Campaigning for more sustainable museums - Museums Association

Campaigning for more sustainable museums

The Museums Association is campaigning for museums to be more environmentally sustainable and address the climate crisis.

We know that the climate crisis is having a devastating impact on our planet and we believe that we can play a critical role in raising awareness, changing behaviour and championing change with our communities.

We are in a unique position to use our collections to demonstrate the facts of global heating and environmental destruction and to work with audiences to raise awareness and bring about change.

We know that many museums are already doing this work, but we also know that there is much more to do.

We are asking all museums to do three things:

  • Get your museum in order: make sure that your organisation’s footprint is as low as it can go, and commit to targets for reducing energy consumption, waste, travel and carbon use. There are lots of tools to help you do this, this is just one
  • Raise awareness: use your collections, programmes, exhibitions and learning and engagement work to discuss the climate crisis and encourage audiences to think about what they can do to make a difference. 
  • Champion change: work with community and environmental organisations to implement greener polices in your local area.  

We are asking funders to include environmental sustainability in their strategies for museums and to make it a requirement of funding that environmental targets are set, monitored and met.

And we are asking agencies and strategic bodies to take the lead by working with the sector to bring about change at a policy and practice level.

At the MA we have declared a climate emergency and implemented a policy that means we will stop printing reports and publications, offer only vegetarian food at our events, significantly reduce our air travel, and switch to green suppliers as well as lots of other measures.

We are also working with other organisations to campaign for change in environmental standards in museums and for investment in our buildings and infrastructure to lower energy consumption.

There’s lots to do but this is an emergency; together we can make a difference.

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