New Green Guide for the Professional Orchestras to Battle Climate Changes

Julkaistu 11.10.2023

The professional orchestras and ensembles are small bricks in the great wall of defense against climate changes. But all bricks must play their part and therefore, the Green Orchestra Guide has been published to give orchestras tangible tools and inspiration to implement actions that will help them in the process of green transition.

Precisely one year ago, 36 Nordic orchestras and festivals signed a declaration of intent with the title ‘“A Future with Sustainable Culture’. Now, a year later, the Green Orchestra Guide is presented. It gives the orchestras concrete tools to act more climate friendly. The guide is written specifically for the professional orchestas.

Lars Bertolt Winther, BARC Scandinavia, who is part of the editorial group, states: “It is important that the business of culture in all its diversity contributes to the green transition. However, we hear that they find it difficult to get started. The whole range of general and generic guides out there do not take into consideration the special circumstances of the cultural industry. We hope this guide can assist the orchestras to take the necessary next steps.”

The Green Orchestra Guide encourages the orchestras to commence strategic initiatives that focus on climate friendly goals. The guide offers both examples of actions which can be implemented more or less over night as well as processes which make a difference in the longer run. In addition, the guide seeks to inspire to put words into action using relevant cases from the entire Nordic landscape of orchestras.

One example to be found in the orchestra guide is from Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, where old habits, obdurate systems and strong hierarchies have been blocking efforts to implement climate actions.

Katrine Ganer Skaug, Artistic and Managing Director of Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and Concert Hall, elaborates: ”It’s easier to complete actions with a certain level of activism that creates attention than to work with changes that make a more permanent difference. A great portion of change management is needed for internal changes – in addition to an extended and consistent dialogue with both politicians and audiences to create a change of attitude which includes rethinking the systemic and financial foundation on which we stand.” However, she sees how the Green Orchestra Guide can generate a starting point for international exchange of knowledge, dialogue and inspiration, and points out: “Why not start here? We must stop being ashamed despite we all think we aren’t doing enough. This guide can initiate the conversation with the ‘why’ – and that is really valuable.”

Asbjørn Keiding, Director of the Association of Danish Ensembles, Orchestras and Opera Institutions, underlines the importance of seeking inspiration in all the Nordic countries: “We are very pleased to present this guide that supports the work of the orchestras in their green transition process. The ensembles and orchestras are committed to do their part to diminish climate change but find it difficult to know which actions make the greatest difference – the guide is here to help them,” Asbjørn says and continues, “When we look internationally there are many strong ideas to be inspired from, and many small efforts hopefully have a big impact on the climate changes. It’s a job, we are willing to take on.” He states that the dedication of the orchestras towards green transition and sustainability hopefully will inspire the audience too and thus, create further attention to the important climate issues.

The guide is created by DEOO - the Association of Danish Ensembles, Orchestras and Opera Institutions, Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands, Bæredygtigt Kulturliv NU, BARC Scandinavia and Danske Kulturbestyrelser. The guide was financed with the support of Augustinusfonden, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansen Fonden and Nordisk Kulturfond.

Download the Green Orchestra Guide here.