4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (4A) is an independent not-for-profit organisation based in Sydney, Australia that has worked in the Asian contemporary art context since 1996. 4A fosters excellence and innovation in contemporary culture through the commissioning, presentation, documentation and research of contemporary art. Our extensive program is presented throughout Australia and Asia, where we ensure that contemporary art plays a central role in understanding and developing the dynamic relationship between Australia and the wider Asian region.
“The process of certification has engaged all staff in collecting data to measure our carbon footprint and encouraged a working culture that is conscious of reducing this footprint ”
Type of certification
How long have you been certified carbon neutral?
Our baseline year is 2018. In year one of 4A’s Sustainability Plan (Apr 2018 - Aug 2019), we have achieved Climate Active carbon neutral certification for organisations. This process has enabled 4A to measure a base year of emissions, reduce these where possible, offset remaining emissions and set sustainable goals moving forward. 4A has committed to measuring our carbon footprint yearly, with external auditing to occur every three years, to ensure goals and KPIs are addressed long term.
Why are you carbon neutral?
In early 2018 4A sought to investigate how the organisation could achieve more environmentally sustainable practice across both its local and international operations and developed a sustainability plan. In its early stages of drafting, the plan looked at various ways to measure and reduce energy, and set carbon neutral certification as its first goal. As the first visual arts organisation to be certified in Australia, 4A is committed to leading by example in the nation-wide visual arts community.
What are the benefits of your carbon neutral certification?
Undertaking certification enabled 4A to measure our yearly carbon footprint and identify the different areas our organisation could address to improve sustainability. Within our gallery building these include our electricity usage, freight, catering, waste-to-landfill, recycling, advertising, paper usage, printing and office IT. Beyond this we were able to understand the scope of carbon generated by our offsite programs including exhibitions, performances, symposiums, research trips, professional development opportunities, travel and accommodation for staff, artists, writers and professionals that we employ.
The process of certification has engaged all staff in collecting data to measure our carbon footprint and encouraged a working culture that is conscious of reducing this footprint where possible.
What offset projects do you support?
For 2018, our offset investment was split equally three ways; Forests Alive vegetation project (Tasmania), Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project (Central Kalimantan, Indonesia), and Dachunhe Sanji Hydropower (Yunnan Province, China).
Why did you choose these projects?
4A chose these three offset projects to reflect our engagement across Australia and the wider Asia region.
How can the community support you?
We encourage all members of the public to support us by engaging in 4A’s program of exhibitions, events and public programs.
Our artistic program facilitates cultural dialogue between Australia and Asia in the belief that Asian cultural thinking significantly shapes the world today and will have an important impact on the future. We approach Asia in its broadest geographical scope, from Central and West Asia through to the Pacific, focusing on the interconnected and interwoven nature of the region’s histories and futures.
Our approach to sustainability is founded on working to understand a multiplicity of perspectives, and exploring contemporary concerns and ideas that influence how we as a nation engage with Asia.
What else are you doing to reduce emissions?
4A has set a number of goals and commitments moving forward:
- set targets and KPIs to reduce energy use yearly;
- examine energy efficiency options that could be implemented to reduce energy usage and save costs. Work to minimise emissions through initiating a lighting overhaul from halogen to LEDs;
- reduce air travel, implement and budget for more video-conference calls ;
- continue our commitment to using 100% GreenPower supply (electricity produced from renewables);
- transition all billing and file storage to electronic;
- implement a Green Office Policy (e.g transition to a recycled paper or paperless office);
- express commitment to change through publicly disclosing our climate actions.
What advice would you give to a business considering certification?
Prioritise reducing energy consumption and waste that you can already identify, then approach carbon offsetting as a last resort for the aspects of your footprint that you are unable or actively working to reduce.