ECP supports areas where the cultural sector can address environmental issues including air quality, water quality and conservation, waste reduction, habitat and biodiversity preservation, and climate mitigation and adaptation. We work to mobilize cultural institutions to participate in, message and model, and work with other sectors and their communities for climate action and resilience.
Museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums, and cultural heritage sites are key partners for cities, counties, states, tribes, and civic organizations when planning sustainable and resilient futures that emphasize equity, economics and health. For there to be truly lasting, sustainable results for the country and the World, cultural institutions must be integrated into their communities. Communities and institutions benefit when the cultural sector’s work is connected to other sectors’ efforts on environmental and human health, climate mitigation and adaptation, and community resilience.
There is a collective need to make deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane) and ultimately limit global warming by slowing and stopping changes where possible.
Our work spans three pillars of work and focuses on projects working with and serving multiple organizations nationally and internationally.
U.S. Cultural Associations Agree to Climate Collaboration
ECP is pursuing a collective agreement for climate collaboration of U.S. culture associations. Our goal is collective impact, so we are creating a mutual starting point from which the collective can begin designing that impact. For those new to this work, this alignment of nationwide effort is the first step in building greater confidence and resolve among leadership and membership to take action. For those ready to do more, this is where we build cooperative research, implementation, and funding approaches to scale change faster. The strength and creativity of the sector are the individual actions already underway; the power of the sector is aligning those efforts through institutional intentions. Learn more here.
Culture Over Carbon: Understanding Museums’ Energy Use
The Culture Over Carbon research study created the cultural sector’s first in-depth energy use analysis and the first estimate of the sector’s energy impacts on climate. Cultural institutions can use its data to support strategic planning, and implement structural, mechanical, and behavioral changes. In the near term, its information will help individual institutions reduce operating costs to improve their financial condition, pursue capital funds for energy-related projects, and prepare for expected changes in energy availability and regulations. Collectively these actions by the cultural sector will benefit the climate system for the long-term health and safety of living beings, communities, and cultures. Learn More >
Frankenthaler Climate Initiative
The Frankenthaler Climate Initiative is an energy and climate granting program launched by Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in partnership with RMI and ECP. It is the first program of its kind in the U.S. for the visual arts and is the largest private national grant-making program to address climate change through cultural institutions. Learn More >
Carbon Inventory Project
The Carbon Inventory Project (CIP) is part of the IMLS National Leadership Grant research project Culture Over Carbon: Understanding Museums’ Energy Use. ECP, New Buildings Institute, and NEMA are providing training and resources for cultural institutions to organize their energy data and calculate their institution’s carbon footprint associated with energy use. Learn More >
Explore Our Work
Research & Training
We focus on cooperative learning and skill-building to share knowledge and promising practices, conduct research, prepare publications, and host convenings. Learn More >
Our team supports development of transformative solutions helping the cultural sector to shift from “business as usual” to environment- and climate- smart practices. Learn More >
We participate in civil environmental dialogue with other sectors, and share U.S. cultural sector practices regionally, nationally, and internationally. Learn More >