Sustainability statement for MA Conference 2023 - Museums Association

Conference 2023: The Power of Museums

We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment.  

Below is a non-exhaustive list of ways we are working to improve the environmental sustainability of MA Conference 2023.


  • We provide vegetarian and vegan food throughout the conference and social events. The Glasshouse (formerly the Sage Gateshead) uses seasonal and locally-sourced produce where possible and works with sustainability-aware suppliers.
  • Non-dairy milk alternatives are offered during coffee breaks. Sugar and milk are not served in individual sachets.  
  • We encourage delegates to bring their own reusable hot drink cups and water bottles to conference.
  • The venue provides tap water to delegates.
  • Where hot and cold drink cups are provided, these are reusable or biodegradable and/or compostable.
  • Food waste is collected and recycled separately from general waste.

Printed materials and plastic  

  • We provide a digital programme and delegate list and no longer publish printed versions of these (apart from in cases where delegates with access needs request them).
  • We print badges on sustainable paper. Lanyards are reusable and made from bamboo. We do not provide plastic wallets for badges.
  • We no longer provide delegate bags with printed material inside.
  • Signage may be printed where the venue is unable to offer digital signage.


  • We encourage delegates and speakers to travel by public transport where possible.
  • We provide international and some UK-based speakers the opportunity to join via Zoom.
  • Museums Association staff travel by train or other modes of public transport, apart from when access requirements require car travel.
  • Our hybrid approach to conference means more people can access conference without the need for travel.
  • The Glasshouse provides ample public bike racks around the venue for those choosing to cycle.


We work with partners who share our commitment to environmental sustainability.

The Glasshouse has won awards and recognition for its sustainability efforts, including the Gold Award for Business Tourism at the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2018; a Gold Standard National Clean Air Award; and a Level 2 Industry Green Award.

The Glasshouse has the following environmental commitments: 

  • Using in-house AV equipment and technical provisions, sourcing any additional equipment from local suppliers to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Using local and ethically sustainable companies where possible.
  • Using LED lights in the car park and in halls and foyers.
  • Hot water and electricity are supplied by Gateshead Energy Centre – a North East project that helps reduce Gateshead’s carbon footprint with half of the carbon emissions of grid energy suppliers.
  • Displaying potted plants within the venue rather than cut flowers.
  • Using recycled unbleached paper in its offices and recycling used paper through a local disposal company.
  • Waste managment provider system ensures that it does not dispose of anything that can be reused or recycled, including glass; electrical waste and lighting; cardboard, tins and plastic; and food waste bins.