How can individuals, organisations and processes adapt to be more sustainable and release less carbon?

The UK currently ranks in the top 20 CO2-emitting countries. As governments and experts at COP26 design future targets for cutting carbon emissions, archaeology – like all disciplines – needs to think about changing its working practices to contribute to net-zero targets.

In recognition of this challenge, last year a small group of CIfA members formed a Climate Change working group reporting to CIfA’s  Advisory Council. This group has developed a Carbon Reduction Guide Table.  This is one of the first activities the members of the working group have undertaken; looking at how the Chartered Institute and the wider sector can reduce their impact on the environment and respond to the climate, while working within the Institute’s Code of conduct and Standards and guidance.

The table represents a starting point rather than a set of defined final rules. We suggest that it be used as a broad framework in which to allow organisations and individuals to begin the process of engaging with carbon reduction and climate responsibility. 

We acknowledge that this is a ‘living document’, reflecting current understanding and assumptions, and as such will change over time as our understanding of the often-complex issues around carbon reduction improves.

The long-term aim of the working group is to build up a resource of practical case studies, and members and organisations are encouraged to submit these, as well as additional ideas on approaches to carbon saving to add to the climate change webpage on the CIfA website.

CIfA members discussed some of these challenges at a tea break chat yesterday to coincide with COP26. We talked about a wide range of ideas and issues, noting some of the initiatives already in place such as those highlighted in the CIfA2021 conference session The environment and innovation: zero emissions and the paperless dream.

CIfA welcomes comment on the table and the sharing of case studies of good practice. Please contact We also intend to run further events to consider practical steps to implementing carbon reduction practices.

Download the Carbon Reduction Guide Table here.