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Crown reduces carbon for International Museums Day

Jul 27, 2015
To mark International Museums Day (May 18) and this year’s theme of ‘museums for sustainable society’ Crown Fine Art is reducing its carbon footprint.
Michael Festenstein, Special Projects Manager at Crown Fine Art, was pleased that International Museums Day had brought sustainability into focus.  “Thousands of packing cases are thrown away every year in this industry because they are custom-built and often only used once. When you consider they also include plastic foam inside, it really isn’t good for the environment. But we have found there are ways for cases to be re-used and it is increasingly something we try to do, even when it is difficult. By re-fitting the padding inside it is often possible to re-use them.”

Crown Fine Art looks to reduce its carbon footprint each year as part of parent company Crown Worldwide UK & Ireland’s pledge to reduce its company-wide figures by five per cent annually. To achieve it, older vehicles in the Crown Fine Art fleet are being upgraded or replaced with more modern stock that has lower emissions and better fuel consumption.

“That’s important,” said Michael. “But we also look at more innovative ways to help the environment by reducing the number of miles our trucks travel.”  Michael said that a good example is a recent high profile job where Crown had to deliver objects from lenders all over the country. Normally for vulnerable objects museums, galleries or private owners want someone – a courier - to accompany the painting on its journey. To reduce its carbon footprint Crown encourages lenders to share couriers thereby reducing the number of trips required.

Crown Fine Art also offers reduced rates to encourage galleries and museums to use trucks that would otherwise be returning from jobs empty. Additionally, a recent programme to help museums install LED lighting has been well received.  “We have noticed a real trend towards museums and galleries taking an interest in LED lighting,” said Michael. “Conservators are happy because LED lights, which don’t emit damaging UV rays, are far kinder than traditional lighting which can cause art and artefacts to fade.”  The bulbs also last longer and use less energy.

Crown Fine Art has also installed LED lighting in all it’s new premises, and uses recyclable packing materials whenever possible. “Thinking about the environment and our carbon footprint is not just a policy but an intrinsic part of our company values, culture and strategy,” said Barry Koolen, Managing Director of parent group Crown Worldwide in the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. “We look at reducing emissions and also at offsetting. The aim is to reduce our emissions by 5% in UK and Ireland each year and we are already carbon neutral.”

Photo: Crown vehicle.

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