Our Strategy

Art Basel is currently defining long-term strategies for a more sustainable fair. In particular, the immediate priorities are:

→ The measurement of carbon emissions across all four fairs, done in close collaboration with our parent company, MCH Group AG.

→ The development and implementation of a holistic reduction strategy across all four fairs and associated activities including the reduction of carbon emissions following guidelines established by The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Art Basel takes a holistic approach to sustainability, taking into account environmental, social, and economic aspects.

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Art Basel has already taken steps in:

  • Highlighting the importance of renewable energy sources and reduced energy consumption in our discussions with our venues.
  • Improving waste management on site and reducing waste produced by our fairs including by identifying and selecting reusable materials whenever possible
  • Actively communicating our goal to adhere to sustainable shipping practices with our freight handlers and exhibitors in collaboration with the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC).
  • Enforcing a near-zero disposable cutlery policy at food and beverage outlets whenever possible; promoting a variety of vegan and vegetarian cuisines; working with local suppliers.
  • Reducing the carbon emissions related to travel by optimizing team travel, favoring low-carbon modes of transport, and promoting conscious travel to our stakeholders.
  • Encouraging discussions and raising awareness about climate change and sustainability in the panel discussions of our Conversations program, in on-site presentations, and in our editorial content.
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As an active member of the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), Art Basel supports this important initiative founded by gallerists and other art world professionals and is committed to collaborating closely with the GCC on the topic of sustainability, particularly on carbon emission reduction and waste reduction.

More information on the MCH Group sustainability strategy can be found here.

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Art Basel in Basel 2024

Building and fair operations

  • For our Basel show, where we own the exhibition site, 80% of the overall energy requirements are met by renewable energies. Furthermore, the Messe Basel venue covers its electricity needs from 100% renewable energy generated from European wind farms.
  • The entire integral wall-system for our four shows is fully reusable and shipped to each location by boat and the lighting of our shows is being gradually switched to 100% energy-saving LED lighting, and the aisle carpet is fully recycled after the show to be used in other industries such as construction and furniture.
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Waste management and operations

Art Basel is focused on better understanding the fair’s waste materiality breakdown and aims to implement more sustainable operational practices.

  • We have implemented a waste sorting and recycling protocol during the construction and dismantling of the fair that now also includes our partners.
  • Waste generated by Messe Basel is fed into SRS (Swiss Recycling Services), a company owned by Helvetia Environment.
  • Our collaboration with freight handlers requires all freight carriers to specify the distances covered, the mode of transportation used, and the weight of the artworks in their invoices to the galleries, which has been implemented into our regulations.
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Restauration and communications

  • Disposable tableware is not available at any of the catering outlets, and water fountains have been installed within the halls to avoid the use of plastic bottles.
  • Recyclable PET bottles are collected separately and returned to the PET recycling cycle found throughout Switzerland.
  • The majority of our food outlets offers vegetarian or vegan options.
  • Print products have been reduced or completely replaced with digital communication tools wherever possible. We prioritise working with local partners for the remaining printed matter in use and prioritize sustainably sound paper.
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