The Royal Academy of Arts recognises that the climate emergency is the most important issue of our time. Reducing the environmental impact of our activities is a key priority for the organisation. We have a way to go, but we are committed to the cause, and determined to play our part in protecting the planet.
What we have done already
After switching suppliers, the RA is now powered by 100% renewable energy. The RA is also reducing its single use plastic, for example by introducing compostable take-away cups and cutlery in the cafés and restaurants, and reviewing its use throughout the institution. We are also offering a discount on hot drinks to visitors who bring their own reusable cups.
For the recent Eco-Visionaries exhibition, the RA implemented a more sustainable exhibition design and management system. The exhibition designers Delvendahl Martin Architects and the graphic design studio Daly & Lyon made use of reclaimed materials from within the RA and avoided single-use plastics in order to reduce the exhibition’s carbon footprint and minimise the amount of waste it generated. Following the exhibition, any new materials that couldn’t be re-used were offered for re-use to other institutions and organisations using the Museum Freecycle marketplace. Works in the exhibition were transported via part-loading, meaning the transportation of art works was shared with other objects rather than individually delivered. Across exhibition design and management, we will continue to work with our suppliers to find the most sustainable business practices possible.
What we are committing to go forward
The RA is working towards an internationally recognised Environmental Management System accreditation; ISO 14001:2015. This is the first step in our commitment to becoming environmentally more fully sustainable with further certification to follow in the future. The accreditation will help the organisation identify the environmental impact of its activities and understand what it needs to do to improve its environmental sustainability further. In the longer term the RA also intends to align its activities as much as possible with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.