Sustainability in Scottish Museums

12th January 2018

Sustainability in Scottish Museums

Looking for ideas and knowledge on how to reduce your environmental impact as a museum or heritage centre? We have some tips and advice to get you started!

Efforts to increase the environmental sustainability of the cultural sector includes work currently taking place in cultural heritage bodies, with Museums and Galleries Scotland committing to improving environmental sustainability across the sector as part of its national strategy, and individual organisations creating and delivering their own initiatives towards the goal.

We know that the Scottish museums sector is incredibly diverse – with differences in scale, geography and content shaping the nature and activity of any organisation. However, museums will often share similar environmental sustainability concerns to art galleries or other cultural centres, and are likely to find our resources for organisations particularly useful.

Here are a few starter tips for museums:

Sustainability policy and practices

Key to any cultural organisation working on increasing their environmental sustainability is a good policy. This should cover the motivations, aims and planned activities of a museum, across issues such as energy, waste, water, travel and staff engagement with climate change and environmental issues.

We’ve put together our Guide to Environmental Policies to help organisations with the development and implementation of their policy, and make sure it is a useful and successful tool in reducing your impact on the environment.

Here are a few examples from the museums sector:

Connect with other sustainable museums

Looking to connect with other museums and heritage organisations currently working on increasing their commitment to environmental sustainability? Take a look at our Green Arts Initiative! Current members include Timespan, Biggar Museum Trust and the Scott Monument – and many more can be found through our interactive map. Being part of the community is free, and you can find out more about membership and benefits over on the Green Arts Initiative page.

Other organisations and resources

There are a host of organisations, initiatives and resources focused on supporting the cultural heritage sector in increasing it’s sustainability. Sector-specific, these may be of interest:

For those museums based in historic buildings:

Looking for more help?

For one-to-one support and advice for your cultural organisation, get in touch!


Photo by Filip Pižl on Unsplash

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About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.


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Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network