“After achieving the certification of Carbon neutrality for the 78th Venice International Film Festival in 2021, this year La Biennale di Venezia worked systematically to fight climate change by promoting a more sustainable model for the design, installation and operation of its festivals,” the statement reads.
Though the Venice Biennale is perhaps best known for its art exhibition, which this year held its 59th iteration this year, the Biennale also puts on events dedicated to theatre, dance, music, and film in 2022. It also holds an architecture biennial, but its next edition isn’t until next year.
The Biennale was given their certification by RINA, a Genoa-based company that has been accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Biennale said it achieved its certification by using energy from renewable sources; reducing, reusing, and recycling materials used, such as exhibition materials and equipment; and by offering more vegetarian options made with locally sourced produce.
To further reach their carbon neutrality goals, the Biennale also purchased carbon offset credits that support renewable energy projects in India and Colombia.
One of the most carbon-producing activities generated by the fairs is something that will be hard to address: travel. In a major success for the art Biennale, there was a 35 percent increase in attendance this year as compared to 2019, with 800,000 tickets sold, not including the 22,498 people who visited during the preview days of the exhibition. More than half of the visitors—59 percent to be exact—were foreign to Italy, meaning that many likely flew internationally to visit the Biennale.
The Biennale nodded to this massive carbon expenditure, while also suggesting that it could only do so much to make travel ecologically efficient.
“For all the events, the most important component of the overall carbon footprint concerns the mobility of the participating public,” the Biennale’s statement read. “In this sense, La Biennale will engage again next year in a communication campaign to raise the awareness of the public.”