Museums on the Climate Journey
a visual roadmap for museums to start their climate journey with practical climate actions to activate
Inspired by our pilot event organised in November 2019 at the Futurium in Berlin, we have been working on a visual roadmap called "Museums on the Climate Journey".
This illustration is divided into four stepping stones for change, going from the macro to the micro-level.

We are constantly adding examples of practical actions to take for each level. You can also find more examples on Europeana's "Climate Actions Map".
print this visual roadmap and add it
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It is a powerful tool to motivate and empower your team.
1 - A network of 80000 museums
In our map, the first space for transformation sees museums as a complex and dynamic system composed of a worldwide network of 80 000 agents of change.

Of course, systemic change starts with a step by step adjustments. But those steps should be directed towards transformations of the fundamental features and principles of the system itself. We should take into consideration that museums are not isolated entities and that they go under the same mission and role in our societies.

Museums are ruled by a sense of purpose which defines their programmes and actions. The Black Lives Matter movement and the wave of ethical debates raised within museums highlight it even more today. If every museum moves toward better futures for people and the Planet, we can expect a significant impact on our society.
What can you do now?
join or create global movements to have an impact at a systemic level
Join a global movement of museum professionals
Whether you are more into art or heritage, sustainable practices or activism, these global or national organisations are leading the cultural field towards better futures:
ICOM Working Group on Sustainability
Museums and Climate Change Network (United States)
Sustainable Museums
(United Kingdom)
Culture Declares Emergency (United Kingdom)
Coalition for Museums and Climate Justice (Canada)
Culture Unstained (United Kingdom)
National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)
Climate Heritage Network
Sustainability in Conservation (United States)
American Alliance of Museums' Environment and Climate Network (United States)

Join a local group of museum professionals
'Museums For Future' is the museum community along with the movement 'Fridays For Future'. You can join them as a museum professional or as a museum. Check when is the next strike and what they are organising! You can also find their list of 10 actions to support FFF.
Join the Artwork on Strike movement
2 - Use Your Voice
The second level of action called "Use Your Voice" recognises museums as public and civic platforms.

Museums are respected and trustworthy institutions with the ability to raise awarness and add perspectives to the public dialogue. Museums have the potential to help in overcoming political difficulties and become an accelerator for collective actions.

Examples of actions include creating a platform for expression and discussion for different movements, withdraw from fossil fuels sponsors or start ecocide campaigns.

What can you do now?
say loud what everyone shoulld hear and understand
Open a museum about the planetary emergency
More and more museums are opening-up globally to tackle the challenge of the climate crisis. Whether it is a completely new museum or a subdivision, dare to create a dedicated space to face extinction!
We listed here museums dedicated to climate and environmental change.
Organise exhibitions to raise awareness
Organise an exhibition in your museum, permanent or temporary, in the city or the streets, touring or virtual. The road towards a population fully climate literate is long! All museums should join forces and tell stories of climate change, planetary emergency biodiversity extinction, the Anthropocene and how we can start acting. Find here a list of inspiring exhibitions.

Watch "The Art of Communicating Sustainability" by Julie's Bicycle
Organise panel discussions or workshops with actors from climate activism organisations
Example: Since March 2019, events have been taking place in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin for students to discuss with scientific experts after the weekly "Fridays For Future" demonstrations (read more).
Give space in your museum local climate activism
Example: Having space and an audience is often what is missing for local activism to flourish. Among other uses, Tate Exchange is a creative space to explore connections between socially engaged artistic practice and progressive movements of political change through discussion. Tate has also been giving the Turbine Hall to Extinction Rebellion in 2019 so they can launch "Culture Declares Emergency" (read more).



3 - Act as a Neighbour
3The third level of action "Act as a neighbour" imagines museums as part of a local ecosystem, part of a neighbourhood. At a community level, museums can start to collaborate and be part of the life of the district.

They can create a community-managed resources centre with shared-equipment and material with the local organisations, sell local or sustainable products in their shop, run upcycling workshops, turn the green space around the museum into a community garden and offer permaculture or gardening workshops or even offer a climate-anxiety first aid line.

What can you do now?
engage and be support your local ecosystem with its green transformation
Create a ressourcerie to share used-materials with other organisations and install a shared-equipement process
Get inspired by theatres and operas with ArtStock
Go for eco-label products in your shop
Sell local or sustainable products in your shop
Sensitize your audience on circular economy
Run upcycling workshops
Turn public spaces into community gardens
Turn your green spaces into community gardens, organise urban wildlife tours, organise plant-caring or permaculture workshops
Care for your visitors' health and wellbeing
Example: part of their programme "Health and Wellbeing", the Manchester Museum offers a Cultural First Aid Kit with 30 creative and fun activities and workshops that can be completed at home, in hospital or care centres.
ReConnect to Nature 🍃
Celebrating local wildlife can shift people's perception and experience and feel part of the wider earth system and nature. You could organise a guided tour of your museum's local wild-life, a picnic with a specific group of audience in your museum garden, care about your park or garden with the visitors. With your team, organise your kick-off meeting in the forest, or a walk around the museum to scout for wild-life.
Example: With their programme "Urban Nature Project", the Natural History Museum of London redesigned spaces around the museum as a place for families and scientists to learn more about urban nature.
Read more about our concept "Botanical Gardenization of the Museum" here.
4 - Turn the Museum Green

The last level of action is "Turn your Museum Green". It looks at the museum as a physical space with employees and partners. Turning the museum into a climate-positive institution will qualify museums as examples of sustainable practices from the facilities, the office spaces, how they produce exhibitions, what they sell in the shop, and above all, how they care about their teams.

Also, even though we are all aware that cultural institutions are huge carbon consumers, we often forget their digital carbon footprint. Indeed, it is getting bigger each time one object from the collection is being digitised and put online, that one event is streamed or that a new page is being published without following simple sustainable web design rules.

What can you do now?
say loud what everyone should hear and understand
Use an energy audit software to test your process and building
Download the "Energy KiBook" from KiCulture and find everything you need to start your energy-efficient museum journey.
Create a green team in your museum
More and more museums are creating a decided team to raise awareness on the climate crisis among their employee and start taking action.
Example: The Victoria & Albert Museum Anthropocene Reading Group was established in 2019 as a new, cross-departmental staff discussion forum dedicated to exploring critical thinking around the Anthropocene.
Apply circular economy when you produce your exhibition
Watch the webinar "Understanding Circular Economy" by Julie's Bicycle
Watch the webinar "The road to Zero Carbon" by Julie's Bicycle
Watch the webinar "Re-thinking Materials and Circular Economy" by Julie's Bicycle
Using printing leftovers as a wrapping paper in the shop
Read more about the different activities supporting the circular economy at the MO Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Towards green exhibition touring
Watch the webinar by Julie's Bicycle "Art On The Move".
What "Sustainable Cultural Mobility" by Julie's Bicycle.
Start a 'no-plastic at the museum' journey
Read the "Culture Beyond Plastic" handbook by Julie's Bicycle or watch the video.
Check the carbon footprint of your website
Have you ever thought about the electricity generated by your website? Calculate the impact of your website on the Planet via this website, and check how you can lower its carbon footprint by making your website more energy-efficient (read more).
Go for Digital Sobriety
Check the Museum of the Fossilized Internet created by the Mozilla Foundation, and understand how we can work towards fossil-free internet.
Watch the training by Julie's Bicycle "Sustainable Digital Creativity"
This programme is supported by
EIT Climate-KIC is an EU funded knowledge and innovation community who's purpose is to tackle climate change through innovation. They are Europe's largest public-private partnership with this purpose – a growing pan-European community of diverse organisations united by a commitment to direct the power of creativity and human ingenuity at the climate change challenge. Their Community Activation team is running a series of experimental sessions, like this one, involving pioneering thinkers and organizations across Europe. During these sessions, with their partners and community, they will observe and identify patterns, make observations and search for learnings with the aim of finding unique insights to support systemic level change.
To find out more, refer to the Transformation, in Time strategy.