1ª ed.

The environmental impact of an exhibition

Life-cycle assessment of "Europa Oxalá" – Maria do Rosário Palha, Patrícia Fernandes, Sara Pais

Digital edition

Open Access

The life-cycle assessment of Europa Oxalá exhibition is part of the set of internal efforts that have been carried out by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to, by 2030, reduce by 30% GHG emissions associated with its daily operations (compared to 2021). The aim of this report was to create a scientific knowledge base to pinpoint informed options for improving the environmental performance and reducing the carbon footprint in similar cultural and artistic events.

“The art world is currently the stage of an important debate in the broader context of the fight against climate change and the conservation of ecosystems, species and the planet’s habitability. It is also the theatre for knowledge production, discussion and the exchange of ideas, and for experimentation as a means towards a more sustainable society. In fact, in recent years this sector has shown that it is particularly mindful of ecological and sustainability challenges. Paradoxically, this world may not be very respectful of these designs: a dynamic and global market, with a multitude of actors, institutions and multinational initiatives, continuous travel, and unlimited resources spent. This study reflects the concerns of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in this discussion. A producer of hundreds of artistic events per year, including more than a dozen international exhibitions, the Foundation is the destination of hundreds of thousands of visitors, boasting several thousand square meters of exhibition space and theclimate-controlled storage of artwork and books. The life-cycle assessment of the Europa Oxalá exhibition, an artistic European and Europeanist project bringing together over twenty artists whose work centres around post-colonial Europe, is a unique case study to understand and deconstruct the way in which the most well-intentioned activity can have a pernicious effect on everyone’s lives”.

In Preface, by Miguel Magalhães (Culture Programme Director) and Louisa Hooper (Sustainability Programme Director)

This digital booklet is based on the master’s thesis of Ana Luna Riks de Lacerda: Avaliação do impacte ambiental de exposições artísticas: Aplicação à exposição ‘Europa Oxalá’
[Environmental impact assessment of art exhibitions: Application to the exhibition ‘Europa Oxalá’]

Technical information


Scientific review: Ricardo da Silva Vieira e Ricardo Filipe de Melo Teixeira, Instituto Superior Técnico

Editorial coordination:
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
21 p.
Updated on 01 june 2023

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