Our journey to becoming a more environmentally sustainable museum
The ‘Good Growth in Distinctive Places, Place Stories – York and its Hinterlands’ offers York a unique opportunity. North Yorkshire & East Riding Enterprise Partnership’s report recognises York’s chance to be a global lead in bio-economy innovation. By translating this report into real-world interventions that positively addresses sustainability and climate change.
Our parent charity, York Archaeological Trust is committed to a carbon-neutral strategy which is noted in its environmental policy. Our policy states that we are concerned to preserve, protect and continually improve the environment for future generations by:
- Integrating our sites into their urban and landscape environments.
- Comply with or exceed the requirements of environmental legislation.
- Selecting materials and services from environmentally responsible suppliers.
- Improving our material flow management and our storage practices in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
- Training and making each staff member aware of his/her responsibilities regarding working methods and impact on the environment.
- Favour the re-use of materials before they enter the recycling or refuse process.
- Favour recycling materials before they enter the refuse process.
- Considering prevention as an essential theme in our thinking and in our actions, both internally and towards our clients.
- Becoming a model in environmental matters for our clients and partners.
- Committing to and promoting sustainability through sound economic, social, environmental as well as equitable practices throughout our operations.
This specific project is based on low or zero carbon best practice using innovative clean technology supporting growing skills and supply chains in support of Net Zero.
Our aims and objectives
Through our attractions, JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG and Barley Hall in addition to our Events and Festivals we are committed to an organisational strategy. This includes the aim that YAT will be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and grow.
Following work undertaken as part of the Greener Museum’s Project in 2014, YAT is striving to reduce our carbon footprint and make active environmentally sustainable choices.
Over the last few years, we have been making efforts to improve our environmental sustainability. These include practices such as reducing paper and electricity use and introducing a crisp packet recycling scheme.
Wolfson Sustainability Fund
We have been awarded £48,000 of funding to make environmental improvements to our accredited museums – JORVIK, DIG and Barley Hall – to reduce our carbon footprint and make cost savings across our operations. Using the Wolfson Sustainability Fund, we are making changes such as upgrading our air handling units, replacing all of our lighting with LED bulbs and fittings. In addition we are installing new insulation, timers for water usage as well as reviewing our building management systems.
We will continue upgrading our operations over the coming months with this funding and more
We’re Carbon Literate! The Carbon Literacy Project aims to raise awareness of the effect carbon dioxide production has on the climate. Highlighting ways to help individuals and industries reduce carbon emissions.
A number of our staff have completed Carbon Literacy training to influence how The JORVIK Group can make a meaningful impact on the future through organisational policy and personal lifestyle changes. We will continue investing in this training as we strive to improve our environmental credentials over the next few years.
Kids in Museums ‘Takeover Day’
In 2021, our Learning Team ran a special session with children from Appleton Roebuck Primary, North Yorkshire exploring ideas about environmental sustainability as part of the Kids in Museums Takeover Day themed around climate action. Pupils took on the role of museum interpreters to create a social media campaign about the collections at JORVIK Viking Centre, exploring if the Vikings were environmentally-friendly with the hope that it might challenge people today to live more sustainably.
Archaeology Live – Eco Friendly Invaders
As part of our online Archaeology Festival in 2021 and to support our new initiative ‘Windows on the Past’ designed to help bring high streets back to life by installing exhibitions in unoccupied retail spaces, we created a special look at how the Vikings regarded the environment and could be regarded as early environmentalists. Take a look at this video created for our exhibition ‘Eco-Friendly Invaders’
We look forward to sharing more updates with you on our journey to becoming a more environmentally sustainable museum. Watch this space!