Much like the artists who made Ditchling their home over 100 years ago, environmental sustainability is incredibly important to us.

We are committed to reducing our environmental impact by taking a holistic, systems thinking approach to sustainability and encouraging environmentally thoughtful practises by our staff, visitors, suppliers and partners.

Our efforts are guided by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


The Pond, Ditchling - Charles Knight

Our Building

The operations of our building are a key factor in our efforts to make sustained reductions in our emissions, including:

  • Using air source heat pumps that transfer heat from the outside air to water which is then used for the museum’s underfloor heating
  • Reducing our use of fossil fuels through considered energy management
  • Turning down thermostats and turning heating off during the summer
  • Switching off lights, heating, and other electrical equipment when rooms are not in use
  • Using LED lighting in many areas of the building, with an aim to increase LED usage across the entire building
  • Using low voc paints throughout the building
  • Having regular appraisals of energy use to maintain our high standards



DMAC is nestled in the South Downs National Park, and in an ideal location to encourage biodiversity. We support biodiversity across the site by:

  • Maintaining a thriving Dye Garden with plenty of nectar and pollen-rich flowers perfect for pollinators
  • Using 100% organic products in the garden
  • Harvesting and selling seeds from the garden in our shop
  • Ensuring all new landscaping is planted with native species
  • Being a part of the Biosphere Cultural Heritage Network


Water Consumption

We work hard to preserve water stocks through the following steps:

  • Training staff and volunteers in the correct methods of waste disposal to prevent unnecessary pollution to the water supply and other water sources
  • Monitoring water usage to identify possible savings
  • Promptly reporting any drips and leaks
  • Running a fully stacked dishwasher whenever possible
  • Collecting rainwater to water the Dye Garden



Waste and Recycling

We take the following steps to avoid adding waste to landfill:

  • Working closely with our waste disposal companies to recycle glass, mixed recycling and coffee pods
  • Using recyclable coffee cups and having a zero plastic policy in our cafe
  • Reducing the amount of print produced to promote exhibitions
  • Printing flyers and posters in matt rather than gloss, so they are recyclable
  • Making the change in 2020 from using foam board interpretation panels to using paper, which is recycled after the exhibitions




We integrate principles of environmental sustainability when procuring goods and services by:

  • Using suppliers with sound environmental policies
  • Minimising the number of deliveries
  • Sourcing goods and services from local organisations, particularly food served in the cafe
  • Using paper bags in the shop and cafe
  • Distributing flyers with a company that uses a fleet of electric vehicles


Working Practices

DMAC is committed to providing quality employment and supporting sustainable local economic growth by:

  • Working as part of The Living Coast’s BioCultural Heritage Tourism Project (BCHT), and collaborating with peers to generate insight and innovation in cultural practice
  • Investing in funds with ethical safeguards
  • Using an ethical bank
  • Moving towards paperless online systems wherever possible
  • Paying real living wages to all staff, including interns


Programming and Exhibitions

We are always looking for ways to highlight sustainability in our public facing work, including:

  • Delivering learning activities that build understanding around issues of climate change, such as our free KS3 resources
  • Running regular natural dyeing workshops, encouraging our visitors to engage with natural products and understand the use of non-toxic dyes
  • Our 2020-21 exhibition of John Newling’s work focused on society’s need to evolve in the face of the climate emergency
  • We collaborated with the South Downs National Park on ‘In Their Footsteps’, an app that promotes walking in the area around the museum


Local Economy and Environment

DMAC sits in the South Downs National Park in an idyllic small village. Working in a way that promotes the local economy and beautiful natural environment is very important to us.

  • Using local food and beverage suppliers keeps money in the local economy
  • We promote and support local businesses through the Visit Ditchling partnership
  • We partner regularly with the South Downs National Park on projects that help our visitors understand the value of our surrounding natural environment
  • Working with Sussex based makers to stock our shop ensures we put money back into the local economy and have a low carbon footprint for deliveries
  • We discourage use of cars by promoting walking, cycling and the use of public transport as the principal means of commuting for staff and visitors