Majority of Dutch support sustainability of cultural sector

ico Xandra Nibbeling

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Sustainable operations

First, the Dutch consider it important for cultural institutions to make their operations more sustainable (73 percent). Thus, more than three quarters (78 percent) of the geënquêtees believe it is an industry responsibility to reduce and recycle waste. Three-quarters (75 percent) favor using local suppliers. They also see opportunities for using environmentally friendly products (73 percent), conserving energy (65 percent), using renewable energy (62 percent) and ethical financing (56 percent).

Influence sustainability on creative making process

Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of the Dutch believe that cultural institutions should use only sustainable materials. Also, 63 percent support measures to visibly improve biodiversity, including the construction of green roofs. When it comes to sustainability in relation to the creative freedom of the creator, people are more critical. A smaller group (46 percent) believes that cultural institutions should give priority to creators who use sustainable materials or focus on climate themes in particular (44 percent). Also, 45 percent of the Dutch believe that cultural institutions should devote part of their programming to climate themes. The number of people in favor of these measures is still greater than the group opposed (28 percent, 31 percent and 30 percent, respectively).

Less support for beïnfluence public

Although most are in favor of sustainability, a smaller proportion is in favor of measures that directly affect them. For example, 62 percent say they think cultural institutions should only sell sustainable products. Think of a museum café that substitute dairy products for plant-based alternatives. 54 percent of the Dutch find it important that cultural institutions promote public transportation among visitors. When it comes to informing audiences, 60 percent think cultural institutions should promote sustainable actions among visitors. 58 percent believe that cultural institutions should inform them about human impact on the climate. A slight majority (52 percent) wants to know what sustainable measures cultural institutions themselves have taken.

Visitor numbers

Sustainability is an urgent issue and may affect visitor numbers in the future. For example, 41 percent of Dutch people expect to be less likely to visit an unsustainable cultural institution in five years. Almost half (48 percent) are neutral and a small proportion (11 percent) expect to visit a non-sustainable institution more often.

More information and the research report can be found here