Sustainability and Climate Action Community Challenge Programme

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Programme Overview

Conservators and cultural heritage professionals inherently care about sustainability - preservation of cultural heritage is linked to preservation of humanity and our planet. We have seen the positive impact we can have as a profession by coming together to engage and discuss with open minds the best routes to tackle the global challenges we face. Now, as we tackle one of the biggest health, economic and environmental crises of our time, this approach is needed more than ever to ensure we collectively emerge from this stronger, sustainable, more informed, more aware, and ready for the future. So, what are we actually doing to be more sustainable? How can we engage?

These are questions that we have been wrestling with, but the current pandemic has made these issues seem even more pressing. With research linking the outbreak of COVID19 to loss of biodiversity, globalization and overpopulation, issues regarding sustainability have suddenly hit us all – globally and without discrimination – with an unprecedented impact.

The Sustainability and Climate Action Community Challenge aims to answer questions on sustainable practices and the future, examining the importance of a renewed commitment to sustainability and how we can incorporate sustainability into our plans for reopening and for the future.

The Special Interest Community for Sustainability, championed by Sarah Stannage, IIC Executive Director and Caitlin Southwick, of Ki Culture and Sustainability in Conservation, will facilitate a series of meetings and webinars with the help of IIC’s friends at Julie’s Bicycle throughout 2020 and into 2021.

Meetings, Webinars and Dialogues  

29 July 2020

Online Meeting - recording available on IIC Comminity platform

The Future of Sustainability

New Date (tbc)

Webinar  Conservators and Sustainability

New Date (tbc) 

Webinar + Case Studies Conservation Beyond Plastics

4 November 2020

IIC Dialogue Online

IIC Edinburgh Congress 2020

Climate and Covid: What's the impact to heritage?

Chaired by Dr Ewan Hyslop (Historic Environment Scotland)

4 February 2021

Online meeting Research into Sustainable Conservation

How you can participate and contribute to the discussions

We are crowdsourcing the questions: you can start to get involved by submitting your questions to the online survey here, and by  actively participating in the online meetings and webinars  throughout the year.

Details and guidance on registering for the webinars and meetings online will be posted below with regular updates on the IIC Community platform.

Next Event


IIC Dilaogue: Wednesday 4 November 2020, 16:00 - 17.00 (GMT)

Free for IIC Members : Register to attend the IIC Congress online here


Call for Case Studies: 'Conservation Beyond Plastics - Understanding and Eliminiating Plastic Waste'

Further details can be found here.

Deadline for Case Study Submissions has been Extended to: 30 November 2020


Program delivery partners

Sustainability in Conservation

SiC is a branch of Ki Culture which focuses on environmental responsibility in conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. SiC promotes effective communication, education and research: combining daily tips and ideas on how to practice conservation with more awareness and creating a single, unified reference and approach to greener practice in the field.

Some of SiC’s programs include: the Student Ambassador Program, which empowers students to think critically and implement sustainable initiatives; the Guy Tree, a decision making chart to help conservators make greener choices in their treatments and approaches; and the Green Solvents Project, which defines and explores the application of Green Chemistry in conservation though the creation of a handbook and an international, collaborative research program.

Julie's Bicycle

Julie’s Bicycle (JB) supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. They believe that the creative community is uniquely placed to transform the conversation around climate change and translate it into action. JB provide the creative community with the skills to act, using their creativity to influence one another, audiences and the wider movement. They run a rich programme of events, free resources and public speaking engagements, which contribute to national and international climate change policy development.

Julie’s Bicycle supports the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by focusing on energy, the major source of carbon emissions for the cultural sector. More than 2,000 companies use the Creative IG Tools, our suite of carbon calculators, and our certification scheme, Creative Green, is the recognised benchmark for sustainability achievement within the creative industries.