. MFG has been giving advice for some time, as well as a self-developed CO2 calculator. “The film and television industry emits much higher carbon dioxide than we all think, as does the entire telecom industry according to a French study.” Bergengruen of our newspaper in 2020, “Film crews can cut emissions by nearly half with green electricity and LED lights, reduce flying and use public transportation more, and get rid of diesel generators and single-use cutlery.”
Museums: Air conditioners that consume a lot of energy
In the museum are taken for granted: climate gauges. Temperature and humidity are strictly monitored – and complex air conditioning makes museums one of the biggest consumers of energy in inner cities. There have always been voices that see above all climate armament a belief in technology – not necessity. Because the greatest cultural treasures have survived so well for centuries in cool churches and rambling castles. In recent years, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart has switched to LED lights, introduced waste separation and reduced water consumption, and the fleet of vehicles is also electric. Improving air conditioning systems is now a priority for the coming years. Because even if experts unsuccessfully turned to politicians, then the measurement of humidity will remain in museums for a long time and twenty degrees will be given as optimal. why? Because insurance companies dictate what’s right.
Stage: LED flashing spotlight
When the prop masters need to run errands, they can hop on their bikes. The Stuttgart Opera bought a freight wagon five years ago. Staatstheater is now gradually replacing its fleet of vehicles, after all, many trucks, minibuses and cars move between places and the large warehouse in Bad Cannstatt every day. The three-section house has committed to protecting the environment as a strategic goal. Consumption is measured, consumption sources are determined, suppliers are questioned, and whether the public can come by public transport – or whether the evening schedule fails – is also analyzed. Concretely, the state theater has already switched to green electricity, and every interrupted spotlight is replaced with LEDs or energy-saving lamps. But there is one thing beyond any discussion: artistic freedom should not be restricted by climate policy.
Pop Parties: Coldplay Dance Floor Generates Energy
Pop is harmful to the environment. According to a study, tours in the UK emit 405,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. When musicians travel around the world with their crew and tech gear and fill large arenas, the climate will never be neutral. Or maybe yes? Coldplay wants at least “to tour as sustainable as possible,” explains Chris Martin, the band’s lead singer. The British set themselves three goals: first, cut carbon dioxide emissions in half; second, testing new green technologies; Third, offsetting pollutant emissions by financing sustainable projects. The current round of Brits therefore uses renewable energy almost exclusively – for example in the form of rechargeable display batteries. The energy is generated from solar energy, recycled cooking oil, and an energy-generating dance floor – and thus by the audience themselves.
Live Streaming: Better Home Cinema Needs More Power
Netflix, Amazon Prime and all the other streaming services consume a lot of energy and leave a carbon footprint. Modern processors in server farms and more efficient cooling systems cannot compensate for the fact that the overall market is growing exponentially. However, it is not only the growing server farms of an increasing number of films for an increasing number of customers that increase energy consumption, but also the increasingly luxurious equipment of consumers. Flow trap: the wider the screen, the higher the resolution, the nicer the home cinema experience, the higher the consumption. Netflix pledges to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the end of 2022. Not only since then is the consumer in demand. For favorite movies, for example, Blu-Ray is more sustainable than frequent streaming. And movies are just part of cloud life: more local shows and more local games rather than games in the cloud reduce consumption.
Cultural Policy: “Cultural institutions must be climate friendly”
“Climate-friendly production conditions in the art and culture industry” – this is the goal set by Petra Olchowski, Minister of State in the Ministry of Art and a member of the Green Party, in a statement to our newspaper on the country’s future cultural policy. Climate protection as “securing and preserving our livelihoods” is the mission of society as a whole, to which everyone must contribute. For the cultural landscape, this means: “Thinking about sustainability and climate protection in all processes should and should be normative.” It pays special attention to future construction investments: “Of course, all renovations and new buildings in the cultural sector must be planned in a climate-friendly way.” And: “A green culture can provide impetus to society, and it can give courage.”