Our commitment to sustainability
Our commitment to the environment is driven and supported by staff at all levels across the organization.
We strive to incorporate sustainability into our decision-making, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of our operations and increasing our ability to adapt to our changing world. The Museum sustains an extensive water conservation program, manages a robust recycling and waste management program, and incorporates conservation principles into our exhibit design. We are proud of earning Green Plus Certification from the Institute of Sustainable Development and being recognized by the Green Travel Initiative in their highest-level sustainable business rating.
Our sustainability mission includes the following objectives:
- Improve how the Museum does business through policy development and staff education to make it easier to make sustainable choices.
- Demonstrate principles of sustainability for visitors through our built environment to encourage waste reduction and conservation.
- Provide educational opportunities for visitors to learn about sustainability through exhibits, signage, and special events.
Starting in the 90s with the construction of our butterfly house, we have continued to reclaim disturbed sections of campus to create a “pollinator pathway” that provides feeding and refuge locations approximately every 500 feet for attracted species. The goal is to engage and inform our visitors of the plight of these insects and to increase habitat.
Museum staff worked along with members of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, are collecting data on several ecological parameters to improve portions of the wetland ecosystem health on campus. This has included water quality assessment, invasive crayfish and plant data gathering and remediation, soundscape data collection, and select plant species trials in the past few years.
From LED bulbs to low water flush toilets, we continually upgrade our buildings and grounds to high-efficiency options. Upcoming planned improvements include more photovoltaic equipment on campus and "dark sky" lighting installations.