The Garden Museum in London

Museums report financial benefit from being green

Rebecca Atkinson, 09.07.2014
But time and lack of funds are major challenges
A survey into environmental sustainability has found that museums have experienced the largest financial benefit from being green compared to other creative and cultural organisations.

The Sustaining Creativity survey, which was conducted by Julie’s Bicycle in partnerships with BOP Consulting, found that 75% of those asked said they have already benefited financially from being more environmentally friendly, with 25% of that reporting significant benefits.

And 61% said they have experienced reputational benefits thanks to their environmental actions.

Despite reporting these benefits, museums that took part in the survey were the least likely to undertake regular action around sustainability. Time and lack of funds were cited as the major challenges.

The survey found that museums and music organisations feel these challenges most keenly, particularly around the need to develop a business case for sustainability.

Alison Tickell, the chief executive officer of Julie's Bicycle, said: "What we see from many museums is an understanding of how important environmental sustainability is, financially and reputationally, with a strong sense of how relevant the issue is overall: 85% of respondents identify it as very relevant.

"This doesn't always translate into action. Championing lead organisations and clearly articulating the case for sustainability will be important if the sector wants, as a whole, to strengthen and build the benefits it brings."

Although 62% of museums surveyed said that environmental sustainability has become increasingly important in their organisation over the past two years, just 52% believe it will continue to grow in importance over the next two years.