CIMAM Announces an Expanded Toolkit on Sustainability in the Museum Practice

Thursday, May 18, 2023
CIMAM Announces an Expanded Toolkit on Sustainability in the Museum Practice

Coinciding with ICOM's International Museum Day theme, “Museum, Sustainability and Well-being”, CIMAM announces the incorporation of social and economic aspects of sustainability into its Toolkit on Environmental Museum Practices.

This significant update is the result of a study led by the CIMAM’s Working Group on Sustainability and Ecology in Museum Practice. In January 2022, CIMAM initiated the research project "Climate, Social, and Economic Sustainability: How Modern and Contemporary Art Museums Act to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals." The project aimed to assess the commitment of these museums to the United Nations 2030 Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals.

The study involved professionals from the global modern and contemporary art museum sector. Their contributions unveiled the diverse socio-political contexts in which museums operate and the subsequent impact on their ability to develop sustainability plans aligned with the ambitions of the UN Agenda 2030.

Thanks to the collaboration of the 88 professionals from all continents who took part in the survey launched in 2022, CIMAM has updated its Toolkit on Sustainable Museum Practices.

Three sustainability experts were invited to evaluate the findings. Caitlin Southwick, founder and CEO of Ki Culture, analyzed the social aspects of the survey. Henry McGhie, founder of Curating Tomorrow, assessed progress towards environmental goals. Martin Müller, professor at the Department of Geography and Sustainability at the University of Lausanne, provided critical insights on the museums' evolution towards greener economies.

Findings from the survey and expert opinions reveal that the modern and contemporary art museum sector faces challenges in fully grasping the nuances and opportunities of sustainable development. This knowledge gap hampers the integration of sustainability into institutional strategies.

While modern and contemporary art museums are in the early stages of sustainable development, they possess a unique opportunity to establish themselves as exemplars of best practices, contributing their perspectives to global discussions on human rights, social justice, and climate-related issues. Sustainability, rooted in universal respect for life and human rights, demands that museums adopt this ethos as their modus operandi to the best of their abilities.

This expanded version of the CIMAM Toolkit on Sustainability in the Museum Practice is a comprehensive resource that covers the social and economic aspects of sustainability, combining advice and real-world experience from museums around the world. It is a practical international resource based on the principles of human rights: equity, inclusion, diversity, justice, environmental respect, and sustainable economic growth. Modern and contemporary art museums can draw inspiration from this valuable resource.

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Image of the Day

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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