Birmingham Museums Trust

Organisation: Birmingham Museums Trust Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, 3D 3DH

Climate change and the threat to our planet is real. At Birmingham Museums, reducing the environmental impact of our activities and operating as sustainably as we can is a priority. We have a responsibility to devote as much passion and energy to protecting the environment as we do to preserving Birmingham’s collections and historic buildings. Our initiatives include:

  • 100% renewable electricity supply at all our sites.
  • Lighting improvements such as LEDs and passive infrared (PIR) controls across some of our museums.
  • Toilets updated with water saving technology and devices.
  • Single use plastic removed from our food and beverage service.
  • Sustainably sourced and recyclable packaging used in all our shops.
  • Actively repurposing materials or using FSC® wood for displays and maintenance.
  • Joined the Food For Life initiative with the aim of promoting healthy and sustainably sourced food in our cafes and food outlets.
  • Partnered with Too Good to Go to reduce food waste.
  • Joined a national programme, delivered by Julie’s Bicycle, which puts a spotlight on reducing the environmental impact of Arts Council England National Portfolio arts organisations.
  • Engaged with local children, communities and young climate campaigners to inform our new climate gallery at Thinktank. Our Changing Planet (IMAGE 1) looks at human impact on the planet.
  • Support environmental and natural science education for children and teaching staff through partnering with the Natural History Museum.
  • Delivered the Urban Nature project, enabling schools and communities to operate biodiversity activities in their own spaces.
  • Partnered with public transport providers to provide special offers to encourage visitors to travel more sustainably.

Our future plans

We hope to:

  • Develop and test a plan for protecting, preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the gardens at our historic properties.
  • Continue to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our environmental impact through energy reduction, and better water and waste management.
  • Deliver a new training programme which will enable our workforce to become carbon literate.
  • Use new displays which will be ethically sustainable and have minimal impact on the environment.
  • Replace all old vehicles with fuel efficient options that exceed Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone requirements.
  • Develop a new fundraising strategy to make environmental initiatives a priority.
  • Seek suppliers that share our net zero ambitions.
  • Achieve Food for Life Certification
  • Inspire people in Birmingham to become environmental citizen scientists through our annual BioBlitz events – recording wildlife, plants and insects across the city.
  • Deliver the Operation Earth public engagement programme.

Our commitments

We plan to be Carbon neutral by 2040. We have four points in our plan, each of which will help us achieve our goal.

  1. Improve our buildings
  2. We will take clear, practical steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the running of our museums.

  3. Change our ways of working
  4. We will rapidly reduce negative environmental impact from our operations.

  5. Work with others
  6. We will work with our communities, visitors and young people to encourage them to act and play their part.

  7. Lead by example
  8. Through our public programmes we will inspire and support our visitors to increase their own positive impact on the planet.