Sustainable Development Goals

Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals by Henry McGhie

How can museums help put the world on a path to a sustainable future, through working to support the Sustainable Development Goals?

Museums and the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs are not just for governments: they are an invitation to all sectors of society, in all places, to collaborate and participate in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The SDGs are an incredible opportunity for anyone, any organisation, and any sector to collaborate in pursuit of common goals, levering their skills, capacities and unique resources. Museums have a great deal to offer this Agenda, and some of the SDGs will not be achieved without museums. This guide aims to help museums, and you, play your part. There is no single right way to contribute to the SDGs and, so long as the principles of sustainability are followed, no wrong way. The SDGs are also not about continuing with business as usual, but about clear, committed, focused action to enhance positive impacts and reduce negative impacts.

This Guide (See PDF) is intended to help empower museums to play their fullest part in the SDGs. It doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but it is a start, and it’s been developed to be useful and practical, and sensitive to the fact that different countries, different museum types and different role types each face particular issues. There are many different realities facing museums and those working in and with them, just as there are different realities in terms of social and environmental issues around the world. The beauty of the SDGs is that they are universal, and also that they enable everyone to find their own access point to them.