What kind of world do we want to live in? This is a press­ing ques­tion, es­pe­cial­ly in light of the cli­mate cri­sis. As a public in­sti­tu­tion that is com­mitt­ed to so­cial, eco­log­i­cal, and eco­nom­ic re­spon­si­bil­i­ty, sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty is a con­cern for the Mu­se­um Lud­wig at all op­er­at­ing lev­els, with the aim of bet­ter pro­tect­ing peo­ple and na­ture now and in the fu­ture. The on­ly way for our build­ing, op­er­a­tions, and pro­gram to cont­in­ue to re­main vi­able is by adopt­ing re­source-friend­ly ex­hi­bi­tion prac­tices and ed­u­ca­tio­n­al out­reach pro­grams, with en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly sound op­er­a­tio­n­al stan­dards, mo­ti­vat­ed em­ploy­ees, and re­spon­si­ble part­n­ers.

We are aware that mu­se­ums have a very high car­bon foot­print and ac­tive­ly con­tribute to the cli­mate cri­sis due to the ne­ces­si­ty of con­s­tant cli­mat­ic con­di­tions, op­ti­mal light­ing, and art tran­s­ports. The cli­mate cri­sis is al­ready show­ing its ef­fects to­day: heat waves, heavy rain­fall, and storms pose genuine threats to the mu­se­um and peo­ple. Since 2021 the Mu­se­um Lud­wig’s Sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty Team has been work­ing to estab­lish and fol­low a trans­par­ent strat­e­gy of sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty with quan­ti­fi­able eco­log­i­cal goals. With our part­n­ers, sup­port­ers, and vis­i­tors, we see our­selves as a com­mu­ni­ty of learn­ers who are pur­su­ing the com­mon goal of cli­mate neu­tral­i­ty by 2035, at the lat­est, and keep glob­al warm­ing at 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius in or­der to slow down the ext­inc­tion of spe­cies and save re­sources.

Our cont­in­u­al green ex­pan­sion of the roof­top ter­race at the Mu­se­um Lud­wig is a small, vis­i­ble step to­ward achiev­ing this goal — and it is an im­prove­ment, even with­out the grow­ing threat of glob­al warm­ing. Now we hear in­sects, smell laven­der and mint, and watch the fig tree as it grows. In ad­di­tion, the plants re­tain rain­wa­ter, im­prov­ing and cool­ing the air on hot days, bring­ing us to­gether when we do gar­den­ing or sim­p­ly re­lax.

The raised-bed gar­den was built by our car­pen­try de­part­ment from re­cy­cled art crates and scraps of ex­hi­bi­tion ar­chi­tec­ture. The beds are lined with re­cy­cled drop cloths. The branch­es and mulch used on the bot­tom of the beds come from Cologne and were do­nat­ed by the Forestry De­part­ment. When we wa­ter the plants, we use wa­ter from our own well in­stead of drink­ing wa­ter. You can read about this and many other pro­jects in our sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty re­port from the Ger­man Sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty Codex:

➤ Don’t he­s­i­tate to con­tact us if you have any ques­tions or sugges­tions at nach­haltigkeitmu­se­um-lud­