Christie’s Announces Global Sustainability Initiative

As a market leader, Christie’s has a special responsibility in terms of protecting our environment and building a more sustainable business for now and for the future. We are committing to defined targets and transparent communication of our progress, while supporting collaboration across the industry,”

Christie’s confirmed today its commitment to more sustainable operations, pledging to be net zero by 2030.  The company is committing to a 50% reduction in its carbon emissions, achieving 90% diversion from landfill for its waste and providing all clients with packaging and printed material that is 100% recyclable.

Christie’s is setting its carbon reduction goals aligned to the needs of climate science, and has committed to the Science Based Target initiative* (SBTi) to help achieve the 1.5°C warming trajectory required to avoid dangerous climate change. Christie’s is the first auction house to apply for this accreditation which promotes best practice and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets in line with strict criteria.

Tom Woolston, Global Head of Operations and leading Christie’s Sustainability program, said: “From now on, the lens of sustainability must inform all of our activities. We understand that making good on these commitments will require a shift in culture and recognise that there is much to be done to adapt across the business.”
COMMIT: Carbon Reduction

In order to achieve the targets, Christie’s is addressing four key areas which make the most significant contribution to our emissions:

  • Shipping and Logistics – we will optimise logistics to better utilise lower carbon modes of transport and be more selective in touring property for exhibitions, leveraging the use of digital tools to bridge the gap
  • Business Travel – the pandemic has shown us what can be done without the ability to travel and  we have become effective in finding new ways to communicate with each other and our clients and partners
  • The Energy, Waste and Water from our Buildings – the company has already switched to renewable energy in the London headquarters
  • Printed Materials – work has begun with a 75% reduction in print materials during 2020, exceeding the commitment announced in 2019

We took the opportunity last year to reflect on our business operation and drove innovation and efficiencies around our new live sale format and digital innovation. This accelerated digital transformation has moved the business forward and enhanced digital capabilities will continue to underpin a more sustainable culture. By improving and expanding the digital client experience, the environmental impact of enjoying art and luxury goods can be dramatically reduced.

COMMUNICATE: Pledge to be Transparent & Share Learnings

Working with leading sustainability consultants Avieco, Christie’s has completed a review of all operational activities and measured its current global emissions (available online). The
company is committing to annual reporting of future emissions and its progress towards targets, the first of which will be published later this year, to ensure transparency.

Christie’s Principle Emissions
tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions

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COLLABORATE: Systemic Challenges Require Collective Action

Christie’s will take a collaborative approach with suppliers and other stakeholders to work to reduce the collective environmental footprint up and down the supply chain. “We know the broader art industry shares the desire to combat climate change, and we promise to use our leadership position to drive positive change, actively looking to form collaborations with stakeholders across the art world and beyond,” concluded Mr. Woolston.

Christie’s has 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.

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The company will also continue to support climate-focused philanthropic activities. Recent collaborations have included ‘The David Gilmour Collection’ (June 2019), where proceeds were designated to ClientEarth and the sale of Jonah Wood’s ‘Japanese Garden 3’ (May 2019) which benefitted Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and Rainforest Trust. In November 2020, as part of our Middle Eastern art sales, Christie’s presented Matters of Material, a curated auction exploring how artists make use of materials to explore issues including sustainability.


About the SBTi
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World WideFund for Nature (WWF).

About Christie’s
Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting Private Sales for clients and online sales are offered year-round across all categories. Christie’s global presence is spread across a network of international salerooms and 61 representatives and offices. provides detailed articles and videos on the objects offered for sale alongside the latest advances in digital viewing tools to make Christie’s accessible to all.

About Gallery Climate Coalition
The Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) is a non-profit organisation founded by a voluntary group of London-based gallerists and professionals working in the commercial arts sector as an attempt to develop a meaningful and industry-specific response to the growing climate crisis. The goal of the initiative is to facilitate a greener, more sustainable art world and to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement. This will be achieved by providing members with industry specific guidelines and practical tools including a carbon calculator to measure emissions. CHRISTIES.COM


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