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AEP: General Information

The time is now... The moment for positive change and action is upon us.
The hunger for a worldwide sustainable eco-system, to put an end to global warming and to re-claim our planet's future is enormous and palpable in every community across the country - but nowhere more so than in the arts community where our passion for and exploration of the human condition is unparalleled.

That is why we have decided to partner with the Earth and say "yes" we want change. Yes! We want a better world. Yes! We want to preserve this precious planet for all the generations to come...

Even if you are not interested in sustainability from a global perspective take advantage of the opportunity to save energy, water and waste and reduce your operating costs.

So join us in the Arts:Earth Partnership and start making a difference right now.

Process / How Does It Work?

  1. Read through this information and fill out the "Sign up" application form. 
  2. Upon receipt of your application we will contact you to set up an initial site visit to access your facility and give you a list of what you need to do to be in compliance with AEP standards.
  3. After this first visit we will give you resources on where to acquire the materials needed for compliance.
  4. Your staff implements the required changes.
  5. You contact us again. An AEP auditor returns to your facility and once we confirm changes have been made we give you:
    • An official AEP affiliate certificate.
    • AEP window and box office decals.
    • Information packets for staff and visitors.
    • Instructions and password for use of our AEP website.

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Why Should I Join?

Being a certified AEP affiliate means you have taken a significant step toward achieving environmental sustainability. Not only will you reduce your energy costs, landfill impact and CO2 emissions, but you will be setting a positive example for your staff, visitors and audience to follow.

With every theater, gallery, studio, performing arts company, museum, and artist who joins AEP and makes a commitment to practical sustainability, our impact grows exponentially through our audiences and visitors.


  • Your organization will immediately start saving money on energy.
  • Your organization will be recognized as being eco-friendly and making an honest commitment to sustainability.
  • (Santa Monica and Los Angeles) Your organization will be officially recognized by the City as a green business and the benefits that come with that.
  • Exclusive access to AEP's on-line Materials Bulletin Board Exchange.
  • Exclusive networking opportunities amongst likeminded peers.
  • Annual meeting to share ideas and recognize innovative partners.
  • Unique marketing and fundraising opportunities.
  • Greater audience enthusiasm.
  • Measurable impact on the environment and quality of life in Los Angeles.
  • Have informational material available for visitors.
  • Create an atmosphere that encourages and enables innovation.

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Costs & Environmental Impact

This is where we will post our quarterly and year end impact reports in PDF form so members and the public can see the dramatic impact of the partnership.

Below are two simple examples of the energy & cost savings a typical mid-size venue might expect from joining AEP.



Twenty 60w bulbs = 1200w Twenty 15w bulbs = 300w
(Note: a 15w CFL has the same luminescence (intensity) as a 60w incandescent)
1 hr = 1.2 kWh 1 hr = .3 kWh
8 hr = 9.6 kWh 8 hr = 2.4 kWh
1 year = 9.6 x 365 = 3,500 kWh 1 year = 2.4 x 365 = 876 kWh
@ $0.16 kWh = $560/yr @ $0.16 kWh = $140/yr


3500kWh – 876kWh = 2,624 kWh

2,624 kWh x 1.34 pounds CO2/kWh = 3,516 pounds CO2/yr = 1.7 tons CO2

**Yes, you read this right, changing 20 -60 watt incandescents to 15 Watt CFL's in one year prevents 1.7 TONS of CO2 from entering the atmosphere!!

(1.34 pounds CO2/kWh in the United States)

$560 – $140 = $420/yr (Purchase of 20 CFL's = $100)



Expenses First Year Years 3 & 4
AEP Certification Fee ($300/ 2 years) 300 150
Compact Flourescent bulbs ($4 ea. x 40) 160 0
Barrels (2 Lobby size / 5 office) ($55 ea x 2 + $5 ea x 5) 135 0
"Green Power" Surcharge ($19.50 mo. X 12 mo.)
(3 cents per kilowatt/hr.)
234 234
Waste Removal 0 0
$829 $384
Electricity savings (40 bulbs x $21/yr/bulb) (840) (840)
$(11) $(456)

CO2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction, Annually = 3.4 TONS



  • For facilities 15,000 square feet and below =         FREE
  • For 15,000 -20,000 square feet =                              $500
  • For 20,000 - 30,000 square feet =                             $750
  • For 30,000 + square feet =                                         per project basis


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Certification Requirements

AEP certification requires compliance to certain standards in eight areas of operation. There are mandatory categories and optional categories in each area. During the initial site visit our auditors will work with you on developing your customized criteria based upon your existing practices and capacity. Areas of focus are:

Operations & Culture, General Practices, Solid Waste, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Chemical Use and Pollution Prevention, Transportation, Landscape. Some examples of required and optional criteria in each category include:


  • Venue will have literature on ecological sustainability available to patrons, in its public space and available to audience and visitors who request it.
  • The facility will commit to displaying the AEP logo and/or Certificate in a location readily visible to the public.
  • Affiliate commits to ongoing discussion of sustainable practices at board and staff meetings and to adopting a "culture of sustainability", agreeing to go as "far" as their capacity will allow in their greening efforts.


  • Discontinue use of all non-recyclable plastic products and food service containers.
  • Check with the AEP Materials Exchange and contact CalMAX, (California Materials Exchange) and / or other materials exchange programs before purchasing any "new" supplies or equipment.
  • Obtain or purchase used office equipment
  • Inform main supplier's sale representatives that you prefer eco-friendly products – request that they start carrying these products if they do not currently do so or switch to a supplier that does.


  • AEP Affiliates shall utilize the AEP SET & MATERIALS EXCHANGE for the potential recycling of sets, furniture, paints, screws, office supplies, appliances, electronics, fabric and other re-usable materials before they enter landfill.
  • Clearly labeled recycling bins and trash receptacles in public, guest, cast and employee areas. Absolute attention towards getting the recyclables to the recycle bin or to the recycle center in your area.
  • A strict commitment to the use of eco-friendly / recycled office supplies, bathroom supplies, cleaning products, paper products and inks.
  • Design marketing materials that require no envelope.
  • Reduce junk mail by removing your business' name from national databases at:


  • Understand your water bill and review it for indications of leaks or other problems.
  • Regularly check for and repair leaks.
  • Place "use water wisely" stickers or paper notices near all faucets. Educate staff on the critical need for water efficiency. (AEP can provide stickers upon request)


  • Use of low energy light bulbs (compact fluorescent or other) in all non-performing and non-exhibition lighting fixtures (interior and exterior).
  • Replace all exit signs with LED or high-efficiency alternatives.
  • Program computer monitors to sleep mode after 15 minutes or less.
  • Set the Energy Saver feature on photocopier to default.
  • When replacing equipment and appliances ensure that they are Energy Star rated and/or equipped with energy saving features.
  • Maintain your HVAC units and change filters every 3-4 months.


  • Stock only one non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner for daily use. For example one multipurpose cleaner, one glass cleaner, etc.
  • Educate and inform cleaning staff of your eco-friendly preferences.
  • Discontinue purchase of glass cleaner and replace with vinegar and water for cleaning windows.
  • Use less-toxic graffiti removers


  • Facility offers incentives, such as admission and / or product discounts, for patrons who use alternative transportation to and from facility such as public transportation (e.g., bus, train, bike, or walk-ins).
  • Provide a secure location for staff to store bicycles or install a bike rack in or near facility.
  • Provide ridesharing information on carpooling, vanpooling, bicycling, walking and public/mass transportation on a bulletin board. Distribute rideshare information monthly.
  • Provide Big Blue Bus or Metro maps and information.

LANDSCAPE (Only applicable to certain members)

  • Test irrigation system to ensure proper operation and watering schedule. Ensure all spray heads are functioning and not over spraying onto hardscape.

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Get Certified
“The people at Arts Earth Partnership understand the cultural sector and have been invaluable in helping to chart a course of cost savings and sustainability at all of our cultural facilities, even in these difficult economic times. I encourage all municipalities and arts organizations to get involved.” Olga Garay, LA DCA Director 2007-2014
“We learned so much from AEP in the process of becoming certified. Knowing how to become environmentally responsible is extremely motivating.” Suzzane Isken, Executive Director, Craft and Folk Art Museum
“AEP has been an indispensable partner to the Historic Lankershim Arts Center. The certification process revealed wasteful tendencies we were not even aware of. Many of the changes required to qualify for the partnership were quite easy to make. Thanks to AEP, we are now on a path to a sustainable future.” Joe Calarco, Managing Director, Lankershim Arts Center

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