Recognised standardisations of environmental performance can help to improve your organisations sustainability efforts by aligning to set targets and parameters. These provide concrete goals to aim for, internationally recognised certification and can help your organisation to continuously improve and stay on top of its environmental impact. This page highlights some of the options available to museums.
PAS 2060- Carbon Neutral Certification
PAS 2060 is the British Standards Institution (BSI) certification for carbon neutrality- for legitimate claims to be carbon neutral, it is expected an organisation is certified as PAS 2060. The term carbon neutral is defined as the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) produced by an organisation is offset by carbon sinks and/or carbon credits.
It was set up in 2009 with the objective of increasing transparency of carbon neutrality claims by providing a common definition and recognised method of achieving carbon neutral status. There are several benchmarks and requirements that an organisation must reach to achieve this certification. These include:
- Carbon footprint measurements include 100% of Scope 1 and Scope 2 and all Scope 3 emissions that contribute more than 1% of the total footprint
- Develop a Carbon Management Plan containing a commitment to carbon neutrality and outlines the timescale of reductions, specific targets, planned means of reduction and how residual emissions will be offset
- That any emissions present at the end of a reduction period are offset by high-quality, certified carbon credits which must meet the following criteria:
- From one of the PAS 2060 approved schemes such as the Gold Standard, UK Woodland Carbon Code or Verified Carbon Standard credits for offsetting
- Genuinely additional- i.e., reductions that would not have happened anyway under a business-as-usual approach
- Verified by an independent third party to ensure reductions are not temporary, displaced or double counted
There are several different organisations that can verify your carbon reductions and offsetting and award the PAS 2060 certification for a fee. These include:
More information can be found at PAS 2060 - Carbon Neutrality Standard and Certification | BSI (bsigroup.com)
ISO 14000 series: Environmental Management
ISO (International Organisations for Standardization) 14000 are a series of International Standards for environmental management. The aim of the series is to help organisations minimise how their operations negatively impact the environment, comply with applicable laws, regulations and other environment based requests and to continually improve the previous two issues.
There are several different ISO’s in this series which may be of relevance to museums and their aims to become more environmentally friendly however the main one is ISO 14001. The most recent version was released in 2015 and is named “ISO 14001:2015”. This defines criteria for an environmental management system (EMS). It does not state requirements for environmental performance but rather maps out a framework that a company or organisation can follow to set up an effective EMS and focuses on areas such as procurement, storage, distribution etc with the aim of becoming more sustainable in day-to-day practices. If an organisation is following this standard, they can be certified as such.
An EMS such as ISO 14001 is comprised of the policies, processes, plans, practices and records that define the rules governing how an organisation interacts with the environment. Having one which is certified ISO 14001 demonstrates an adherence to an internationally recognised standard of sustainability and environmental care.
At an overview level, ISO 14001 is divided into the following topics which must be addressed:
- Context of the organisation: this seeks to understand what an EMS in your organisation will look like
- Leadership: senior management is required to be instrumental in the implementation of the EMS
- Planning: Ongoing planning must be conducted for the function of the EMS
- Support: This details the requirements needed for the carrying out of the EMS including competency, awareness, communication and information.
- Operation: This aspect deals with all issues of the environmental controls needed by your organisations processes, identify potential emergency situations and plan responses
- Performance evaluation: The need to demonstrate an ongoing monitoring of the EMS and process measuring, compliance assessment and internal audits.
- Improvement: This section includes the requirements needed to make the EMS better over time.
ISO 14064 is also part of the 14000 series and provides organisations with a complementary set of tools for programmes to quantify, monitor, report and verify their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is support within this standard to participate in both regulated and voluntary programmes such as emissions trading schemes and public reporting.
This standard is divided into three sections:
- ISO 14064-1:2018 specifies principles and requirements at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and any removals.
- ISO 14064-2: 2019 discuss the principles and requirements for and provides guidance at the project level for quantification, monitoring and reporting of activities that cause emissions or removals.
- ISO 14064-3:2019 specifies principles, requirements, and guidance for those conducting or managing the validation and/or verification of GHG assertions.
There are other standards within the 14000 series which may be of use/interest to museums seeking to become more sustainable, such as:
To become certified to any of these standards, an organisation must purchase the standard which details all the steps, tools and guidance which are needed to become certified. These can be bought from a range of providers including ISO themselves.
From there, once the steps within these standards are followed and the requirements met an organisation can either self certify or bring in an independent, third party to conduct an audit to award certification.
Further information on the ISO 14000 series can be found at: ISO - ISO 14000 family — Environmental management.