BGCI Sustainability Challenge

The BGCI Sustainability Challenge aims to work with leading botanic gardens to develop a series of simple, small-scale sustainability challenges, with associated incentives, that aim to empower and bring about behavioural change amongst garden visitors and the broader community.

Sustainable Development Goals
  • Status of project

    Ongoing
  • Region

    Global
  • Topic

    Public Engagement

The BGCI Sustainability Challenge aims to work with leading botanic gardens to develop a series of simple, small-scale sustainability challenges, with associated incentives, that aim to empower and bring about behavioural change amongst garden visitors and the broader community. These challenges will be directly linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We want to use this project to demonstrate how botanic gardens and their visitors can significantly contribute towards the SDGs.

The project activities include:

  • Gathering data on existing sustainability practices and best practice examples of ways in which botanic gardens are challenging their visitors
  • Developing a platform to share and promote these activities,
  • Producing a new technical report on sustainability examples within botanic gardens,
  • Looking at how our project can complement existing initiatives
  • Identifying botanic gardens who can act as mentors, supporting other gardens to implement small-scale sustainability challenges to bring about behaviour change.

Sustainability survey

In late 2019 a sustainability survey was launched which aimed to gather data on sustainability activities within botanic gardens. This survey had two components. The first looked at in-house sustainability practices within institutions, the second focused on the ways in which botanic gardens incentivise their visitors to take sustainable actions.

BGCI Technical Report

The data from the sustainability survey was used to produce a new BGCI Technical Report on the role of botanic gardens in practising and promoting environmental sustainability. It includes over 40 case studies encompassing water management, energy consumption, carbon offsetting, waste, recycling and composting and sustainable food.

 

 

How can you help?

Being involved in the sustainability challenge

We are currently reaching out to botanic garden partners who are interested in being involved in the challenge. The first phase will involve a small number of gardens trialling a series of challenges. Phase two will involve launching the challenge more widely and inviting botanic garden members to commit to adopting one or more challenges. If your garden is interested in hearing more about the challenge and opportunities for involvement, please contact Helen Miller.

Submit a case study

We are still collecting case studies of best practice sustainability examples in gardens – these will be used to help scale up of our project. We are looking for case studies in the following areas:

  • Water consumption
  • Energy consumption
  • Carbon offsetting
  • Waste, compost and recycling
  • Sustainable food