Carbon Inventory Project Kickoff: Introduction to Benchmarking on October 31, 2022 1pm ET. Attendees learned about the Carbon Inventory Project, how it relates to the Culture Over Carbon project, how to participate, participation expectations and benefits.
The Carbon Inventory Project (CIP) is part of the IMLS National Leadership Grant research project Culture Over Carbon: Understanding Museums’ Energy Use. This Project will provide training and resources for cultural institutions to organize their energy data and calculate their institution’s carbon footprint associated with energy use October 2022 – June 2023. The feedback we received during Phase One of Culture Over Carbon identified collecting energy data as the biggest barrier to research participation.
For individual institutions, benchmarking energy data is a high-return, low-risk effort museums with multiple benefits:
- Better energy and carbon management decisions
- saving money
- decreasing their carbon footprint
- preparing for pending building-related local policies
For the sector, calculating a sector-wide carbon footprint, as the grant is doing, will enable:
- Quantitatively tracking the sector’s progress to decreasing its footprint
- Setting a footprint reduction goal
- Hold ourselves accountable for the sector’s emissions
- Better recognize carbon footprint reduction work being done in the sector
- Contribute to and communicate the sector’s footprint in reports and studies, including the U.S. National Determined Contributions
- Easily report energy and carbon data to jurisdictions or future research on the sector.
Carbon’s atomic number is 6 (June). Oxygen’s atomic number is 8 – there are two of them in Carbon Dioxide (so 8 x 2 = 16). Carbon Day is June 16th of every year.
Got Heat? How about cooling, humidification? How about lights, refrigerators or hot water? And what about increased fresh air intake? Then join your peers whose museums use energy in their galleries, storage rooms, cafes, shops, education rooms, hallways, and reception areas as the US museum field prepares for the first annual Carbon Day, June 16, 2023.
Carbon Day 2023 will be the first reporting milestone in the work to build sector-wide capacity and commitment to calculating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from energy use. This effort is part of Culture Over Carbon, an IMLS National Leadership grant studying energy use in museums, zoos, gardens, aquariums and historic sites. So it’s free to you.
Environment and Culture Partners (ECP), New Buildings Institute (NBI) and New England Museum Association (NEMA) are teaming up to help museum staff comfortably develop and submit annual energy use carbon calculations, then contribute it (anonymously) to the sector’s total footprint for 2022. We do this so that each participating institution, and the entire sector, can take responsibility for its carbon impacts, and demonstrate its capacity for high-impact climate action.
Whether you’ve been logging energy data for years, or are so new to this you don’t know who at your museum knows how much energy we use, we want you to join in – you and your data count!
Energy use in buildings is one of the largest sources of emissions, and we all know museums can be energy hogs. We can only begin to manage that consumption (and fund efforts to reduce it) if we understand our own energy use first. We know firsthand that making the time and building the process and internal systems to measure energy use can be challenging the first time around.
Between October 2022 through May 2023 we’ll give you the information, skills and encouragement you need to use the free software Energy Star Portfolio Manager to record and save your data, making the process clearer and easier to complete. For support and encouragement, please drop in as you like to two how-to webinars, five different office hour opportunities, and sessions to hear from your peers.
If you’re a beginner, we’ll help you build the practices you need to make energy reporting clearer and regular. We’ll help you share your total energy use and carbon emissions so that it adds up to the sector total. Then in 2023 and each year after, if you submit your previous year’s total by June 1, it will be included in the sector’s Carbon Count announced on June 16th, Carbon Day.
All events are times are in Eastern US Time Zone and the duration is one hour