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Environmental Support for you and your museum

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Thursday 9th September 2021

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, published last month, made for sober reading. Without drastic change over the next decade, temperatures are likely to rise above 1.5° pre-industrial levels. The effects of climate change are already being felt around the globe, with the most devastating weather events often impacting poorer and more vulnerable communities.

Faced with such bleak findings it’s hard to know if you can make a difference, but you can.

West Midlands Museum Development (WMMD) is here to support you and your museums to become more environmentally sustainable; empowering you to make change and turn climate grief into action.

National Project for Environmental Sustainability: Roots and Branches

We’re delighted to confirm that WMMD is taking part in a national campaign empowering museums to take action again climate change.

‘Roots and Branches’ is a collaboration between The Carbon Literacy Project, Museum Development England and Manchester Museum, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It aims to train and certify 1,500 people from 300 museums as Carbon Literate over the next two years and give an opportunity for museums to converse, experiment, and test new ideas for a more sustainable future.

The programme is still in development and we look forward to announcing updates as the plans progress.

More information

How can I get involved?

  • You can attend one of WMMD’s three Carbon Literacy courses – dates are tbc so we’ll let you know once they’re confirmed via our newsletter and website
  • You can roll out Carbon Literacy training to your own workforce with free support from Museum Development and the Carbon Literacy Project

Save the Date: Monday 1 November

To coincide with COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, WMMD will be holding an event focused on environmental sustainability.

Join WMMD and other museums in the region to hear:

  • opportunities to get involved in Roots and Branches
  • an announcement of WMMD’s own regional environmental programme
  • what colleagues in the region are already doing to tackle their climate impact

More details to be announced.

In the meantime:

You can join the Roots and Branches national social media campaign, #MuseumCarbonStories (9 August – 12 November)

It’s not too late to join in with the #museumcarbonstories campaign. The weekly themes throughout September are:

  • From Soil to Plate (week commencing 13 September)
  • Greener Travel (week commencing 20 September)
  • Sowing the Seeds (week commencing 27 September)

More details on the campaign, how you can get involved, and the weekly themes can be found by clicking on this link: Roots and Branches national social media campaign.

You can develop your own climate themed Takeover Day with Kids in Museums (KiM).

The KiM Takeover Day 2021 on 12 November is timed to coincide with COP26. It’s KiM’s first themed day and is in response to young people’s concerns.

KiM has produced guidance on how to hold a climate themed Takeover Day. You can also join them on Tuesday 14 September for their Afternoon Cuppa Session: Running a climate themed Takeover Day to find out more.

Additional links and resources

The following links, resources and organisations can help you understand climate change, untangle complicated jargon and learn where to turn for further support

Julie’s Bicycle

Julie’s Bicycle is a pioneering not-for-profit organisation mobilising the arts and culture to take action on the climate and ecological crisis.

Founded by the music industry in 2007 and now working across the arts and culture, it has partnered with over 2000 organisations in the UK and internationally. Combining cultural and environmental expertise, Julie’s Bicycle focuses on high-impact programmes and policy change to meet the climate crisis head-on.

Visit the Julie’s Bicycle website for a wealth of resources, webinars and toolkits to support your learning, including:

Historic England

Historic England’s website includes a resource hub with advice on environmental sustainability and energy efficiency and historic buildings.

Fit for the Future

Fit for the Future (FftF) is an environmental sustainability network with over 100 charities, heritage organisations, cultural venues, public sector bodies and more in its membership. It facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across organisations and sectors so that they can achieve the rapid and far-reaching changes needed to decarbonise, adapt to climate change and drive positive environmental impacts.

FftF is a paid-for membership scheme, but the website also includes interesting articles and case studies to read.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England (ACE)’s 10-year strategy, Let’s Create, places Environmental Sustainability as a key investment principle to encourage cultural organisations to embed environmental thinking into everything they do. To support this change, ACE has an environmental programme webpage with resources, toolkits and podcasts.

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