We are working to make sustainability a key part of our operations, services, and research. We’ve set goals for our policies and practice following the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  From recycling PPE and re-using finds bags, to staff wellbeing and working with diverse communities across the country, we aim to make our progress visible and accessible to all stakeholders. 

Sustainability isn’t just about reducing pollution and recycling. It is based on three pillars, which will help us build an effective, accountable, and inclusive archaeology sector. The actions we are taking work towards all three of these: 

  • social 
  • environmental 
  • economic  

Find out more about the actions we are taking

Social (Meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals 4, 5 and 10)

Our award-winning initiatives, such as the Thames Discovery Project and CITiZAN, work with diverse groups, including young people and vulnerable communities. They run activities that promote sustainability, encourage an appreciation of cultural diversity, and highlight culture’s contribution to a more fair and just society.  

Our Public Impact Team work on charitable and developer-funded projects. They are constantly developing best practices for engagement, building connections with local communities through their work and identifying opportunities for deeper legacy.  

We will continue to support inclusive and accessible spaces for the public. This includes contributing to international projects, including those co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UNESCO and ICOMOS for connecting culture, heritage and climate change. 

Further work in this area includes promoting wellbeing for our staff. As well as Mental Health First Aiders, and Disability Confident status, we have our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, as well as networks for Ethnically Diverse and LGBTQIA+ staff. 

Economic (Meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals 11, 13 and 17)

We’re members of the Climate Heritage Network and keen to work with others to build social and environmental prosperity. Our staff are developing their own action plans, with an increasing number of our colleagues becoming Carbon Literacy certified. Together we are progressing towards Carbon Net Zero.  

We are also currently developing a Carbon Reduction Strategy. Our new Carbon Reduction Strategy will make sure we are as sustainable as possible in all areas. We are already making steps towards this by recycling PPE, improving our waste management, and using energy efficient lighting.


We are working hard to recycle and reuse as much as possible on sites and in our offices. We are reducing single-use plastics by cleaning and reusing finds bags and buckets to extend their lives. Water security is important to us, and we recycle the water we use for processing finds. 

In the last financial year, we saved 843 kg of PPE from being sent to landfill, by contracting StaySafe to clean and recycle our PPE. This stopped 375.3 kg of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from being released into the atmosphere.  

All our road and plant vehicles conform the latest emission standards (Euro 5/6). We allocate staff to projects based on how close they live to site and provide training in efficient driving techniques. Where available we encourage staff to use public transport.   

Where possible we choose plant vehicles which use HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) biofuels to improve air quality. We are also currently investigating the possibility of solar powered welfare units, when these become commercially available.  

We also have a Climate Change Pledge developed by our award-winning CITiZAN project. CITiZAN continues to contribute to climate change thinking. This includes developing ways in which culture and heritage can promote climate action through local communities. In 2021 we were very happy to share our climate heritage stories at COP26 in Glasgow. 

CITiZAN's Climate Change Pledge