Sustainability and Climate Action Community Challenge Programme

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Community Challenge 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,  what are we actually doing to be more sustainable? How can we all engage in the climate agenda?

These are questions that we have been wrestling with, but the current pandemic has made these issues seem even more pressing. 

The Sustainability and Climate Action Community Challenge aims to answer your questions on sustainable practices, 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, is championed by Sarah Stannage, IIC Executive Director and Caitlin Southwick, of Sustainability in Conservation, with a facilitated series of programmes and events with the help of IIC’s friends at Julie’s Bicycle as well as wider partnership network throughout 2020 and 2021 in the lead up to COP 26.

Community Challenge Programme   

29 July 2020

Online Meeting - recording available on IIC Comminity platform

The Future of Sustainability
4 November 2020 IIC Dialogue Chaired by Dr Ewan Hyslop (Historic Envronment Scotland and Climate Heritage Network)  'Climate Change and Covid-19: What is the heritage impact?'
Ongoing Special blogs posts and interviews with conservators -  on the IIC Community   Conservators and Sustainability 
12 April 2021 (12-4pm CEST) IIC President, Julian Bickersteth at the G20 Webinar  Addressing the Climate Crisis Through Culture

19 April 2021 (8 p.m. BST)

AGM Talk with Dr Jenny Newell, Australian Museum. Reaching Carbon Neutral at the Australian Museum and the Role of Conservators

New Date (tbc) 

Webinar + Case Studies with Julie's Bicycle Conservation beyond plastics: Understanding and eliminating plastic waste

New Date (tbc)

Online meeting, part of the IIC Zoom Talks.  Further details to follow. Research into Sustainable Conservation

How you can participate and contribute to the discussions

"It's more interesting to make change happen than to be swept along by it". (Velson Horie)

If you are a conservator or cultural heritage professional making change happen and are willing to share insights regarding sustainability and your most impactful actions, please get in touch - we are looking for blog contributors for the IIC Community,

IIC members can join the Special Interest Community for Sustainability and Climate Action here.

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, webinars and online sessions  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.


Watch Again

IIC President, Julian Bickersteth at the G20 webinar: Addressing the Climate Crisis Through Culture

Further information about the webinar held on 12th April 2021 can be found here. This is an externally hosted event that is free to watch again, no registration is required.


IIC AGM Talk with Dr Jenny Newell: Reaching Carbon Neutral at the Australian Museum and the Role of Conservators

You can watch the recording on the IIC Community space. 

IIC Dilaogue: Climate Change and Covid-19: What is the heritage impact? 

You can watch the recording of the Dialogue from the IIC Edinburgh 2020 Congress on to the IIC Community - which is free to access for IIC Members. 


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

Further details can be found here.

Deadline for Case Study Submission has closed - we will be in touch shortly with a new date for the webinar!


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.