The High Museum is dedicated to the collection, interpretation, and preservation of art for present and future generations. But our mission is based on the assumption that there will be future generations to enjoy our art.
That’s why we have a responsibility to care for our planet as much as we care for our collection. This means reducing our carbon footprint through more sustainable practices — and raising awareness about the climate crisis with our visitors. Most importantly, it means collaboration. If you have questions about our sustainability programs or are interested in collaborating with us to make positive change, please contact us.
Digital Membership Cards
In 2020, the Museum enacted a digital membership card program. Since then, we have served 80,000 members with digital cards, reducing plastic waste, paper waste (in the form of letters and envelopes), and fossil fuel consumption (in the form of transporting mail).
We offer mixed-stream recycling in the lobby of our public building and throughout the administrative buildings to make it easier for visitors and employees to recycle without having to sort. We also give a second life to any packing materials that make their way into the Museum. By reusing packing materials, the museum never purchases bubble wrap or other single-use plastics to ship shop items or member gifts.
The High uses post-consumer recycled paper and sustainable UV dyes for its member magazine. We also launched a digital member magazine in 2020, and allow members to opt out of all paper communications.
A Focus on Plastic
We are currently exploring ways to reduce or eliminate our consumption of single-use plastic. During 2022’s Highball, we worked with Compost Now to successfully compost more than 7,000 plant-based PLA corn cups. This was a first step, but we are continuing to investigate strategies to reduce our plastic footprint
Installed in 2004 atop the Frances Bunzl Center, the Museum’s 6,680-square-foot vegetated green roof helps clean and reduce storm-water runoff, reduce the urban-heat-island effect, reduce energy consumption, extend the roof life, and improve air quality. Our green roof is also able to retain about 62,000 gallons of storm water.
In 2012, the High Museum replaced all the gallery lighting in the Stent Family Wing with LED lighting. Not only does this save energy, it's also better for our collection, as these lights produce less heat. We are currently working to secure funding to replace all the outdoor lighting on the Piazza and the gallery lighting in the Wieland Pavilion and the Anne Cox Chambers Wing.
The High Museum has a responsibility to help people understand how they can contribute to a healthy planet and a sustainable future. We weave sustainability and conservation into our educational programming whenever possible. As a rule, our STEAM curriculum always includes content that focuses on the interdependent nature of our world and the impacts we make on each other and our planet.
In 2022, we joined Ki Futures, a global network of cultural institutions working together to support each other in our efforts to become more sustainable. We are working to overcome our common challenges through regular programming that includes trainings, workshops, and opportunities to share our experiences.