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Building a more sustainable world

We are fighting for a fair and sustainable future for life on earth.

Our mission

We are proud to be the world’s first Carbon Literate museum and environmental action and social justice drives all of our work.

Building a more sustainable world requires a commitment to long-term thinking and evolution, and with over 130 years’ history as one of Manchester’s best-loved cultural venues we intend to sustain and adapt our work to continue having impact for many generations to come; supporting our communities in moving towards the climate and ecological change we want to see for Manchester and beyond.

Our unique convening power as a free-to-access public space can provide common ground and bring people together. Well-known and loved collections together with collaborative research programmes may help build understanding of how humanity’s future is wholly intertwined with the rest of our natural world. We look to inspire people and nurture their capacity to take action in the here and now.

Click here for a glossary of terms

What we do

We develop programming, events and exhibitions with our communities which explore local and global social and environmental issues from many perspectives, catalysing public conversations about the climate and ecological crisis.

We provide a non-judgemental space for people to practice expressing their views. In place of polarised and short-term perspectives, we aim to support people to find the confidence to speak out for a long-term sustainable future and take part in activism for life on earth.

How we do it

Our commitment to reducing our environmental impacts underpins all that we do. The effects of the climate and ecological crisis pose a very real threat to museum collections and our ability to deliver our mission. We will continue to adapt our ways of working to prioritise sustainable decision making and practices. 

We are committed to playing our part to reach Greater Manchester’s target of zero carbon by 2038. Working alongside the university’s cultural institutions, we have a key role within The University of Manchester environmental sustainability strategy.


Find out more about our work

Join us on our journey

Resources and tips

Join us on our journey as we work towards a more sustainable future, with climate and social justice at the heart of all we do. The world we want to see does exist, so let’s care for it and send support its way.

Reduce the impact of your visit to the museum:

  • Travel sustainably: Our Oxford Road location makes it very easy to walk, cycle or wheel. There are lots of Sheffield stands and shelters for securing your bicycle on campus.
  • Help us reduce waste to landfill: avoid bringing single use packaging into the Museum and take care to put your waste into the correct bins. Please bring a reusable water bottle and cup for hot drinks.
  • Take care when eating and drinking: please respect the guidance on where you can / can’t eat in the Museum. Insect pests can cause a great deal of damage to collections, and the methods used to eradicate pests can come with a significant cost and environmental impact.



Download the Student Guide to the Climate Crisis: introduced in this short video by its authors Pooja Pooja Kishinani and Marion Smith, students at University of Manchester.

Find out about your environmental footprint and actions you can take.

Learn how to take care of your own special objects.

If you’d like to get in touch with our Environmental Action Manager, please email

Causes we support

The Top Floor

An environmental and social justice hub

Find out more about The Top Floor

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You can help us care for our collections and bring joy and inspiration to people in Manchester and beyond.

As one of the UK’s largest university museums, we care for over 4.5 million objects, with an internationally-important collection spanning from Archaeology to Zoology, and nearly everything in between. We work with communities, support university students and schools in Manchester and beyond and we are a free, inclusive museum for all. But we need your help. Every object we care for, exhibition, school visit and community event comes at a cost, and you can help make the museum as ambitious and impactful as possible.