Planning for the Future

Building a Sustainable Future

We are very proud of the variety and depth of sustainability projects we have undertaken at the Academy, but we know there is much more work to be done. As an institution focusing on the natural and environmental sciences, we believe it is important to demonstrate leadership and excellence in sustainability management. Beyond the numerous institutional benefits that can be gained by considering our impact on people and the planet, we know we must positively impact the people with whom we interact and the natural world in which we operate.

For these reasons, we conducted a detailed sustainability assessment in 2011 that resulted in a list of more than 75 potential projects for improving our institutional sustainability. Based on carefully identified criteria, we prioritized the projects and created a sustainability plan that will take us through the end of Fiscal Year 2014. The five goals for our sustainability program tie in directly with our strategic plan and span a range of areas from sustainable operations to sustainability science, from cultivating happy employees to educating members of our community.

The projects we will be working on in 2013 and 2014 primarily focus on creating a strong foundation to support the in-depth sustainability work we are planning for our future. These projects include launching an employee-based sustainability support team, building a sustainability intranet site, and selecting metrics to help us understand and report on how we are progressing toward our goals. Once these structural building blocks are in place, we will move forward with additional projects that will be visible to our members and visitors and will complement our current sustainability-related efforts.

Inspire visitors

  • Incorporate sustainability education throughout the museum
  • Include sustainability reporting on our website
  • Create sustainable events options for rentals

Maintain a thriving employee culture

  • Educate employees on institutional and personal sustainability opportunities
  • Provide opportunities for employees to volunteer to improve the Academy’s sustainability
  • Improve internal systems for communication

Enable exemplary operations

  • Conduct a waste audit
  • Identify opportunities for sustainable procurement and education in the gift shop

Provide leading sustainability science

  • Work with scientists to identify sustainability-related research needs that the Academy can fill
  • Continue to provide exemplary research on biodiversity, the environment, and sustainability. For information on current sustainability research at the Academy, click here.

Empower our community

  • Launch a byproduct synergy initiative to help regional businesses identify options for repurposing their waste streams
  • For information on upcoming sustainability-related community programming at the Academy, click here.

Please let us know what you think about our sustainability initiatives. We also invite you to submit your
ideas about ways that the Academy can become more sustainable. In particular, we welcome ideas
about sustainability-related programming you would like to see! Please email your comments directly to
our Sustainability Committee at

What's New in Sustainability

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.