Environmental Sustainability

The conservation sector has a responsibility to embed environmental sustainability within its practices and to inspire others to take climate action

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Conservation and Sustainability

Cultural organisations have explicitly been given responsibility for achieving targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 11.4 encourages the safeguarding of the world’s cultural and natural heritage. 

Conservation supports communities dealing with climate change through direct rescue and protection of threatened cultural heritage assets but also by helping to inform environmental action. Conservators do this by building understanding of materials and change. The conservation community is also uniquely positioned to foster conversations on sustainability and to inspire positive change through influence, leadership and innovation.

In response to this challenge and opportunity, Icon's Board of Trustees agreed in 2020 an Environmental Statement outlining Icon's commitment to promoting the positive role that conservation can play in inspiring and informing climate action. We're taking action to reduce our organisational carbon footprint and support members to embed environmental sustainability in their professional activities. The aims of our campaign are to:

  • Ensure that the principles of environmental sustainability are applied throughout our work.
  • Encourage members (organisations and individuals) to take action to tackle climate change
  • Promote the positive role that cultural heritage and conservation can play in informing responses to and communicating climate change issues
  • Mobilise the cultural heritage sector to act on climate change in collaboration with partners
  • Seek out new partnerships and share information with colleagues and stakeholders to help develop radical ideas and solutions to pressing environmental challenges.



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