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Christie’s Halves Carbon Emissions - From 2019 Baseline Year

London – WEBWIRE

 Christie’s fourth Environmental Impact Report (2023) confirms that, based on current industry standards, the world’s leading art and luxury business made a 57% reduction in carbon emissions last year against the baseline year of 2019.  Year-on-year emissions rose by 11%, mainly due to increases in Travel and Shipping, where behaviour change and an improvement in data quality remain a focus.  

In 2021, Christie’s became the first major auction house to launch a sustainability strategy and this early commitment is continuing to pay off, demonstrating significant improvements across three of the five sectors of the business against which emissions are tracked – those related to I.T., Buildings and Publishing have gone down since 2022, while Travel and Shipping emissions have increased.

Julien Pradels, Global Head of Operations at Christie’s, commented:

“The data is encouraging and shows great progress in some areas, with much still to be done in others. We remain ambitious and focussed. We hope to inspire others as well as push for systemic change across the art market. Working with our committed suppliers and with the support of the Gallery Climate Coalition, we are determined to protect our environment and build a more sustainable business for the future.”

Christie’s is now awaiting validation of ambitious plans for 2050 from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the UN-backed regulator that sets and regularly refines the industry benchmarks for the measurement of carbon emissions.** 

2023 Emissions Summary 


3,476 tonnes CO2e: energy used in buildings, waste, water, paper, and employee commuting  

  • 64% reduction from 2019 & 17% reduction YoY 
  • When we move or renovate, our new spaces are up to 70% more efficient 
  • We have now shifted to green or renewable energy globally in our offices

In September, Christie’s Asia Pacific headquarters will move into The Henderson in Hong Kong. given the LEED Platinum status of the building, the move will help continue to reduce emissions in the region.


3,111 tonnes CO2e:  IT procurement, data centres, telecommunications, e-Waste, on-Blockchain activities  

By focusing on data-use from our top-10 IT suppliers, we have been able to re-calculate the emissions YoY resulting in a significant reduction to the carbon used. 

  • 72% reduction from 2019& 13% reduction YoY
  • Emissions from our data centres down 50% as we continue to move to a cloud-based system and improve the recycling of our e-waste (redundant equipment)
  • Following our launch of Christie’s 3.0, our own on-chain platform dedicated to selling exceptional non-fungible-token (NFT) art in 2022, we have had a full year of using the energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake mechanism on the updated Ethereum 2.0 network. This decision has resulted in blockchain-related emissions reducing by nearly 100% to 5 kgCO2e in 2023 (down from 2.03 tCO2e in 2021), while blockchain transactions have nearly tripled. This achievement not only underscores our commitment to environmental sustainability but also demonstrates the potential for innovative technological solutions to drive positive change in the digital landscape. 


593 tonnes CO2e: production and distribution of printed material  

  • 87% reduction from 2019& 17% reduction YoY.


7,467 tonnes CO2e:  freight, exhibition tours, logistics, storage and packaging  

  • 50% reduction from 2019& 19% rise YoY
  • ongoing focus on packaging into 2024 

Christie’s continues to prioritise sea over air freight, wherever practical. Our partnership with Crozier continues with regular sea freight routes between London and New York and London and Hong Kong. These shipments include space for other art market cargo.

Systematic change is still required and evidence shows that relying on the 80%-less-emitting sea freight option makes sense for business as well as for the environment:  

  • Since 2021, Christie’s has saved the equivalent (in tonnes CO2e) of 4,500 air shipments between New York and London. 
  • Working with our partners CrownDietlHelutransEarthcrate and RokBox on new packaging materials and crating solutions, we have been able to save those clients using sea freight, around $750 per shipment (calculation based on shipping crates used from NY).

Business Travel  

8,448 tonnes CO2e:  staff travel, mainly via air  

  • 38% reduction since 2019 & 42% rise YoY

This is an on-going challenge in our business but managing emissions elsewhere can go some way to mitigating the unavoidable need for business travel. Efforts are re-doubling to ensure every trip made is valid.


2023 REPORT HERE (see ‘View Progress Report’) 

Early on, Christie’s acknowledged the urgent scientific evidence for climate action and set ambitious and important goals to become a more sustainable business, becoming the first major auction house to do this. In March 2021, Christie’s launched a sustainability strategy driven by 3 goals:  zero-impact, nature stewardship and collective action, pledging to commit, communicate and collaborate on these goals that guide the global approach to sustainability across the business.


  • committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 
  • pledged to communicate – and continue to share progress and learnings 
  • affirmed its mission to collaborate, not only within the business but with external partners to support climate-focused initiatives that effect positive change 

Notes  ** In order to comply with updated regulations, including revised compliance requirements from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), previously out-of-scope emissions (related to purchased goods and services) will be included in next year’s Report (2024). Adjustments made to methodologies affects the data against which we measure our emissions and provides rebalanced wins and losses each year. 

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