Attractions industry news

09 Mar 2018

Museum and heritage sectors prioritise environmental sustainability, says culture study

A new census looking at environmental sustainability for cultural leaders, has found that nearly all museum and heritage organisations in Britain have experienced positive benefits when taking environmental action.

Produced by Julie’s Bicycle and supported by Arts Council England (ACE), the Creative Climate Census is the longest-running research which captures the attitudes, values and actions of cultural leaders in response to climate change and environmental sustainability and their impact on business planning and decision-making.

For museums and heritage organisations, 94 per cent said that they had experienced benefits over environmental actions – higher than any other group surveyed, which also includes dance, literature/spoken word, music, theatre and visual arts. 94 per cent of those surveyed in the museums and heritage sectors also said that they consider environmental sustainability to be relevant to their organisational vision and mission.

According to the survey, museums and heritage were the highest ranked in the culture sector for generating their own renewable energy, with 28 per cent of respondents doing so. Of those surveyed, 60 per cent stated their belief that environmental sustainability would become more important over the next few years. The only place heritage and museums are lagging on the green front is for those on a green energy tariff or buying energy from a 100 per cent renewable supplier. According to the survey, 31 per cent do this compared to the 39 per cent average across the culture sector.

“There is clear evidence of an evolution of organisational strategies: respondents highlighted that environmental sustainability was now an embedded, overarching feature of strategic considerations and actions are becoming routine,” the report states.

“Museums in particular are having to re-examine their role as custodians, and what it means to strike a balance between preserving the past for preservation’s sake, and preserving the past in trust for future society.

“Mission or creative vision was identified by respondents in this group as one of their top three drivers towards environmental sustainability in the near future.

“Museums and heritage organisations are also reporting the highest levels of partnership, with four in five saying they have collaborated with external organisations on environmental sustainability.”

To read the full report, click here.

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