Artichoke, the producers of Lumiere, is committed to addressing climate injustice and reducing the environmental impact of our own activities

Our key suppliers, including Unusual Rigging, are chosen based on their sustainability commitments and leadership in this area.

We also ask commissioned artists to sign a Sustainability Commitment. We are working with industry experts, A Greener Future to ensure that we plan and deliver Lumiere in as sustainable a way as possible, which includes undertaking a carbon impact assessment to enable us to reduce our carbon impact.

Where it is not possible to further reduce the impact of our work, Artichoke will invest in a portfolio of certified climate removal technologies through the carbon removal platform Cur8. 

The Lumiere 2023 programme includes artworks commissioned to highlight the climate emergency including Diamond Garden (supported by Quorum), Flowers and Chandeliers and Emotional Weather (supported by BAM). Our goal is to use the profile of the Light Art Biennial to encourage debate and action.

Together with our suppliers and local partners, we undertake operational planning, paying particular attention to the following key areas:


We select our power sources through the industry Best Practice Power Pyramid:

  • Our first choice is to power elements through the grid, with Durham County Council and other landowning partners operating exclusively from green energy sources
  • Where suitable hard-wired power isn’t available, we source battery power where possible. Solar-powered batteries are our first choice here
  • We only use Stage V generators as a last resort, which are run on HVO fuel to provide the cleanest available option
  • Through our partnership with Durham University’s Energy Institute, we seek opportunities to give profile to new and emerging technologies
  • We reduce the power requirements of installations through the use of up-to-date equipment using LED technology where possible

Procurement of materials:

  • The Lumiere programme includes a combination of existing touring works and new commissions. In the case of new commissions, we ask artists to source materials responsibly and commit to giving artworks a future life as part of the circular economy, either through future touring or the reuse of the component parts.
  • Reduce production of printed materials and print with water-based inks and on FSC-accredited paper


We consult with Durham County Council’s ecologist to ensure that artworks are responsibly sited, taking into consideration the protection of habitats and the feeding and roosting areas of local fauna.


Where local equipment is not available, we plan the transport of materials to combine loads wherever possible, favouring rail and sea transport over other means.  Our onsite vans are electric vehicles, powered from sustainable tariffs.

Carbon Removals:

  • Where it is not possible to further reduce the impact of our work, Artichoke will work with carbon removal specialist CUR8 to invest in a high-quality carbon removal portfolio, which will remove the event’s residual carbon emissions. 
  • Investments are selected to balance local impact, long term carbon removal and investment in new technologies to increase the viability of carbon storage via biochar, soil improvement or other carbon capture for the immediate removal of greenhouse gases

What can audiences do?

  • Bring a reusable cup to purchase drinks.
  • Choose sustainable travel options, such as public transport or arriving by bike or on foot.
  • Use Durham County Council’s Park and Ride facilities to visit the event.
  • Leave No Trace and take your litter home and recycle it.
  • Turn off your lights and unused plug sockets when you leave the house.

Image credit: White Line, Adam Frelin, Lumiere Durham 2017. Produced by Artichoke. Photo by Matthew Andrews