The Food Museum and SS Great Britain Trust win Sustainable Project of the Year
The Annual Museums + Heritage Awards took place last night (10 May) in London celebrating winners in 18 categories, including two for the Sustainable Project of the Year Award.
The Food Museum: Hedgerow
The Food Museum was chosen for its campaign Hedgerow, which demonstrated sustainable thinking at its core.
Through an exhibition and programme of activities the museum advocated for the importance of sustaining hedgerow habitats and took its work to parliament.
We think it's important for museums to amplify the issues of our day and biodiversity loss is a critical issue.
Jenny Cousins, Director at The Food Museum
Speaking about winning the award, Museum Director, Jenny Cousins, said: "It's great to have this work, which involved a huge range of partners, artists, craftspeople and community groups, recognised with a sustainability award. We think it's important for museums to amplify the issues of our day and biodiversity loss is a critical issue. It's particularly brilliant to have been awarded it in National Hedgerow Week."
Local eco groups and volunteers helped to deliver hedgerow management training, taught people how to forage sustainably and planted over a mile of mixed species hedgerow.
Spotlighting people’s passion for nature
The museum also co-curated a community exhibition called 'Every Garden Matters: How to Save the World One Garden at a Time', which was a platform for local people to show others how small actions can make a big difference to biodiversity.
SS Great Britain Trust: Voyage to Carbon Neutral
The second joint winner announced was SS Great Britain Trust for Voyage to Carbon Neutral. In this environmentally-conscious project the Ship’s Conservation Engineer designed innovative upgrades to the ship’s dehumidifying system to reduce its emissions.
It often feels like we still have so much to do on sustainability, so it's fantastic to be recognised for what we've achieved already.
Nicola Grahamslaw, Ship’s Conservation Engineer at SS Great Britain Trust
In the immediate term, these technological developments have reduced the system’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions drastically, while paving the way for the Trust to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Nicola Grahamslaw, Ship’s Conservation Engineer at SS Great Britain Trust, said: "We're delighted to be joint winners of this award. Learning about all the shortlisted projects has been so encouraging, it's brilliant to see our sector doing so much impactful work in an important area.
"It often feels like we still have so much to do on sustainability, so it's fantastic to be recognised for what we've achieved already."
Wider sector impact
The Trust aims to share its learnings to encourage, educate and empower others to reduce their emissions too. It has presented at events including the International Congress of Maritime Museums and Bristol Green Capital Partnership’s Climate Leaders group. It has also engaged visitors and students taking part in the 'Future Brunels' outreach programme with its technology advancements.
Anna Preedy, Director of the Museums + Heritage Awards, said: “What is particularly wonderful about these Awards is the vast and varied range of organisations represented on our shortlist – from large, national museums to small, local heritage organisations and everything in between.
"The Awards provide a rare opportunity to recognise and celebrate the determined, confident and creative work of our extraordinary sector and are the ultimate stamp of approval!”
This year, there were six organisations shortlisted for the sustainability award.
We know that museums are perfectly placed to communicate the environmental challenges we face and the solutions that are available...
Alistair Brown, Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives Policy at The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Alistair Brown, Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives Policy at the Heritage Fund, said: “This year, we have put environmental sustainability and nature’s recovery at the very heart of our new 10-year strategy.
“We know that museums are perfectly placed to communicate the environmental challenges we face and the solutions that are available, and it’s fantastic to celebrate two brilliant examples of this work today. I think they – along with the other shortlisted projects – show the way for many others in the sector.”
Supporting nature’s recovery
We’re committed to supporting museums and heritage organisations to be environmentally sustainable.