Friday, May 26, 2017

Plastic Plague I: Albuquerque BioPark Display

In this first entry on institutions' campaigns to raise awareness of the "Plastic Plague", I'm using the title from an exhibit at the Albuquerque BioPark. 

The AZA Mid-Year Meeting, including we from the Green Summit, visited this past March. We saw some good green efforts, including this plastic messaging approach. 

I particularly like the chalk board for creating pledges. Public commitments to green changes are indicators of increased likelihood of behavior change.

Best of all, the BioPark follows up on this messaging with no plastic bags in the multiple gift shops on site. The ones they do use, they give for free and they're made from recycled content. Good job Wildlife Trading Company.

....because this stuff never goes away.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Draft Characteristics of Excellence for Environmental Sustainability in US Museums

For over a year now, PIC Green (our facebook page), has been gathering comments on how the field should proceed on incorporate performance related to environmental sustainability into its professional expectations. PIC Green (AAM website page) is the professional network, formerly Professional Interest Committee, on environmental sustainability for the American Alliance of Museums.

Last year we hosted the Tides of March online discussions about how to move ahead (note - this link has even more links to other professional association with developed standards). As a result of those talks, and the three years' previous Green Summits at the AAM conferences, we drafted a set of Characteristics of Excellence.

While AAM is reviewing its overall process for establishing characteristics and standards of excellence, and we wait to hear about IMLS support for that effort, PIC Green continues to move its project forward. This year at the AAM conference we held a flash session to discuss the draft and made some valuable changes.

We would appreciate your comments on what we have developed so far:

The museum states its role in stewardship of the environment, demonstrates how its choices align with that role, and actively addresses related environmental concerns within the community.

The museum measures and makes public its environmental impacts; sets goals for continuous improvement; and evaluates progress and effectiveness.

The museum demonstrates leadership by exceeding environmental codes, regulations, and professional standards as appropriate, e.g. higher efficiency, or more effective practices. 

The museum has reviewed its investments and set a time frame investing in a socially responsible portfolio.

The museum has a plan and time frame for becoming climate neutral, then climate positive.

The museum identifies risks resulting from climate change, and takes steps to anticipate and mitigate risks and damage for itself and, in collaboration, on behalf of the community.