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Awards and Competitions

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Sustainability Excellence Awards Criteria and Selection Process

The Sustainability Excellence Awards (SEA) seek to promote sustainable practices by sharing the work of other museums. The entries selected are not “better,” but have the most to share with the greater museum community and have the greatest impacts in terms of resource use reductions, education, and behavior change.

  • Projects must reflect a significant change in policies, energy used, or environmental impact and include provisions for ongoing monitoring, measuring, and improvement.
  • Projects will be not be evaluated primarily on metrics, but rather on both metrics and institutional behavior change.
  • Criteria include the quality of documentation provided, the amount of data collected over a specified period of time, and the degree to which it make green choices understandable, compelling and replicable by colleagues and visitors.
  • We also look at the reach of the project—does it influence the broader community as well as the institution?

Review and Notification

The review panel will consist of the leadership of the Environment and Climate Network along with guest reviewers for each category. The submissions selected for award will be notified by email by the end of March 2020.

If you are notified, please respond within a week to confirm that a representative from the museum will be at AAM’s 2020 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in San Francisco to take part in the SEA Lunch Ceremony. Winners will be expected to prepare slides summarizing their submission for the event.

All submitters will be notified of the status of their submission by the end of March 2020. Post-award feedback will be offered upon request. If you would like feedback on your submission, send an e-mail to Please do not contact reviewers directly. Thank you.

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