Sustainability Consultancy for Cultural Institutions


10 Resources for Greening Your Museum

Whenever I look at blogs or websites for specific information I find that lists are always very helpful. So here is a list of resources to help any museum or cultural institution, large or small, make more sustainable decisions. Each point starts with the overall category the resource would fall under, for example, Energy Efficiency for Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

1. Overall Green Practices: PIC Green,  AAM’s sustainability committee. You have to be a member of AAM to join and there are several committees ranging from development to projects that you can be a part of, if  you are looking to join, contact us here. The major project PIC Green is working is the Sustainable Operations Tool Kit. It is a developing resource which focuses on solutions for greening day-to-day museum operations.

2. Overall Green Practices: Green Museum Accord is an institution-wide pledge to be environmentally responsible which is a partnership between CAM (California Association of Museums) and AAM (specifically PIC Green).

3. Conservation: AIC (American Institute of Conservators) has a committee for sustainable conservation practices.

4. Online Seminars: IPI (Image Permanence Institute) give information webinars on Sustainable Preservation Practices. The next one is on September 4th: Sustainable Preservation Practices, register here. I highly recommend this one, their information is cutting edge and they are one of the only sources providing data and analyzing it.

5. Sustainable Landscapes: Sustainable Sites Initiative, interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden. They create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

6. Energy Efficiency: Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the EPA created ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.

7. Sustainable Exhibits: Exhibit SEED, a website for exhibit and museum professionals to find resources for developing, designing, and building more sustainable exhibits.

8. Energy Efficiency: Minnesota Historical Society Blog. The Minnesota Historical Society has done an enormous amount of work commissioning their present buildings to keep all their building running efficiently. They show you how to turn the information you gather into hard earned savings!

9. Overall Green Pracitces: Sustainable Museums, AAM PIC Green’s Blog, to publish a white paper on findings from the last Sustainability Summit. Stay tuned for a link to the upcoming white paper.

10. Historic Building Green Practices: 10 Ways to Green Your Historic Home, Preservation Nation Blog, News from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

So, here’s a start to all kinds of green museum resources to get you started. Stay tuned for a comprehensive list of case studies from museums and cultural institutions that have taken steps to becoming more sustainable. And here’s to celebrating 96 years for the National Parks, Happy Birthday!