Sustainability Committee E-Blast: The 2023 Bizot Green Protocol Refresh: ‘Greener Option First’

By Katharine Fugett posted 03-13-2024 15:18


2023 Bizot Green Protocol Refresh

Many in the field with an interest in sustainability are familiar with the Bizot Green Protocol. First published in 2015 by the Bizot Group, the Bizot Green Protocol attempted to reexamine the one size fits all approach generally accepted for indoor museum climates of 70°F/50% RH. Based on much research and discussion, the 2015 protocol recommended “45-55% RH with an allowable drift of +/-5%, yielding a total annual range of 40% minimum – 60% maximum, and a temperature range of 59-77˚F”. 

The protocol was supported by a number of national and international organizations, but has not been widely implemented. It was felt that questions remained about the risks wider ranges of temperature and humidity posed. 

In 2022, the Bizot Group launched a refresh which included input from 54 museum professionals and was based on new research and the increased urgency of the climate crisis. The refresh includes an updated Bizot Green Guideline: “a stable relative humidity (RH) is required in the range of 40 - 60% and a stable temperature in the range 16 - 25°C [61°F - 77°F] with fluctuations of no more than ±10% RH per 24 hours within this range.”

The 2023 Bizot Green Protocol also reflects lessons learned from Covid-19 as well as an increased emphasis on sustainable transport, exhibitions, and loans. The refresh also includes a commitment to update the protocol every 5 years to reflect changes, new research and information from both the museum field and the ongoing climate crisis.

More nuanced points of the update are summarized below; however, the main takeaway is an urgency in the adoption of a ‘greener option first’ attitude for object care, transportation and loans. We can no longer utilize the same methods and standards we have previously. Instead, we must include sustainability in all of our decision-making to ensure that we are doing what is most sustainable for the long term care of our collections and our planet. 

The 2023 Bizot Protocol advises:

Environmental Setpoints:

  • Wider setpoints can be used for collections without specific needs (see Bizot Green Guideline above)

  • More nuanced and tailored approaches should be taken only for objects that require them

  • Blanket setpoints for entire collections are not recommended

  • The local climate should also be taken into account and can be reflected in collections setpoints and standards 

  • High energy cost solutions to institution’s environments should be avoided 

  • Passive methods and low energy solutions are recommended 

  • Sustainable environmental controls should be explored and utilized  

  • Capital projects, construction, and renovations should prioritize the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions 

  • Exhibitions should also be designed to maximize reuse of materials and minimize waste.   


  • Shipping by sea, road, or train is recommended over air transportation for objects as well as people

  • See Handbook 2 for more information


  • Virtual couriering is safe and practical and should be the preferred option when a courier is needed

  • Local (bookend) couriers and shared on-site couriers are also sustainable options that should be explored

  • Museums should reduce the need for couriers by using an in-person courier as a last resort 

The 2023 report also addresses concerns that have been raised on the potential risk of widening  setpoints that prevented their widespread implementation. It also summarizes extensive research into the effect of relative humidity on museum collections and finds that many collection materials can sustain greater variations in relative humidity (see Handbook 1).

The following list of institutions utilizing the Bizot Green Protocol can be found in Handbook 1 and includes many nationally and internationally recognized institutions: 

  • Art Gallery of New South Wales (since 2014)

  • Art Gallery of Ontario

  • CSMVS (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya)

  • Guggenheim

  • Louisiana Museum of Modern

  • National Galleries of Scotland

  • National Gallery Singapore

  • National Gallery of Victoria

  • Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

  • Museum Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

  • MoMA

  • M+

  • Ordrupgaard

  • Rijksmuseum (since 2022)

  • Tate

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

The Sustainability Committee fervently hopes this list will grow.

Updates from the Sustainability Committee

Big news! Our Conversations with Changemakers series now have transcripts! If you prefer to read our conversations you can find all of our series so far on our AIC Sustainability Wiki page below the link to each YouTube video (and below).

Did you know the Sustainability Committee now hosts a podcast on Spotify called Green Tea with the AIC Sustainability Committee? New episodes coming soon! Subscribe to never miss an episode!  


Are you enthusiastic about building a more sustainable field and future? Want to join our team!? We are looking for volunteers!

Position: Member (minimum of 3 hrs/month)

Term: 2 years (with the opportunity to renew for second 2-year term)

Description: The Sustainability Committee (SC) seeks members to join our dynamic, interdisciplinary team for a two-year term. The positions are open to all AIC members. Volunteers should be available to attend one, hour-long virtual meeting per month with an additional commitment of 2-3 hours of work each month.

We are seeking members with an enthusiasm for leading the field in a more sustainable direction through advocacy and innovation. While certainly not required, we are especially interested in applicants with interest in outreach/social media, podcasting, and in future leadership on the SC.

Who we are: The SC is tasked with providing resources on sustainable conservation practices. Our activities include hosting the Sustainability Session at the AIC Annual Meeting, maintaining the Sustainable Practices Wiki, and sharing stories and information through social media, workshops, publications, and presentations. 

Member Tasks: 

  • Support committee projects to increase awareness of sustainable practices in the conservation community. 
  • Attend the monthly meeting. 
  • Contribute to research, publications, the Sustainability Now eblast, the Green Tea with the AIC Sustainability Committee podcast, and social media posts. 
  • Plan and host webinars with experts in the field about topics related to sustainability 
  • Write, edit, and create content for the AIC Sustainable Practices Wiki and the Sustainability in Cultural Heritage Preservation & Conservation Resource Bank on Zotero.  
  • Help plan the Sustainability Session and SC booth for the AIC Annual Meeting. 
  • Collaborate with related committees, networks, and working groups. 
  • Connect with outside experts and other allied professionals to build a network of sustainability-focused individuals, institutions, and organizations. 

Requirements: There are no requirements beyond AIC membership for application. Previous experience with sustainability is helpful but not required.

Additional considerations: Please include a resume and statement of interest in the position (300 words maximum) in the application 

Questions: If you have questions, please email the SC at 

Deadline: Open until filled, early application encouraged.

Check out the Sustainable Practices Wiki where you can find all of the previous Sustainability Now e-blasts and much, much more.

Sustainability updates from around the field (and beyond):