Sustainable Practices

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This page is maintained by members of the American Institute for Conservation's Sustainability Committee [1].

The information in the pages listed below has been gathered by the committee and is continuously updated. Contact the Sustainability Committee at with any questions, comments, or tips on sustainability and the conservation of historic and artistic works.

Introduction to Sustainability[edit | edit source]

Conservation-Related Work Practices[edit | edit source]

Information about Specific Materials[edit | edit source]

Sustainable Energy Use[edit | edit source]

Sustainability Case Studies[edit | edit source]

Publications and Projects by the Sustainability Committee[edit | edit source]

AIC Newsletter Articles[edit | edit source]

A Path Forward: 2020 Sustainable Practices Survey by Rachel Childers, Christine Oricchio, and Christine Romano. AIC News, Vol 45, no. 5 (Sept 2020).
Beginning the Green Task Force This page is based on two articles published in AIC News in July and September 2008.
"When the Well’s Dry, We Know the Worth of Water" This page is based on an article published in AIC News: Nunberg, Sarah. (2011) "When the Well’s Dry, We Know the Worth of Water." AICNews 36(2): 12-13.
Plastics are Forever: Wraps, Tools, Films and Containers used in Conservation Practice This page is based on an article published in AIC News in 2011.
Hazardous Waste: Where on Earth Should it Go? by Denise Stockman with contributions from members of the AIC Committee on Sustainable Conservation Practice. This article was originally published in Vol. 38 No. 2 of AIC News, March 2013, pg. 12-15.
Can White Paper be Green? by Melissa Tedone and Robin Ohern, published in AIC News, September 2013, Vol. 38, No. 5, pg. 9-11.
An Introduction to How the Manufacturing and Disposal of Adhesives and Paints Affects our Environment by Robin O’Hern, Geneva Griswold, Mary Elizabeth Haude, and Jia-sun Tsang as part of The Sustainability Committee, May 2015, Vol. 40, No. 3, pg. 14-17
Sustaining the Unsustainable: Mitigation and Monitoring for Modern Materials By Whitney Baker, Kelly McCauley, and Jia-sun Tsang for the AIC Sustainability Committee, September 2015, published in AIC News
Dangerous Detergents? Health and Safety answers for surfactant questions by Laura Mina and Geneva Griswold, May 2017, published in AIC News
Museum-Quality and Sustainable by Christian Hernandez, September 2017, published in AIC News

Sustainability Now E-Mail Blast Archive[edit | edit source]

Issue One (January 2021)
Issue Two (August 2021)

Projects[edit | edit source]

Green Task Force Survey Summary Report Presented at the Issue Session of AIC's 37th Annual Meeting on May 21, 2009, Los Angeles, CA by Patricia Silence, Chair
Green Task Force 2010 AIC Presentation
Sustainable Practices 2011 Survey Results This page is based on an article published in AICNews in 2012.
Lunch session at 40th Annual Meeting. "Linking the Environment and Heritage Conservation: Presentations, Tips, and Discussions"
Life Cycle Assessment Project (LCA)
5.8 Life Cycle Assessments: Lighting, HVAC, Loans, and Treatments poster presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 2014
Tips Sheet for Emerging Conservation Professionals handout for students and emerging conservation professionals, updated in 2018
Material Matters tips poster displayed at the 2018 Annual meeting vendor hall booth

Webinars[edit | edit source]

Ask the Expert Series: LifeCycleAwareness (LCA) Discussion with Professor Shelie Mille. Professor Shelie Miller speaks to members of the AIC Sustainability Committee about her life cycle assessment (LCA) research which has led to some surprising findings that challenge and inform our instincts about what is an environmental choice.
LifeCycleAssessment (LCA) discussion with Sarah Nunberg, Sarah Sutton, Dr. Matthew Eckelman, and Sarah Sanchez. This interview with industry experts provide details about Life Cycle Assessments (or LCA) and how they can be useful in making sustainability decisions in the cultural heritage field
Geothermal Systems for Cultural Institutions, Part II. In part 2 of this series, dive further into the technical aspects of retrofitting historic buildings with geothermal systems with Mark Nussbaum, Principal Engineer at Architectural Consulting Engineers.
Geothermal Systems for Cultural Institutions, Part I. Geothermal retrofitting of the Glessner House in Chicago from Bill Tyre, the Executive Director and Curator.
Cost Effective and Sustainable Packing, Moving, and Storage coordinated by Geneva Griswald and Christian Hernandez on December 1, 2015
Examining the Environmental Impact of Exhibitions and Loans using the Life Cycle Assessment Tool coordinated by Sarah Nunberg on December 8, 2015

AIC Annual Conference Program[edit | edit source]

Works Cited and Further Reading[edit | edit source]