Environmental policy

The Natural History Museum's mission is to create advocates for the planet, envisioning and enabling a future where both people and the planet thrive. 

The Museum is a world-renowned museum of natural history. We are engaged in the storage, collection, public viewing, scientific research, marketing and communications associated with natural history specimens.

We are committed to protecting the environment and seek to continually improve the environmental performance of our activities by reducing the environmental impacts of all areas of our operations through our Environmental Management System (EMS), certified to ISO14001. 

This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure its ongoing suitability for the Museum. 

Aims and objectives

  1. Ensure as a minimum standard, full compliance with relevant environmental legislation and other regulations applicable to UK Government departments and Arm's Length Bodies relating to the sustainable use and protection of natural resources.
  2. Raise awareness of our environmental impacts, environmental conditions that can affect how we operate and legislation applying to our activities.
  3. Implement our commitment to the prevention of pollution including: monitoring discharges and emissions to air; land and water to ensure they do not exceed consent limits; and promoting behaviours to reduce the Museum's impact on local air quality.
  4. Commit to the Museum's Energy Policy for monitoring emissions and making improvements in efficiency.
  5. Promote sustainable options for staff and visitor travel and reduce impacts from exhibition and specimen transport.
  6. Monitor waste generation and recycling rates, promote waste minimisation and progressively improve levels of re-use and recycling in all activities.
  7. Monitor, manage and reduce mains water and borehole water use at all Museum sites to detect leaks and inefficient use of this resource.
  8. Ensure contractors observe good environmental practice when working on Museum premises and work with them to improve environmental performance.
  9. Encourage suppliers and contractors, through appropriate specifications, to develop and supply environmentally preferable goods and services.
  10. Give full consideration to the impact on the environment before committing capital expenditure or entering into any new venture or project.
  11. Encourage, enable and participate in public discussions concerning environmental issues, and the spread of sustainable technologies and services in the Museum and cultural sector.
  12. Carry out periodic reviews of environmental management performance and monitor progress against objecti en re continual improvement.


Executive Board

  • Overall responsibility to ensure that this environmental policy is effectively applied across the Museum.
  • Approve resources, strategic priorities and policy changes.

Head of Estates

  • Overall responsibility to ensure that the environmental policy is effectively applied by all employees, contractors and other visitors.
  • Will receive reports and recommendations from the Head of Sustainability and Environmental and Sustainability Officer on matters concerning environmental management issues.

Head of Sustainability and Environmental and Sustainability Officer

  • Oversee the development of policies, procedures and guidelines for environmental management and sustainability, achieving approval from Executive Board.
  • Advise on, and ensure the Museum has adequate systems and resources in place to ensure best practice environmental management is upheld and ensure environmental performance improvements are embedded into the Museum's management and services.
  • Manage and coordinate the Museum's ongoing commitment to meet the standards of its ISO14001 certification; communicating compliance matters and facilitating continual improvement of the EMS.

Line managers 

  • Ensure their Department complies with this environmental policy and that environmental management procedures are adhered to.
  • Liaise with the Sustainability team to minimise potential environmental impacts of new projects or activities.

All employees of the Museum

  • All employees are required to understand and comply with this environmental policy.

Contractors, suppliers and departmental visitors

  • Staff responsible for the presence of contractors, suppliers and departmental visitors on Museum premises are responsible for ensuring they comply with this environmental policy.
  • Contractors, suppliers and visitors are required to co-operate fully in achieving the aims of this environmental policy.

Last updated

  • This policy was last updated on 8 October 2020.