The sustainable development of culture in Poland is not mentioned in one strategic document at national level, despite the agreements ratified by the Polish Government at international and global level. The document Poland 2030, Third Wave of Modernity: The ‘Long-term National Development Strategy contains, admittedly, provisions on “strengthening the role of civic, cultural and media education, economic education and education for sustainable development in school, and stimulating cooperation between schools and external institutions, for example entrepreneurs, local government, culture institutions or NGO’s. Both the increase in employment and, once the macroeconomic conditions have been sorted out, economic growth and modernisation of the entire economy are the most important levers of Polish development, both in the long-term perspective until 2030 and in the medium term – until 2020”.
However, attempts to implement the provisions of the Agenda 21 for Culture are visible mainly in regional and local development programmes, and this is mostly at the level of large and medium-sized cities. Strategies in the field of culture are mainly executive documents for the activities of cultural institutions and support for local creators and artists, and rarely locate culture as the fourth pillar of sustainable local development. Regardless of public legal solutions, there are many grassroots initiatives taken by cultural institutions or non-governmental organisations aimed at implementing sustainable development goals by 2030.
These include, for example, the following:
- Poland’s first carbon calculator, which makes it possible to estimate the impact of cultural institutions or events and compensate for the carbon footprint through offsets activities;
- The establishment of the Green Events standard;
- The creation of the Code of Responsible Festivals – organisers of festivals and events created a document promoting responsible relations with the environment, festival community and neighbours;
- Environmental declaration of the Coalition of Summer Literary Festivals;
- “Exchange waste for cultural excursions” – a nationwide campaign to exchange waste for tickets to cultural institutions.