How Art Organizations Can Use Data Science To Reduce Their Carbon Footprint (Recording + Highlights)

This week on ArtEvolve, we discussed how to use data science to inform sustainability decisions in your organization.

Our guest is David Coxon, Head of IT at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, who slashed energy usage and reduced its carbon footprint with minimal financial investment.


What is data science anyway?

  • Data analysis – looking at historic data to obtain useful information (like how much energy was used last year) and using it to inform decisions (like how much energy use to budget for this year).
  • Data science – goes a step further and also looks at predicting future trends. It uses statistics/numbers as well as computer programming to extract meaningful insights from data. Knowledge and expertise in the relevant field (e.g. museums or building management) helps inform decision-making further.


Though Baltic is unique in its setup and relationship with the local council and energy suppliers, its use of data science to inform sustainability decisions is an interesting case study for other art organizations.

Baltic currently collects around 100,000 points of data a year via smart meters in multiple locations measuring water and electricity usage and cost. They use computer programming to help analyze this data, identify patterns, and answer questions about energy usage.


What changes has Baltic made based on data?

  • Turning down the heating at times when it is not needed
  • Precise air conditioning scheduling
  • Switching to LEDs


Using data science to change mindsets and drive sustainable choices:

As highlighted in previous webinars, more sustainable climate protocols already exist but adoption is low. One of the reasons for this is a lack of confidence – both in the relaxed protocols themselves and that there is no resulting damage to artworks.

Data and data science can help provide decision-makers with the evidence they need to back more sustainable choices by:

  • putting a value on estimated financial savings
  • helping estimate % saved in carbon emissions
  • modeling different future scenarios


Climate control conditions and loan agreements have been identified as key areas for museums to drastically reduce carbon emissions. The Ki Culture Getting Climate Control Under Control Pilot has now launched in partnership with The Association of Danish Museums to help a cohort of 10 museums engage in the green transition, choose sustainable solutions and lead the way for museumgoers and society at large.

To find out more, or join the pilot program, email


Where can art organizations start with data science?

  • Make a simple spreadsheet and decide what you want to measure, like temperature, humidity, and energy cost. You can even start with just a small space like a single gallery or collection – you don’t have to do everything all at once!
  • Take advantage of free online courses offered by organizations like Khan Academy to help you determine what questions you want to answer with the help of data science.
  • Learning a little about coding with a basic course from Data Camp, for example, will allow you to automate basic tasks.
  • Contact energy suppliers to obtain data they’re already collecting.


Thank you to our guest speaker, David Coxon of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, for joining us!