Watch the AGM 2021 Talk: Reaching Carbon Neutral at the Australian Museum and the Role of Conservators

solar panel

This event is now over, but remains available to our members on our Community Platform - see under 'Resources' to watch.  More about joining IIC here.

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As the world approaches COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, it is appropriate that we have as our guest speaker at the AGM Dr Jenny Newell from the Australian Museum in Sydney to talk about the Museum’s journey to a carbon neutral position. This talk also forms part of our #TogetherWeMakeTheFuture climate programme.

The Australian Museum is the first natural history museum in Australia to receive the Australian Federal Government’s Climate Active certification and is a Carbon Neutral organisation. As part of the AM’s commitment to improving community understanding of climate change, the AM overcame the challenges of its historic buildings and worked internally to reduce its carbon footprint. A key part of this has been reducing energy use working to the AICCM Environmental Guidelines for Australian Cultural Heritage Collections, which themselves were a direct result of the IIC / ICOM CC 2014 Environmental Guidelines. The implementation of the Australian Museum’s Sustainability Action Plan has reduced green-house gas emissions and together with three strategic carbon offset programs the AM is proudly carbon neutral. Future goals include converting electricity to a renewable energy supply and ultimately being carbon positive.

Jenny Newell is Manager, Climate Change Projects (Engagement, Exhibitions and Cultural Connection) at the Australian Museum. Jenny works on the cultural dimensions of climate change, focusing on communities in Australia and the Pacific. She aims to increase engagement in environmental stewardship through the medium of museums. With a background in environmental history, Jenny has worked with Pacific communities and collections at the British Museum, National Museum of Australia, the American Museum of Natural History (New York) and the Australian Museum to amplify voices on climate change for broad audiences. Jenny convenes the Museums & Climate Change Network and is a member of the International Council of Museums’ Working Group for Sustainability.

Image Credit: Solar panels on the roof of the Australian Museum. Abram Powell/Australian Museum