Smithsonian Sustainability Team

Our Mission


In collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, the CUSD-SI team increasingly is focused on supporting development and integration of sustainability initiatives within and across Smithsonian departments. Our 2021-2022 projects are all centered on sustainability activities among the many SI departments focused on Collections management, transport, and housing. All four of our subprojects this year address dimensions of our ongoing collective CUSD–SI mission, partnering with SI entities to actualize sustainability initiatives.

SST represents a longstanding sustainability-focused relationship that CUSD has maintained with the Smithsonian Institution. In past years we’ve worked with Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Smithsonian Facilities on plastics reduction, zero waste, and green building certification projects.



Within the CUSD-SI Plastics subteam, this year we’re focused on investigating the environmental impact of plastic-based materials used in collections, aiming at identifying and providing recommendations for reducing use and finding feasible non-plastic (or non-wasteful) alternatives.



The CUSD-SI Contracts Subteam’s project this year focuses on exploring and understanding the components of a good sustainability contract. We are working with the Smithsonian National Collections Program (NCP) to address content/language gaps in collections management contracts.



The CUSD-SI Dashboards Subteam is conducting surveys in partnership with the Smithsonian Collections Space Committee’s Preservation Environment Subcommittee to determine how preservation environment dashboards have been used by other museums and cultural institutions, and could be adapted to specific SI needs.

Sustainability and DEAI


Analyzing the intersection of sustainability and inclusion in Smithsonian institutional practice and policy, particularly within Smithsonian Gardens, this CUSD-SI subteam is developing recommended templates SI departments may follow to support and build such sustainability/inclusion intersections.

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