Sustainability at Christie’s

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“At Christie’s we understand that the experience of art is positive and meaningful, a source of personal joy and enrichment as well as a privilege. This experience, however, should not come at the expense of the environment.”

– Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer


For 250 years, at Christie’s we have helped steward some of humanity’s greatest artistic treasures across generations and cultures.

As a leader in our market, we want to build a sustainable art business so that we can play another stewarding role: helping to protect the environment so that great natural beauty can be enjoyed by, and inspire, future generations.

In March 2021, we announced a global sustainability initiative, guided by three key pillars: commit, communicate and collaborate.

Our sustainability pillars

Commit
We pledge to be net zero by 2030


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• We will reduce our carbon emissions by 50% across all emission scopes, aligning with climate science to keep global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We have committed to the Science Based Target initiative to ensure we have a rigorous framework to help us on our journey.

• We will launch a series of programmes designed to reduce our carbon across all of our main areas of operational activity. From now on, the lens of sustainability will inform how our buildings are powered; how artworks are packed, transported, presented and marketed; and how often we travel.

• We will divert 90% of our waste from landfill.

• We will provide all clients with packaging and printed products that are both high quality and 100% recyclable.

Communicate
We will launch an annual sustainability report to ensure transparency

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• We understand that making commitments is easy; following through on them is where the challenge begins. We pledge to be transparent in the progress that we make, communicating our targets and how we are working towards them clearly and openly. We will share our achievements via an annual environmental impact report and also shed light on challenges to build broader awareness.

• You can see a summary of our 2019-2020 emissions here.

Collaborate
We will partner with other stakeholders to support climate-focused initiatives

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• Systemic change requires collective action. We will work with others to raise awareness and tackle industry-wide challenges, from suppliers and other companies and institutions to partners and clients.

• We have joined the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) a non-profit organisation founded by a voluntary group of London-based gallerists and professionals. Their aim is to help the art world reduce its impact on the climate and to develop a meaningful and industry-specific response to the growing climate crisis.

• We will continue to partner on meaningful projects that have raised significant funds for environmental and climate-focused charities.

Our environmental impact emissions summary

Recent initiatives

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• In June 2019, Christie’s soldThe David Gilmour Collection: the personal guitar collection of the rock 'n' roll legend David Gilmour — guitarist, singer and songwriter of Pink Floyd. One of the world’s most comprehensive groupings of guitars, the iconic collection achieved US$21.5 million, with all proceeds being donate to ClientEarth.





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• Jonas Wood’s Japanese Garden 3 sold for $4,928,500 in May 2019, benefitting Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC). The proceeds funded a 600,000-acre reserve of South American rainforest that aids the area’s biodiversity including protecting several native endangered species and combating climate change. The work was donated by the artist in a collaboration that was initiated by Art to Acres, a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising funds for land conservation through art sales. Additionally, GWC and Rainforest Trust offered a 400% match of the hammer price of Japanese Garden 3 to go towards funding the reserve.



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• In April 2019, the proceeds of 9 works sold as part of the Thinking Italian sale benefitted the Water Academy SRD, an international platform who operate in Higher Education and Scientific Research, alongside an annual symposium, in order to promote a new culture of water.




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The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller that raised $835 million in May 2018, the most significant philanthropic auction ever. Proceeds were directed, among other organisations, to: American Farmland Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, and The Stone Barns Restoration Corporation – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, among others.


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$38.8 million was raised in The 11th Hour charity auction in May 2013, organised by Leonardo DiCaprio and Christie’s to benefit environmental and conservation causes chosen by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and a panel of environmental experts.




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Christie’s Green: A Bid to Save the Earth raised $657,000 in May 2010, with proceeds divided among four leading not-for-profit environmental organisations: Conservation International, Oceana, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Central Park Conservancy.