National Museum of Australia launches environmental sustainability action plan

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The Tragedy of HAMLET

The National Museum of Australia has launched its inaugural environmental sustainability action plan, which commits it to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

The Museum has embraced both Federal and Australian Capital Territory government legislation and guidelines to achieve certified carbon-neutral status of its building and business practices by or before 2030

Among the first steps the Museum has taken to reach its targets is acquiring electric vehicles, installing solar panels and reducing the use of utilities.

ACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Mr Shane Rattenbury said, “The launch of the National Museum of Australia’s environmental and sustainability action plan is a significant step towards addressing climate change at the community level. By committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, the Museum demonstrates its dedication to taking action on climate change.”

“By setting targets and taking action to reduce emissions, the Museum sets an example for other institutions to follow. This is the kind of leadership we need as we work together to create a zero emissions, environmentally conscious future,” Mr Rattenbury said.

National Museum Director, Dr Mathew Trinca, said, “The Museum takes great pride in setting out its vision of building audience capacity to sustain Australia’s rich natural environment and cultural heritage.

“Through this action plan, the Museum commits to achieving its goals of carbon-neutral certification, reducing its impact on the environment, and engaging audiences with knowledge to promote a sustainable future,” Dr Trinca said.

“We are particularly proud of our new gallery Great Southern Land, which explores Australia’s unique landscapes and biodiversity and asks visitors to consider how the land can help guide us through the environmental challenges of the future,” Dr Trinca said.

This year, electric vehicles will replace two of the Museum’s fleet of six internal combustion engine vehicles, with others to follow as the leases expire.

A 192kW solar panel system has recently been installed on the Museum building’s roof, which provides approximately 4.5% of the building’s electricity requirement.

The Museum’s action plan aligns with the Powering Australia plan’s emissions reduction program, APS Net Zero 2030, which requires the Australian Public Service to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030.

The Museum’s plan also aligns with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, which seek internationally agreed outcomes in relation to sustainability.

While the Museum is subject to Federal legislation, its location within the ACT allows it to benefit from the ACT Government’s Waste Management Strategy, and electricity derived from 100% renewable sources.

Background

The Museum has developed four streams of activity, which reflect key areas of the Museum’s endeavours that impact on environmental sustainability.

Audience and community – collecting, developing and delivering content that inspires and encourages audiences to join our sustainability ambition and take individual action.

Staff engagement – championing an inclusive approach to improving business practices, knowledge, skills and delivery of sustainability activities.

Energy and materials – improving levels of energy efficiency and the use of ethically sourced and renewable materials in our buildings, services, project outcomes and consumables.

Governance and partnerships – embedding environmental sustainability, implementing best practice and developing mutually beneficial partnerships.

The National Museum’s Environmental Sustainability Action Plan 2023–2030 is available here.

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