Credit: Cliff Van Coevorden

Horniman Museum and Gardens, London

Kirsten Walker, 15.10.2014
Sustainability in listed buildings
The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London has a clear policy guiding our work towards greater sustainability, which includes a cross-departmental task force of staff from all levels championing green issues and initiatives across our sites.

We’ve made great improvements in the last year, reducing our emissions by 39,200kg CO2e – enough to fill Big Ben five times.

Some of the ways we’ve done this will be familiar to others – for example, recycling more of our waste and reducing paper usage. Others are bespoke solutions particular to the Horniman, such as using waste water from the aquarium to water our gardens and composting our green waste to use as soil improver.

We have an internal “switch it off” campaign each year reminding staff to turn off lights, computers and monitors overnight, and biannual “tidy up days” to reuse or recycle unwanted equipment and other clutter.

We’re also increasing the ways that we involve our visitors in “greening” the Horniman, from taking part in wildlife surveys and volunteering in our gardens to enjoying ethical products from our shop and cafe.

There’s a way to go before we’re as green as we can be and our Grade II-listed building has limitations in terms of energy efficiency.

The Horniman is committed to improving sustainability, both front-of-house and behind the scenes, so we’re particularly proud to be shortlisted for Green Tourism’s Goldstar Awards 2014 – one of only two museums to feature.

Kirsten Walker is the director of collections management and special projects at the Horniman Museum and Gardens