Museums Across UK Leading the Charge on Climate Change Action

Creative Climate Census launch @ Free Word Centre © James Allan Photography 2018

Museums across the UK have significantly increased sustainability action in a bid to slash the industries’ carbon emissions following the commitments set out by the Paris Agreement, a major new study finds.

The Creative Climate Census, a pioneering and comprehensive survey assessing environmental sustainability in the arts sector, has been published by environmental charity Julie’s Bicycle with the support of Arts Council England and Knowledge Transfer Network. The survey reveals that the museums and heritage sector is deeply engaged with taking action on environmental sustainability. Key report findings demonstrate that museums and heritage organisations are climate action leaders among the arts sector:

Almost all museums and heritage organisations (94%) consider environmental sustainability to be relevant to their organisational vision and mission.

Additionally, 83% or four in five think environmental sustainability will become more important over the next few years – by far the highest proportion of any respondent group

94% of respondents say they have experienced benefits from their environmental actions. They were also the only group to identify capital development as one of their top three priority areas for investment of resources into environmental sustainability over the next three years.

65% of respondents have a dedicated green team or green champion – the highest of any group and levels of day-to-day action such as measuring environmental impacts are relatively high.

Julie’s Bicycle have published these findings in the context of the seven cultural trends they identify as forming the foundation of an exciting and proactive creative climate movement in the arts sector: environmental art, creative activism, creative collaborations, agents of change, design and innovation, institutional leadership, and transformational policy. Representatives of the seven trends were platformed and celebrated as part of the Creativity and Climate: A Movement Of Change event in London on 1st March 2018.

“What is happening across the country – in theatres, venues, festivals and museums, with artists, curators, green champions and chief executives – is a rich story that needs to be heard. Climate leadership is in the ascendant; creativity is combining with action to accelerate this exciting movement of change.” Alison Tickell, CEO, Julie’s Bicycle

“The Manchester Museum is committed to raising awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability and tackling climate change; its work with Julie’s Bicycle and collaborations with other museum, heritage and educational institutions are vital to achieving this vision.” Nicola Walker, Head of Collection Care & Access, Manchester Museum

“The arts play a vital role in developing and shaping our culture. That they are constantly evaluating how to reduce emissions is a powerful statement that shows environmental action can be integral to work – not a last-minute consideration. I hope other sectors are inspired to follow suit and this begins a real shift in attitudes to climate change.” Caroline Russell, London Assembly Member

Download The Creative Climate Census

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