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Our Climate Commitment

Introduction

This commitment is our initial statement on how we aim to support museums and galleries to reach their climate and sustainability goals. In the future, climate action will form a key component of MGS’s work as we look towards the next National Strategy for Scotland’s museums and galleries. The culture and heritage sector has a crucial role to play in building a more environmentally sustainable future; it is our intention to help turn this potential and ambition into real change.

Why are we making this commitment?

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is setting out our climate commitment as part of our responsibility to act on climate change. As the national development body for the sector, it is critical that we support museums and galleries to make the essential changes required to meet Scotland’s net zero targets.

Scotland’s museums and galleries have an important role to play in our society’s success in reaching net zero and enabling our communities to take positive climate action. Museums and galleries provide a space to connect and learn, engage, educate, and influence people in all corners of Scotland.

We are already aware of some incredible work that is taking place across the sector:  museums are becoming more sustainable and reducing their carbon footprints. But there is more work to be done. We want to offer support to ensure that all museums can realise their ambitions for climate action.

What does our climate commitment mean for Museums Galleries Scotland?

MGS will continue to prioritise climate action across our organisation. We will develop our operational policies and practice to reduce our climate emissions, upskill our teams, build partnerships, connect with experts, and create opportunities to advocate for the power of our sector to change Scotland’s climate future.

The views of the sector

MGS conducted a sector-wide survey to understand the views of Scotland’s museums, the actions currently being undertaken, the challenges faced and what more is needed to enable change. This data will play an essential part in how we direct our services and support.

How we will support the sector

Our actions for 2022/23 to support this climate commitment will focus on the following priorities identified through sector engagement and our climate survey responses:

  • Carbon Management & Reduction
    Improving the museum sector’s understanding of how to measure and reduce emissions
    • Offer knowledge and practical support around measurement, calculations, efficiencies, and reductions
    • Promote the good work organisations do and highlight what works well.
  • Climate Resources
    Identifying and sharing useful information specific to the museum sector
    • Build an online bank of resources, case studies, and information for the sector
    • Develop and roll out a museum-specific carbon calculator.
  • Training and Guidance
    Continuing to offer opportunities to build skills and knowledge
    • Deliver Carbon Literacy Training opportunities
    • Host training sessions with Climate Museum UK
    • Offer informal and formal training and support from the MGS Climate Team.
  • Grants & Funding
    Providing opportunities to fund climate activities
    • Fund projects for emissions reductions, increasing sustainability, community engagement and education
    • Strengthen the sustainability criteria within our grants process.
  • Networks & Partnerships
    Strengthening existing relationships and building new and meaningful connections
    • Invest in continued sector engagement and museum visits
    • Work to strengthen the overlap between the cultural and climate sectors/organisations
    • Seek to develop a climate network for Scotland’s museums.
  • Communications
    Championing the sector and advocating for climate action and climate justice
    • Increase our digital engagement with climate issues
    • Use our platform to advocate for sector action, highlight good practice, and share relevant resources.

We are grateful for the feedback we have received from the sector so far as it has helped inform this climate commitment. As part of our shared climate journey, we will continue to speak with those who work and volunteer in Scotland’s museums and galleries to ensure we provide the right support and guidance. We also look forward to sharing more examples of the great work that is taking place across the sector.

MGS Climate Survey Infographic 2022 (PDF, 111KB)