Environmental Sustainability

Learn about our mission to improve our environmental sustainability across all departments. What our aims and objectives are as well as some of our recent achievements.

North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership’s report, Good Growth in Distinctive Places, Place Stories – York and its Hinterlands recognises York’s chance to be the global lead on bio-economy innovation. By translating this into real-world interventions that positively addresses sustainability as well as climate change.

Our parent charity, York Archaeology is committed to a carbon-neutral strategy which is noted in its environmental policy. Our policy states that we are concerned to preserve, protect and also continually improve the environment for future generations by:

  • Integrating our sites into their urban and landscape environments.
  • Complying with or exceeding the requirements of environmental legislation.
  • Selecting materials and services from environmentally responsible suppliers.
  • Improving our material flow management and our storage practices in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
  • Training and making each staff member aware of his/her responsibilities regarding working methods and impact on the environment.
  • Favouring the re-use of materials before they enter the recycling process, and favouring recycling materials before they enter the refuse process.
  • Considering prevention as an essential theme in our thinking and in our actions, both internally and towards our clients.
  • Becoming a model in environmental matters for our clients and partners.
  • Committing to and promoting sustainability through sound economic, social, environmental and equitable practices throughout our operations.

This specific project is based on low or zero-carbon best practice, using innovative clean technology and supports growing skills and supply chains in support of Net Zero

Our Aims and Objectives

Through our attractions, JORVIK Viking Centre, DIG and Barley Hall and our Events and Festivals to our organisational strategy. This includes the aim that York Archaeology will be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable and grow.

To fulfil this aim, and following work undertaken as part of the Greener Museum’s Project in 2014, YAT is striving to reduce our carbon footprint and make active environmentally sustainable choices.

Over the last few years, we have been making efforts to improve our environmental sustainability. These include practices such as reducing paper and electricity use and introducing a crisp packet recycling scheme.

Recent Achievements

Wolfson Sustainability Fund

We have been awarded £48,000 of funding to make environmental improvements to our accredited museums – JORVIK, DIG and Barley Hall – to reduce our carbon footprint and make cost savings across our operations. Using the Wolfson Sustainability Fund, we are making changes such as replacing all of our lighting with LED bulbs and fittings, upgrading our air handling units, installing new insulation, and timers for water usage and reviewing our building management systems.

We will continue upgrading our operations over the coming months with this funding and more.

Learn more about the Wolfson Foundation here. 

Carbon Literacy

We’re Carbon Literate! The Carbon Literacy Project aims to raise awareness of the effect carbon dioxide production has on the climate and highlights ways to help individuals and industries reduce carbon emissions.

A number of our staff have completed Carbon Literacy training to influence how The JORVIK Group can make a meaningful impact on the future through organisational policy and personal lifestyle changes. We will continue investing in this training as we strive to improve our environmental credentials over the next few years.

Learn more about the Carbon Literacy Project.

Kids in Museums 'Takeover Day'

In 2021, our Learning Team ran a special session with children from Appleton Roebuck Primary, North Yorkshire exploring ideas about environmental sustainability as part of the Kids in Museums Takeover Day themed around climate action. Pupils took on the role of museum interpreters to create a social media campaign about the collections at JORVIK Viking Centre, exploring if the Vikings were environmentally-friendly with the hope that it might challenge people today to live more sustainably.

Learn more about Kids in Museums.

Achaeology Live - Eco Friendly Invaders

Designed to help bring high streets back to life ‘Windows on the Past’ installs exhibitions in unoccupied retail spaces. In 2021 as part of our online archaeology festival we created a special look at how the vikings regarded the environment. The exhibition explored how they could be regarded as early environmentalists. Take a look at the video we created for ‘Eco-Friendly Invaders’.