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Five Museums and One Individual Recognized for Environmental Sustainability by American Alliance of Museums

Category: Press Release

ARLINGTON, VA – Five museums have been recognized with 2019 Sustainability Excellence Awards, presented by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the only organization representing the entire scope of the museum community.

First presented in 2014, the awards recognize sustainability efforts in facilities, programming, and exhibits in both large and small institutions. In the last five years, the award program has recognized 21 museums across 12 US states and two museums in Mexico. This year’s recipients are:

  • The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, WY (Existing Facility category) for its proactive approach to a complex retrofit of its outdated mechanical and lighting systems to enhance their energy efficiency. The institution demonstrated the value of master planning, Energy Star usage, and undertaking practical sustainable preservation goals.
  • The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA (New Construction category) for earning USGBC LEED Gold certification and demonstrating an overall commitment to sustainable design despite challenging site conditions. The precedent-setting new museum conserves energy, limits waste, and reduces operational costs and carbon footprint.
  • The Charles H. Wright Museum and Michigan Science Center in Detroit, MI (Programming category) for their collaboration on people-centered programs that engaged the museums and their community in a dialogue on sustainability. The programs worked to shift from a self-described “culture of waste” towards a holistic, institution-wide culture of environmentalism.
  • The Roseville Utility Exploration Center in Roseville, CA (Programming category honorable mention) for its Home for the Holidays exhibit and scavenger hunt. By establishing clear goals and using visitor feedback to track impact, this program exemplified how a small, narrowly-focused visitor center can serve its community.
  • Sarah Sutton, LEED-AP Principal of Sustainable Museums, who received the inaugural Individual Impact award. Through her work with museums, on committees, and in publications, Sutton has emerged as the leading voice for developing field-wide environmental and climate response expectations and guidance, and for cross-sector collaborations benefitting all.

This year, 150 tons of C02 total were cancelled to offset greenhouse gas emissions from travel through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Climate Neutral Now in honor of all award winners.

The awards are sponsored by the Environment and Climate Network, a professional network of AAM members committed to establishing museums as leaders in environmental sustainability.

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