A story of people

Taken down to its core, sustainability is about people and their impact on each other and on the world around them. EPIC is a museum of people’s stories, and in particular, these stories deal with the impact that the Irish have had on global communities past and present. As such, we show first hand the difference that people, both individual and collective, can make.

Looking to those Irish of the past who overcame adversity in the hopes of building a better future for themselves, we hope to continue their legacy by inspiring our visitors in the here and now, and nurture their capacity to take action to build a brighter future for everyone.

The CHQ Building, Dublin Docklands

What we do

Sustainability for us is about ensuring the flourishing of our people, places and things, now and in the future. We see ourselves as custodians of the stories of the Irish diaspora and the building we call home. The chq Building, formerly known as Stack A, is a Grade 1 protected building. Built in 1820 to store the cargos of tobacco, tea and spirits coming in off the river Liffey, it is recognised as one of the most important industrial Georgian buildings in Dublin today and is famous for hosting the 1856 Crimean War Banquet.

It is our responsibility to behave sustainably – in a way that preserves, protects and strengthens these important cultural and built resources, and not depleting them – to ensure their survival for future generations to enjoy.

Therefore we aim to:

  1. Future-proof our buildings and business for further generations
  2. Engage, educate and inspire our people, visitors and stakeholders, to build awareness around what sustainability means in the cultural context
  3. Cut down operational impacts on the environment
  4. Reduce energy use, emissions, waste and water, and our overall carbon footprint

How we do it

Sustainability can only be achieved through people and their actions. Therefore, we are adapting our ways of working to imbed and prioritise sustainable decision making and practices across all our departments. We invest in training programmes, progression opportunities, cross-departmental collaboration and more to ensure that our staff are supported to build better understanding and awareness, and take positive, informed action and decisions.

We hold ourselves accountable through our Sustainability Working Group. They meet monthly to help drive the implementation of our action plan, and report on regular measured targets such as energy cost per visitor. Working to promote sustainability cross-departmentally, they are helping to establish measurable KPIs and planned actions towards our company wide sustainability goals, which you can read here (PDF).

The CHQ Building, Dublin Docklands

Our focus on people isn’t just internal – we recognise the role we have to play in reaching Ireland’s zero carbon emissions target by 2038 and in building a sustainable tourism industry in Ireland. We collaborate with local community initiatives to provide employment, invest in the future of the tourism workforce with our student transition year and work experience programmes, while consulting and collaborating with reputable external partners and businesses such as Failte Ireland. We are also working to implement the sustainability guidelines and initiatives from the Sustainable Irish Retail Action Guide, Sustainable Tourism Network, and the Museums Association Guidelines for Museum’s to Flourish Sustainably.

A small flavour of some of our initiatives and achievements:

– Promote sustainable actions through marketing campaigns, such as our St. Patrick’s campaign which encouraged visitors to forgo or donate their green souvenir items for recycling

– Sustainability focused programming, collaborating with groups such as The Green Roots Project in our St Patrick’s Day education events

– Encouraging a better understanding of issues with environmental impact such as migration through our exhibitions and programming

– Using bamboo compostable utensils in our catering service

– Recognised as an Eco-friendly venue by event planners such as the organisers of the 6th European Climate Change Conference (Dublin, June 2023)

– Where possible, working with small, independent, locally sourced farmers and suppliers in our events and retail offerings – 87% of our retail suppliers are Irish!

– Donating a portion of the proceeds from every item sold from our Mary Robinson collection to The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, which works to secure global justice for the people most vulnerable to the impact of climate change

– Displaying our advertisements and products on digital screens to reduce the need for print advertising

– Reusing containers that comes from our suppliers in our retail packaging and educational programming

– Making the move to LED to reduce energy usage, and donating used equipment such as laptops and projectors to schools and social programmes 

– Ensure proper waste disposal by providing glass, compost and recycling bins onsite for our visitors 

– Valuing and protecting our natural and cultural environments by collaborating with the CHQ building, local businesses and the Docklands area in activities such as clean up days, and providing tours and trails to increase appreciation of and footfall in the local area

– Offering satisfying and rewarding staff employment, investing in staff development and cross-departmental collaborations and career opportunities

– Connecting with our community through community employment and work experience schemes

The CHQ Building, Dublin Docklands

How you can help

As a digital museum, we embrace forward thinking and know our visitors do too. Here are some simple ways you can join us on our journey as we work towards a more sustainable future.

  • Travel sustainably: Our central location makes it very easy to walk, cycle or get public transport. We are only 10 minutes walk from O’Connell Street, the LUAS stops right outside, and there are lots of bike stands available. Don’t have a bike? Why not consider renting one?
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Help us reduce waste to landfill by taking steps like avoiding to bring single use packaging into the building and making use of the CHQ recycling, glass and compost waste bins.
  • Manage your waste: Always use proper bins, respect the Docklands area by not littering and preventing waste from entering our river systems.
  • Take care when in the museum: Please respect the guidance on what you can bring into the museum and how to use the technology. Damage to the exhibits can come with a significant cost and environmental impact.
  • Use the EPIC audio guide app: Our audio guide is available for download on your own phone which reduces the need for more audio guide devices and minimises e-waste in the long run.

Contact info@epicchq.com with any feedback on sustainability, our team welcomes your input and is always looking to improve.