Start with a quote Anyone know who? Or what it was about? I was only 6!
The lovely Maggie T Talking about the falklands war Says something about people ’s attitude to the environment these days Wouldn ’t get away with saying that any more!
Timing Environment is a hot topic Organisations and individuals are being encouraged to be more aware of their carbon footprint Legal requirements including requirement for buildings of a certain size to display their energy usage. Opportunity A range of organisations are engaged in similar work Some can provide funding for actions Including Regional Development Agencies – regional environmental strategies (back in the day…!) Sustainability Another buzz word Not just about the environment & green sustainability Also about organisational sustainability for the museums Financial bonuses to green behaviour, and a knock on for social and financial sustainability (e.g. purchasing locally etc) The right thing to do! Museums can set an example. They are trusted public institutions Collections can be an excellent example of environmental impact and illustrate principles such as ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ They connect with the public – and can encourage the public to play their part in reducing our collective carbon footprint.
There have been three phases to the Green Museums Project Phase one: Are museums interested in the environment? What actions have they already taken? What support do they need to do more? Conducted a survey posing these questions.
Interested? Good news! Yes – well over three quarters are interested Only very small number said they were not interested.
Doing? 80% taking basic action (lights off, preventing leaks…) 35% aware of environmental footprint and taking action 45% take basic environmental actions recycling materials by taking home (N.b. illegal!!) 11 sites had energy reduction strategies in place (monitoring energy usage etc) vast majority use low energy lighting if they can 16% but green electricity 80% have recycling systems 60% buy recycled goods 56% encourage sustainable transport to their museums. 83% use local suppliers 41% buy fair trade 10% offset their emissions
Over 75% think they have a role in environmental education. Use of collections is interesting area I ’d like to investigate more. Was strong feeling we should ‘put our own house in order’ Sadly, we never really got to the stage where we could tackle the idea of learning and environmental education in museums, although it is happening in some places (e.g. Stockwood, Luton – Karen Perkins)
Good practice uncovered? Energy efficiency Sustainability incorporated into new-build and renovations (e.g. recycled materials) Environmental events, exhibitions and initiatives Two water mills generating power and planning to sell back to the grid!
Analysis Local authorities are more restricted (procurement policies, centralised purchasing of energy, waste disposal etc out of hands of museum) Money vital in the independent sector – green actions are often a result of money saving intentions but… … lack of resources often a bar to bigger changes (e.g. infrastructural changes) Often done on the initiative of specific individuals who take actions rather than an organisational push.
Phase Two Work intensively with 6 sites selected sites to design and implement an environmental policy and plan wth the aim of reducing carbon emmissions. Sites supported included a range of small and large sites as well as local authority and independent sites (Wigston, Leics)
These were the stages Measure and record usage – i.e. benchmarking. Where are we now? Identify areas for action Develop an action plan Access funding Develop environmental policy E.g. buying locally where possible Reusing and recycling Being energy / water efficient
The hunt for funding was not that successful. OK if part of a larger project, but to make environmental changes alone proved difficult.
This work also informed a guide and toolkit that is available for all museums and emphasises no-cost and low-cost options as well as more ambitious schemes. Run through the step-by-step guide
Here are the 5 steps: Monitoring data Walk around tool Putting together the ‘target scorecard’ Creating an action plan Implementation
Spreaadsheet provided Helps monitor use of gas, water, electricity etc Calculates carbon emissions automatically Helps identify key areas for making changes Helps monitor progress & Set targets
Contains a list of questions to consider when thinking about how your operate Literally walk around with the guide answering yes or no to questions Tried to take into account museum issues Again, helps identify potential areas for action.
Guides you through the legislative frameworks that may be relevant to your sites.
Church Farm, Skegness: Insulation of roof space above office & change to spray taps in toilets Greens Mill, Nottingham : Energy efficient lighting in Lower Gallery: light sensors and retro fit of T5 units. Insulation of boiler distribution pipes & draught exclusion to doors in science centre. Irchester, Wellingborough : Low voltage lighting and construction of wood burning stove Wigston Framework Knitters, Leicestershire : Survey & appraisal of new boiler in accordance with English Heritage requirements Derby Silk Museum, Derby : Energy Efficient lighting improvements and investigation of heat recovery fan system.
We’re not precious about our resource. Pleased that the MA has picked up on it and plugged it – Maurice written about it in MJ Pleased that we could speak about it at MSG conference in Norwich last year Pleased to have been to presentation about it in other regions. We hope it is a resources for the sector to use, adapt, share, make what they will from it. We’re not precious! Been used very successfully in East of England – Corina Bower from Framland Museum has spoken about their successes and experiences using the guide at various event, including MA CPD events. So please take it, use it, share it…
Green Museums Step by Step guide
Green Museums Robin Clarke Community Museums Officer Leicestershire County Council a
“ It is exciting to have a real crisis on your hands, when you have spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment”
“ It is exciting to have a real crisis on your hands, when you have spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment” Margaret Thatcher on the Falklands Crisis, May 1982
Timing Opportunity Sustainability The right thing to do! Why?
Phase One Are museums interested in environmental issues? Are museums already taking action? What support is needed to enable museums to do more?
very interested not interested quite interested interested Interested?
Acting? Most are taking basic action Some buy green electricity Many encourage the use of public transport Significant commitment to using local suppliers A few offset their emissions 11 sites have energy reduction strategies
Learning? ¾ of respondents believed museums could play a role in environmental education Hercules Wind Wheel, 1905 Deutsches Museum, Munich
Good Practice? Energy Efficiency Sustainability incorporated into new-build and renovation projects Events, exhibitions and other initiatives Two water mills selling power back to the grid
Analysis Independent Museums are more able to take action Money is vital! Green Champions are essential
Phase Two One-to-one support given to six museums Large museums Small museums Independent museums Local authority museums Wigston Framework Knitters Museum
Phase Two Each museum was supported to Measure and record their energy usage Identify potential areas for action Develop an action plan Access funding to help implement actions Develop an environmental policy Papplewick Pumping Station
Phase Three 11 further museums received one-to-one support A helpline was put in place to support use of the step-by-step guide Capital funding was being sought to implement recommendations
“ I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority” E.B. White (1899-1985)
Green Museums Robin Clarke Community Museums Officer Leicestershire County Council 0116 305 4140 / 07825 062 002 [email_address] Download the Guide: http://www.emms.org.uk/renaissance/museums_moving_forward http://tiny.cc/greenmuseums a