The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents a pioneering environmental sustainability plan
..in the museum world.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is the first museum in the international sphere to certify its carbon footprint including indirect emissions.
The Museum has prepared an ambitious plan of innovative actions in different areas, such as energy management, exhibition programming, and public programs, to progressively reduce its carbon footprint and increase awareness within its different audiences.
Environmental sustainability is one of the main commitments the Museum has made in its 2021–23 Strategic Plan, through the creation of an Environmental Sustainability Strategic Framework in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Coinciding with the celebration of its 25th Anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has presented a sustainability plan that is pioneering in the museum world and aims to minimize the environmental impact of its activity through the implementation of energetically sustainable solutions and non-polluting processes, while encouraging ecoefficiency-oriented activities.
In addition to the carbon footprint of its direct emissions, the Museum has calculated the carbon footprint of a significant part of its indirect emissions during 2019, with an overall total of 4,313 tons. The calculation of indirect emissions, known as “Scope 3”, is fundamental to identify opportunities for greater energy efficiency and savings in the Museum’s daily activities. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is the first museum in the international sphere to take this step. It has calculated and certified its carbon footprint related to the shipping of works of art and personnel (courier) trips, which account to a third of total emissions. In light of these findings, the Museum has consolidated certain initiatives and will take new actions to reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials used in the organization of exhibitions.
These actions include:
- Prioritize hiring of artwork crates over fabrication of new ones
- Sharing transport for works of art with other institutions, thus avoiding exclusive shipments whenever possible, and prioritizing virtual supervision over personnel (courier) trips
- Limiting the construction of new walls by using or adapting elements designed for previous shows.
- Sharing museum display elements, such as pedestals, bases, and display cases, with local institutions such as Bizkaikoa and Bilbaoarte, to increase reuse of said elements.