In 2023, we published our Environmental Sustainability Framework and became a Carbon Measured organisation. This means we know what the carbon footprint of the museum is, and we have a plan for how to reduce our impact. A year on, we wanted to share our progress and what we’re planning next.

Our Goals

We set ourselves two ambitious goals:

  1. Minimise the environmental impact of our activities.
  2. Communicate effectively about our environmental responsibility.

To help us reach our goals, our Environmental Sustainability Framework categorised our work into four areas of impact:

  1. Place – making meaningful changes to our operation to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2040.
  2. People – being clear on what environmental responsibility means for us.
  3. Programme – putting communication at the heart of everything we do.
  4. Process – having robust processes with realistic resources.

So, what’s changed?


In 2023 we’ve reduced carbon emissions from electricity by 47% (104.6 tCO2e) and carbon emissions from gas by 27% (25.2 tCO2e), compared to 2019’s baseline.

Pie charts comparing carbon footprint reduction from 2019 to 2023, showing a decrease in both scope 1 (gas) and scope 2 (electricity) emissions.

This infographic shows the reduction on carbon emissions from gas (Scope 1) and electricity (Scope 2), using 2019 Carbon Baseline Report and 2023 data.

We’re using less energy. We’ve consumed 27% less gas and 35% less electricity in 2023, versus 2019.

We’ve changed how we use environmental controls to look after our collections. We’re keeping them safe without using as much energy.

We changed all the lightbulbs in the Mail Rail Tunnels to energy efficient LEDs. That’s lighting for 1.2km of underground tunnels!

We’ve significantly reduced the number of plastic products in our shop and have added to our ranges of FSC certified products. We have added products to our children’s stationery range which are made from recycled or renewable materials, and are produced in the UK. For developed products we’re removing plastic packaging and using biodegradable materials for packaging.

Take-away cups, lids and sleeves in our café are now plant based and compostable, and tea bags are plastic free and biodegradable.

We’ve introduced food waste bins for visitors, and we work with our waste company Suez to ensure that none of the museum’s waste goes to landfill.


Three staff in our Estates, Visitor Experience and Booking Support Teams took part in Carbon Literacy Training. They can now help colleagues to better understand climate change and its impacts, and the steps we can take as individuals and as an organisation to reduce our impact.

Our staff have made new connections to make sure we’re reusing and recycling our specialist materials. We’ve worked with Croydon Museum to share exhibition installation materials; we recycle old acrylic mounts no longer needed for displaying objects in the museum; and we’re part of a salvage group for local museums to share supplies.

We were invited to present our work with colleagues across the charity sector through Fit for the Future. This brilliant network helps our staff stay connected and learn from leading organisations, like National Trust.


We took part in the Art Fund’s The Wild Escape. We ran fun activities for family visitors exploring biodiversity and conservation in museums, reaching hundreds of visitors.

We’ve been highlighting sustainable travel options to and from the museum, including fun walking routes. In the past year, visitors telling us they walked to the museum increased from 7% to 11% (Post Visit Survey).

We’ve changed our approach to the materials we use in our family events. We run craft activities in holidays that use waste materials from other areas of the museum, like cardboard, cups and bottle tops from our shop and cafe.

We launched ‘Post and Play – Out and About!’ for under 5s and their families. Outreach sessions include making and building with scrap postal materials to connect the post to children’s lives and offer playful ideas to use recycled materials at home.

A carboard model of the museum's building, with big letters at the top of it reading Postal Museum.
A carboard train made out of a red cylinder at the front and an egg tray as carriage. The train has carboard wheels and eyes and a big smile!
Making a bulding from scrap postal materials at our Post and Play - Out and About! activities
Raffia patches with different designs sew on them: a red post box, an envelop, a stamp
Making a bulding from scrap postal materials at our Post and Play - Out and About! activities
Carboard game with cylinders glued to a wall and holding boxes at the base, into which yellow balls are dropped.
Making a bulding from scrap postal materials at our Post and Play - Out and About! activities


We now understand our data better. You might know we have solar panels on our roof. 100% of the energy these panels produce now goes back into running the museum.

Fun Fact! Since 2017, the panels have produced 77,000kWh of energy. That’s approximately the energy use of 20 households.

Infographic showing the sun and a house, indicating 77,000 kwh of energy from solar panels can power 20 UK households.

We’re working with students on The Global Projects Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts, USA to evaluate our building management system, recommend improvements and help us to better understand the system. In June, the students will produce a detailed report and will be presenting it to the museum.

We’re producing an annual carbon footprint report with Eight Versa, so we can stay Carbon Measured and ensure we’re reducing our impact every year.

What’s next?

More programming, greener procurement, an exploration into air source heat pumps and a lot more solar!

Our major project for 2024 is finding funding to help us install 73 new solar panels, to increase how much green energy we can generate. This will help us reduce our impact significantly, generating the annual electricity consumption of a UK household. If you think you could help, we would love to hear from you.

We’ll also be improving how we let visitors know about green initiatives at the museum and their impact. We hope this helps visitors to have more conversations about the small changes they could make day to day.

Find out more about Environmental Sustainability at the museum.