Leipzig and Dresden develop CO2 calculator for the cultural sector

The GICON® Consult division for energy management/efficiency is developing the computer for the cultural cities of Leipzig and Dresden in cooperation with several partners. With this project, the energy experts from the GICON® group are continuing the work they started in a first project for the Saxon trade fair city.

The two commissioning cities as well as the directors of the Dresden Philharmonic and the Leipzig Opera presented the project to the public for the first time on 1 February.

Press release:

The Department of Culture of the City of Leipzig and the Office for Culture and Monument Protection of the City of Dresden are working together on a CO2 calculator specifically for cultural operations. The emissions calculator will be available free of charge and permanently to all cultural institutions based in Leipzig and Dresden in spring 2023.

With the help of experts and companies, the calculator based on the "E-Tool" programme will be specially adapted to the requirements of the cultural sector in the coming months. This will make it possible to calculate a complete carbon footprint for every cultural institution and (cultural) event. This also includes indirect emissions such as the travel of the audience or the delivery of stage material. Through data collection and evaluation, levers in the cultural sector can be made visible in order to save emissions in the future.

While there are various free emission calculators on the market for companies and private households, there is currently no suitable tool for the cultural sector that precisely records the diverse formats and central emission sources of cultural institutions and is accessible to all cultural institutions and event organisers free of charge.

"The cultural sector urgently needs a suitable CO2 calculator," emphasises Leipzig's Mayor of Culture Dr Skadi Jennicke. "The cultural institutions live sustainability and are very committed to climate and the environment, both in terms of content and structure. So far, however, efforts have been thwarted because there is currently no suitable tool available to independently determine the status quo and to be able to act effectively."
Against this background, the Department of Culture of the City of Leipzig and the Office for Culture and Monument Protection of the State Capital Dresden have initiated a cooperation project to develop a greenhouse gas calculator for the cultural sector. This is the first time that two Saxon metropolises have jointly taken a proactive approach to climate protection in the cultural sector. Other cooperation partners include experienced experts in the field of greenhouse gas accounting and the implementation of participation processes, such as the working group "Mittelstandsinitiative Energiewende und Klimaschutz", the company GICON-Großmann Ingenieur Consult GmbH, the software company WIPS-com GmbH and the Fraunhofer Centre for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW.

"The Emissions Calculator is another important building block in our municipal strategy for implementing sustainable development in the cultural sector. By signing the Dresden Charter for Sustainability in the Cultural Sector, 37 cultural institutions in the state capital have committed themselves to extensive measures. The calculator will help significantly with the implementation," says Dr. David Klein, head of the Office for Culture and Monument Protection of the state capital Dresden.
The central goal is to develop a CO2 calculator for the cultural sector that can be accessed free of charge by all cultural institutions based in Leipzig and Dresden. For this purpose, the project partners are using the successful "E-Tool" emissions calculator from the "Mittelstandsinitiative" working group (www.energie-tool.de). This is a web-based evaluation tool that was developed especially for craft enterprises and has performed excellently in comparison with other CO2 calculators in terms of data retrieval and evaluation, transparency and user-friendliness.

The existing e-tool will be adapted to the specific requirements of cultural enterprises in the coming months. As a result, the emissions calculator should guarantee a fully comprehensive CO2 footprint, which for the first time will determine all direct and indirect emissions of cultural institutions and events. This includes, for example, the transport of paintings and exhibits, the purchase of fabrics and materials for costume production, (international) touring and guest performance operations, the travel of audiences and guest artists, or services provided by commissioned third parties such as catering companies. A free beta version will be made available as early as spring 2023. Cultural institutions will also receive a comprehensive introduction to the tool in the form of workshops.

Both in Leipzig and in Dresden, there have already been extensive activities in the past with regard to the topics of climate protection and sustainability in the cultural sector. In Dresden, for example, selected cultural institutions developed individual sustainability strategies as part of the "Culture for Future" project funded by the German Council for Sustainable Development. At the beginning of 2022, 37 cultural institutions signed the "Dresden Charter for Sustainability in the Cultural Sector".
Since 2021, the Department of Culture of the City of Leipzig has been carrying out the accompanying process "Climate Neutrality of Cultural Institutions and (Cultural) Events", which enables the municipal cultural institutions, with the help of experts, to draw up independent greenhouse gas balances and derive corresponding reduction measures. The series of events "Circular Economy in the Cultural Sector", founded in 2021, pursues the implementation of efficient circular economy in the cultural sector. In order to bundle the individual activities, the foundation of a climate protection network for culture in the city of Leipzig is planned.

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