Author:
Ragnar Vutt

Principles of sustainable development of the University of Tartu Museum

The University of Tartu (UT) Museum aims to reduce the environmental impact of its activities, promote a sustainable mindset, a culture that supports human well-being, research and studies in society, and contribute to the balanced development of society. The UT Museum contributes to environmental conservation and sustainable development in the Estonian museum sector and plays a role in raising awareness of sustainable behaviour in society.

The UT Museum’s sustainable development policy complies with the museum’s Statutes and Strategic plan and the University of Tartu’s Statutes and Strategic plan for 2021–2025. The UT Museum has laid down its environmental principles, guided by the resolution adopted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) at its general conference in 2019 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In museum work, we are guided by the ICOM Code of Ethics.

Reducing environmental impact

  • We use the buildings managed by the UT Museum in a resource-efficient way.
  • In the museum activities, we comply with the best environmental practices and use the necessary resources (electricity, water, paper) responsibly, avoiding overconsumption and sorting waste.
  • We comply with the Checklist of sustainable event management of the European Capital of Culture, Tartu 2024.
  • We comply with the checklist of sustainable exhibitions of the UT Museum.
  • We introduce sustainable solutions in our museum shop, such as avoiding (plastic) packaging, giving preference to high-quality products made in an environmentally sustainable way, and using an eco-friendly printing service for publications.
  • We organise educational activities and events with optimal use of materials and create opportunities for recycling.
  • We implement a sustainable development action plan that is continuously updated.

Community and social responsibility

  • We organise exhibitions and projects for the general public, incl. on sustainable development issues.
  • We include sustainable development topics in our public and educational programmes.
  • We improve accessibility to museums, both physical and virtual.

Sustainable work culture

  • We encourage and motivate staff members to think about and contribute to the sustainability topics in the museum.
  • We follow the Sustainability checklist for museum staff, which serves as guidelines for all employees of the UT Museum in making their everyday activities more sustainable.
  • We increase the employees’ awareness of the environment, organising information events and training on sustainability topics.
  • We value the development of employees and advances in professional development, learning and teaching.
  • We have an open and inclusive working environment where we value diversity and do not tolerate discrimination. We follow the University of Tartu’s Guidelines for equal treatment.
  • We attach importance to our staff members’ physical and mental health, reimbursing health improvement expenses according to the procedures agreed on at the university.
  • An integral part of every employment contract is the Collective bargaining agreement of the University of Tartu, which allows for up to three days off per year with pay and up to three days of charity work.