Since the turn of the century, the discussion about a sustainable and environmentally friendly cultural policy has been intensified in Germany. The ecological deficit of cultural policy is being deplored and a new understanding of nature-related culture is in demand. Sustainability, conservation of resources and deceleration are called forth as key objectives of cultural policy. This is exemplified by a project of the Institute for Cultural Policy of the Association for Cultural Policy (IfK), The Importance of Culture as a Guiding Principle for Sustainable Development (2001/2002). In this context, the Tutzinger Manifesto for Strengthening the Cultural-Aesthetic Dimension of Sustainability was created in 2002. The manifesto was supported by well-known actors from the cultural, environmental and scientific fields and has generated an enormous public response. Based on the recognised deficit that culture has so far played no role in international concepts and declarations on sustainable development, and with reference to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the manifesto called for Agenda 21 processes to be structurally opened up to the topic of culture and aesthetics.
However, the early processes of opinion formation – which were brought forward primarily by civil society actors – were followed by few concrete cultural policy actions. Only since climate change with its catastrophic consequences has dominated the headlines in the media, it has become increasingly clear that the old question about the limits of growth and the resulting constraints and necessary decisions are increasingly challenging for all policy areas, including cultural policy. There is now a growing call for federal, state and local cultural policy to meet the criteria of a sustainable and climate-friendly cultural policy. There are calls for cultural and environmental policy to be more closely interlinked. Furthermore, the debate on sustainability should be extended to include cultural topics. Specifically, there is a rising demand for programmes that enable cultural institutions to adapt to the climatic conditions that are expected to appear in the upcoming decades. Moreover, such programmes should provide incentives that encourage institutions to generate ideas for a change of direction and encourage them to communicate these new ideas proactively. The creation of sustainable equipment and a management of cultural infrastructure are regarded as further tasks to be tackled.
The message has also been getting through to official cultural policy makers for some time now. For example, in 2018 the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Professor Monika Grütters, declared: “We have a joint responsibility to leave a world worth living in to future generations. This is why I have long been advocating for more sustainable development and appropriate standards in our cultural institutions within the Federal Government.” Specifically, the Federal Chancellery is providing the Council for Sustainable Development with approximately 7.5 million EUR until 2020 for the creation of a Sustainability Culture Fund “to support the transformation of our everyday culture”.
The German Cultural Council (Deutscher Kulturrat), the umbrella organisation of German cultural associations, has also put the issue at the top of its agenda. With the support of the German Council for Sustainable Development and in cooperation with the German Environmental and Nature Conservation Association, it launched a campaign in September 2018 to build a bridge between the sustainability discourse in the natural and environmental sector and cultural policy debates. In contrast, the federal states are still rather reserved and the municipalities are only tentatively beginning to get ready for this major challenge. Concrete impulses, on the other hand, are coming from the cultural scene. For example, some theatres are making efforts to achieve CO2-free productions and the socio-cultural centres are, together with the German Council for Sustainable Development, developing a sector-specific sustainability code, which will allow them to convert their operations based on sustainable criteria. (cf. Müller-Espey 2019)
findings on these new developments will be provided by a project of the
Institute for Cultural Policy of the Association for Cultural Policy on the
subject of Sustainable and climate-friendly cultural policy, which will start
 Tutzinger Manifest (2002), in: Kurt, Hildegard / Wagner, Bernd (Hrsg.), Kultur – Kunst – Nachhaltigkeit. Die Bedeutung von Kultur für das Leitbild Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Bonn / Essen: Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e.V. / Klartext Verlag (Dokumentation 57), p. 265-267.
 Rauch, Matthias (2019): Nachhaltigkeit als kulturpolitisches Ziel. Der Fonds Nachhaltigkeitskultur, in: Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen Nr. 164, I/2019, p. 64-66.
 Müller-Espey, Christian (2019): “Ein Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitskodex für Kulturbetriebe? Soziokulturelle Zentren machen sich auf den Weg”, in: Forschungsfeld Kulturpolitik – Eine Kartierung von Theorie und Praxis, Festschrift für Wolfgang Schneider, Hildesheim: Olms Verlag.