Climate-neutral artistic and cultural projects

Show the full version of this element's decorative background image.


Although art’s impact on the climate is still largely unknown, many cultural professionals in Germany wish to do their part to mitigate the climate crisis. In addition to addressing the crisis through artistic means, cultural institutions, creative producers and artists are searching for instruments and methods to align their working processes with the goals of environmental sustainability in an appropriate and effective manner. But where do we begin? Where are we now? And what are the most urgent issues we should tackle as soon as possible?

In response to these pressing questions, the Federal Cultural Foundation has established the programme “Zero” which invites cultural institutions from a broad range of artistic areas to participate in a nationwide sustainability campaign. The programme is comprised of three different modules: application-based funding through the “Zero Fund”, professional training and qualification measures offered through the “Zero Academy”, and regional network meetings to promote knowledge transfer at locations throughout Germany.

The Federal Cultural Foundation has allocated a total of eight million euros to finance the Zero programme until 2027.



Funding period
Funded projects
Funding amount
8 million euros

Zero Fund

With the application-based “Zero Fund”, the Federal Cultural Foundation helps cultural institutions develop climate-neutral production forms, explore new aesthetics with as minimal an impact on the climate as possible. By promoting the development and implementation of artistically innovative and climate-neutral art and cultural projects in 2023-2024, the Foundation hopes to sensitise cultural institutions and artists to the possibilities of environmentally sustainable production methods, and so doing, advance measures which actively protect our climate. The aim is to develop a model that encourages the German cultural sector to reduce greenhouse gases in the long term.

The “Zero Fund” is targeted at cultural institutions and professionals who are already familiar with practices of environmental sustainability and who are committed to exploring climate-friendly alternatives of cultural production in an inquisitive manner. Further information on application modalities and funding requirements is provided in our funding criteria (in German only). For more details, please read the documentation of our pilot project Carbon Footprinting in Cultural Institutions.

In September of 2022, an independent jury has recommended an 25 projects for funding with a total amount of 3.04 million euros

In 2023, there will be a second round of applications funding up to 20 additional climate-neutral artistic and cultural projects. Details on application will be shortly published on this website.

Funded Projects

Funding is awarded on the basis of recommendations by an independent jury. The Zero Fund jury members are: Dr Annett Baumast (Hochschule Musik und Theater, Hamburg), Dr Brigitte Franzen (Senckenberg Naturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main) and Matthias von Hartz (Zürcher Theater Spektakel).


Zero Academy

To successfully implement their institutional environmental tasks, participants of projects funded by the Zero Fund can gain further qualification in joint workshops and an accompanying academy programme. This “convoy process” is an effective way for organisations to share and learn from one another under the supervision of experienced consultants. The Zero Academy will also produce programme-related documentation and invite professionals to events in order to promote the visibility of the projects’ exemplary results at the national scale.

The Zero Academy was kicked off in November 2022, the first live event for funded projects took place in Wuppertal 27–28 March 2023.  


Regional network meetings

The Federal Cultural Foundation will organise regional network meetings in several cities and districts to bring local political and administrative stakeholders together with members of civil society, cultural organisations and the independent art scene. The purpose of these meetings is to bundle and share experiences and knowledge processes, as well as discuss key questions, e.g. how to initiate regional partnerships with the cultural scene and how to strengthen climate protection at the local level.



Mäandernde weiße Linien unterschiedlicher Formen bilden eine Grafik ähnlich einer meteorologischen Karte

Documentation of the pilot project “Carbon Footprinting in Cultural Institutions”

The calculations, progress reports, recommendations and work materials of this project have been documented and are now available as a free PDF brochure.