Sustainability and Climate Change Task Group

This Task Group aims to support the heritage sector to create sustainability/climate change plans for their organisations, including advice on net zero

In 2020, the HEF agreed that the ‘climate emergency’ was an important, urgent and strategic theme for a Task Group. It was acknowledged that, whilst related activity was underway both within and beyond the sector, there was a need to share and coordinate learning, and to create shared messaging and tools. In early 2022, there is more support than ever for the prioritisation of this strategic issue across the sector.

Ahead of the COP26 summit in November 2021, the HEF COP26 Task Group launched ‘Heritage Responds’, a publication and online case study repository which demonstrates how heritage can be part of the solution to climate change, and aims to inspire further positive action.

Building on the successful launch of Heritage Responds, the Sustainability and Climate Change TG will work closely with HEF TG members and existing sustainability groups and networks to support the sector to fulfil some key areas for action on climate change. The road to net zero is long and complex and for small and medium-sized heritage organisations with limited (relevant) resource, starting this process can feel overwhelming. The TG will support the sector to work towards embedding sustainability into its practice, and share learning on how to measure carbon baseline and reduce carbon impact. The TG will bring together larger heritage organisations, with increased access to expertise and more experience of implementing sustainability initiatives, with smaller organisations that are seeking guidance. The TG will use this shared learning to produce tools and templates specifically relevant to the heritage sector and which are easily implementable and shareable.

The Sustainability and Climate Change TG will:

  • Convene a cross-section of heritage sector organisations with varying experience of implementing sustainability initiatives.
  • Provide a sector-wide forum to share learning and exchange practical advice on sustainability, setting a carbon baseline and reducing carbon impact, including phased approaches for smaller organisations for example.
  • Develop and/or tailor sustainability and climate change plan templates to the needs of heritage sector organisations.
  • Ensure collaboration with existing groups and networks tackling similar initiatives.