How to consider environmental sustainability in your heritage project

How to consider environmental sustainability in your heritage project

Three young men carrying willow

Climate change is already impacting our society, our natural environment and our heritage.

We want all the projects we fund to reduce the effects of climate change, assist places and people to adapt to our changing planet, and to support nature’s recovery across the UK.

We expect them all to have a positive impact on our environment and we factor a project’s environmental impact into our decision making.  

We expect to see environmental sustainability embedded into applicants' decision making.

This applies to all projects – whether our funding is supporting an entire landscape, regeneration of a local park, a museum refurbishment or bringing a community together.


What we expect from projects

To reach our environmental sustainability requirement, we expect all projects we fund to:  

  • limit any potential damage to the environment  
  • make a positive impact on the environment and particularly for nature  

Including environmental sustainability within your project right from the beginning will mean your project is likely to be more resilient, financially sustainable and have multiple benefits for people and the community.  

We expect to see environmental sustainability embedded into applicants' decision making. You should also think about how to measure your environmental sustainability and ensure that this is part of your evaluation strategy.

Essential links

Our environmental sustainability requirement.

Read our in-depth good practice guidance

Access practical support from the Fit for the Future network

People planting trees
Volunteers and children from Longford primary school in Coventry plant trees as part of the Million Tree Project. Credit: Sikh Union Coventry

Basic Page

How we're tackling climate change

In our corporate plan we have committed to play our part in tackling climate change – both within our organisation and in our grant giving.
Long green grass and rushes surrounding water at Woodwalton Fen
Woodwalton Fen.


HHA2019 Peatland Progress: A New Vision for the Fens

We have awarded more than £8million to this ground-breaking project that addresses climate change, carbon emissions, biodiversity loss and the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

Sunrise over Plymouth
Site of the new marine park at Plymouth.


HHA2019 Plymouth Sound National Marine Park

We are granting £9.5million to support the creation of Plymouth Sound's 'Park in the Sea', helping communities and tackling the effects of climate change.

People swimming and playing in the Jubilee Pool
Opening of the geothermal pool


Case study: Penzance Jubilee Pool

Penzance's Jubilee Pool won the Sustainable Project of the Year Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards 2021
Outside the Jubilee Pool in Penzance
Sustainability award 2021 winner: Penzance Jubilee Pool


Could you be the Sustainable Project of the Year 2022?

The National Heritage Lottery Fund is sponsoring the sustainability category at the Museums + Heritage Awards for a third year running – entries are now open for 2022.
Young people in a wood
Young people involved in Middlesbrough Environment City's Green Shoots project


Bringing people together in green spaces

How funding for nature in urban areas is helping unemployed young people and refugees find a fresh start.