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  • We did it! Museums have a new grant program Learn More
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The mission of the California Association of Museums' (CAM) Green Museums Initiative (GMI) is to inspire and support California museums to develop green business practices, eco-friendly facility-management, and sustainable programming.

Sustainability is embedded in our core mission as museums. We inspire the visitors of today while conserving our collective cultural and natural heritage for the future. As the global climate changes and natural resources decline, museums have the opportunity to educate, inspire, and lead a sustainable transformation. GMI is proud to support California institutions on that journey.

Established in 2006, GMI's first step was to "green" CAM’s daily operations and events to serve as a model for museums and other associations. GMI developed important catering guidelines, hosted influential panels on sustainability,  and took other steps to reduce waste and CAM's impact on the environment. 

GMI continues to deepen its commitment to sustainability for museums and the communities they serve by adding new resources and initiatives. CAM continues to be a role model as it reduces its ecological footprint and supports GMI.

You can sign up to receive future emails from the Green Museums Initiative to learn about new programs and services. Subscribe now.
Green Museums Accord  
Join your colleagues in signaling your institutional commitment to a sustainable future. We invite all museums, big and small, to join us by signing on to this non-binding pledge.
Green Museums Initiative Online Community
The go-to information center and forum for museum professionals. Share and discover ideas, successes, inspiration, and techniques for greening your museum. 
CAM's Sustainable Steps
Within CAM, the Green Museums Initiative has championed sustainability and eco-friendly practices. CAM has taken serious steps to make our annual conference a carbon neutral and zero waste event. 
(Photo: 2012 CAM conference attendees were given tote bags provided by the Green Bag Lady.)
Green Museums Best Practices
An easy-to-use guide to implementing a sustainable future for your museum.
IGNITE! Museums as Catalysts for Sustainability
This influential event occurred simultaneously at seven institutions across California. Each site convened museum leaders, scientists, environmentalists, community stakeholders, and artists to envision sustainable transformation in their region.
A simulcast keynote address by visionary Paul Hawken sparked site-specific brainstorming on fundamental local environmental and social issues, and the role museums can play in developing and implementing sustainable solutions.
GMI continues to connect with IGNITE! participants to encourage cross-collaboration and the development of sustainable projects.
IGNITE! Mini-grant
The IGNITE! Mini-grant will provide $2,000 in seed money to a progressive museum project that embodies principles of sustainability and resiliency. The selected project will address an environmental challenge and seek to provide a local solution. The challenge may be related to the greening of museum operations or programming, engaging the community, or adopting new approaches to institutional thinking and planning. The deadline to submit an application is October 17, 2014. Learn more at IGNITE! Mini-grant


Together, we can take sustainable steps and share our stories to strengthen our institutions, our communities, and our future. Be sustainable, and join us in this important transformation.

* Winner of 2012 International Design Communication Award – Best Sustainable Campaign



The Green Museums Initiative is generously sponsored by:
Committee Members:
CHAIR: Michaeleen Gallagher, Director of Education and Environmental Programs, Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands
Kate Davies, Curator/Writer, Founder/Past Chair, Green Museums Initiative
Karen Kienzle, Executive Director, Palo Alto Arts Center
Tim McNeil, Professor and Director, Design Museum, University of CA, Davis
Adrienne McGraw, Program Chair, Museum Studies Department, John F. Kennedy University
Jessica Travis, Director, Sustainability & Community Relations, Balboa Park Cultural Partnership