As one of New Zealand’s most important and renowned heritage museums, Auckland War Memorial Museum is paving the way in terms of its environmental performance – with the accolades and achievements to prove it.
In early 2011, the museum became the first museum in the world to achieve CEMARS certification. In the past two years, the museum has managed to cut its carbon emissions by 31%, and it expects to reach 40% by the end of this year. It has also reduced its consumption of natural gas by 48%, and emissions from waste to landfill, air travel, taxis and staff mileage are down 22%.
The benefits have been wide and varied. Annual savings of $340,000 are being realised (ultimately benefiting rate payers and alleviating pressure on Council budgets), and environmental conditions have improved in the areas containing collection objects. Further, the programme has engaged staff, boosted the brand and improved the museum’s ability to network and share innovation.
The sustainability programme is continuing to grow: recently, the museum announced that a major solar panel installation is to be operating on the museum roof by January 2014. The museum has collaborated with Honeywell NZ to customise software that has achieved major reductions in energy usage in the museum’s air conditioning systems, and it is believed that the museum’s approach in this respect could become the standard for all buildings with computer-controlled HVAC management systems. It’s in ways like this that the Auckland War Memorial Museum is really proving itself to be a leader in sustainable business practice.
Auckland War Memorial Museum received a Judges’ Commendation in the Energy Management category and was a finalist in the Mega efficiency Innovation category at the2013 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.