Museums and Sustainability

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.

What is it about?

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030.

As an agency of the UN, UNESCO is making sure that culture is recognised within a majority of the SDGs, including those focusing on quality education, sustainable cities, the environment, economic growth, sustainable consumption and production patterns, peaceful and inclusive societies, gender equality and food security.

The EU supports the SDGs with a set of actions and policies. One clear task is to mainstream culture into the EU’s sustainable development strategy.

What NEMO does

NEMO wants to make sure that museums are recognised and supported by EU policy makers for the work they do to contribute to a sustainable future by:

  • Advocating for the instrumental role of museums in providing opportunities for decent work, poverty reduction, social resilience, gender equality and other aspects relevant to the SDGs.
  • Illustrating how museums and creative industries contribute to the realisation of development targets by providing solutions in urban and rural, European national and local contexts.
  • Providing information about the different approaches that museums in Europe and around the world are taking to help make the world more sustainable in the future.
  • Encouraging co-operation between museums and other players to form strong alliances reaching out to global citizens at every level.

NEMO's actions


NEMO launched the global museum climate campaign #MuseumsforFuture at its European Museum Conference 2019. The campaign represents a movement of museum workers and offers low-threshold actions that museums can do to support climate strikes and to become more environmentally friendly. It is time to put museums’ potential into action and NEMO encourages the museum community to join and show its support for a sustainable world.


Free webinar on museums and sustainability

On 27 November 2019 at 11:00 CET, Henry McGhieCurating Tomorrow, will explain the background of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and what they aim to achieve; why all museums should connect with them; the benefits of doing so; and the main ways they can incorporate the SDGs into their planning, activity and reporting, across all areas of their activity. 


Latest news on museums and sustainability

Museums in Europe discuss how they can...

From 7-10 November 2019, museum professionals in Europe gathers for the annual conference of NEMO, the Network of European Museum Organisation, to explore how museums can help contribute to a better and greener future. The...

#MuseumsforFuture – Join the movement

On Friday 8 November 2019, NEMO was part of launching the campaign #MuseumsforFuture and encourages the museum community to join in. The initiative was shared during the introduction to NEMO’s two day museum conference focused on...

Free NEMO Webinar explains how museums can...

NEMO continues its quest of making museums realise their full potential to contribute to a better, greener and equitable future. On 27 November 2019 at 11:00 CET Henry McGhie, Curating Tomorrow, will facilitate a webinar that...

Our advocacy work for museums

NEMO liaises with European policy makers and EU Institutions in all areas relevant to museums. We produce recommendations and co-operate with partners in the European cultural field to make our demands heard. We also help our members to build successful advocacy campaigns and support museums to make an impact on various sectors.

Resources from EU institutions

Resources from the wider sector