Archaeologists and climate change

A working group of CIfA's Advisory Council has been set up to look at how the Chartered Institute and archaeologists can reduce their impact on the environment and respond to the climate crisis we are facing. The aim of the working party is to

  • provide advice for CIfA and its members on how they can reduce carbon emissions
  • encourage members to share their own ideas and case studies
  • seek expertise and examples from outside the profession

The actions will support CIfA, its members and Registered Organisations to meet the expectations set out in the Institute’s Environmental protection policy.

Environmental protection policy

This policy aims to heighten awareness of environmental protection issues amongst the membership of the Institute, and to encourage archaeological organisations and individuals to adopt and implement environmental protection policies. A model policy is appended for the use of CIfA members: CIfA does not require its members or registered organisations to use this form of words.

Carbon reduction guide

Archaeology – like all disciplines – needs to think about changing its working practices to contribute to net-zero targets. In recognition of this challenge, the Climate Change working group has developed a Carbon Reduction Guide Table which you can download from the link below.  This table looks 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 this table. Please email

Carbon reduction network

CIfA has just launched a Carbon Reduction Network through the Historic England Knowledge Hub. This is to provide an informal online space to allow CIfA members and others to ask questions and share ideas and resources so that we can collectively improve our practices and respond to the climate crisis. You can request to join the Knowledge Hub here: or email

Resources, training and events

Climate Heritage Network

In July 2020 CIfA joined the Climate Heritage NetworkThe Network was launched in September 2019 and already over 70 organisations globally have signed up to its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Through engagement with the Network, it is intended that arts, culture and heritage actors will be able to mutually support each other to increase understanding of their role in climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as to inform climate policies.