The North East’s regional museums service has won a Green Apple Award for helping other museums in the region to become more environmentally friendly and save money.
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ Make Carbon History project, delivered by the North East Museum Development Programme, enabled 15 museums, including Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick and Bede’s World in Jarrow, to achieve greater levels of environmental sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint.
The 15 museums made a carbon saving of 234.4 tonnes, equivalent to an 18% reduction, exceeding the 12% target, and operating costs were reduced by more than £56,000 per year.
Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, said:
“This project was about creating a sustainable future for the region’s museums and to ensure that they can continue to have a positive impact on their surrounding communities.
“We assisted museums by providing practical support that enabled financial and environmental savings. We hope that museum visitors will also be inspired to look at how they can take their own steps towards increasing sustainability and reducing their own carbon footprint.”
The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and have become established as the country’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries. Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums was awarded a Bronze Award in the Sport and Leisure category.
Councillor Ged Bell, Chair of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Joint Committee said:
'I'm delighted that the work Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums do across the region as the museum development provider for the North East has been recognised at a national level with this Green Apple Award.'
Museums taking part in Make Carbon History each worked with an advisor from WRM Ltd who provided advice on how to become more environmentally sustainable. The recommendations often also led to opportunities to save money and improve the experience for the museum’s visitors.
Participating museums shared their experience and ideas with each other and received ongoing support in their aims to reduce carbon emissions by 12% by 2015.
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums received its award at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.
The initiative is part of the wider Museum Development Programme in the region which is led by TWAM and funded by the Arts Council.