VCDO: a charter for a sustainable future | MSK Gent
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VCDO: a charter for a sustainable future

In 2015, the United Nations formulated 17 Sustainable Development Goals towards 2030. These have since been signed by 194 countries. 'Sustainability' is approached broadly: from dealing with scarce raw materials to investing in human capital, future-oriented work and social capacity. In Flanders, Voka helps companies anchor the objectives in the DNA of their operations.

A strong engagement

The MSK has long been working around circularity, reuse of display cases and exhibition furniture, sustainable promotional material and merchandising. In 2020, it was the first museum to sign up to the VOKA Charter for Sustainable Governance (VCDO). VOKA has since guided the museum to roll out a concrete action plan that reduces its footprint and inspires the public towards a sustainable society.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the principles on which these initiatives are based. The SDGs are based on the 5 Ps: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. Because sustainable development goes far beyond ecology.

A diversified programme

Since then, the museum switched to LED lighting and the possibility of a green zone next to the museum is being explored. In front of the screens, the museum is working hard to remove barriers to culture and connect people. For instance, 'art chat cards' were launched, which engage people with different language backgrounds in conversation about art and identity. Through Enchanté VZW, visitors can gift a deferred MSK ticket to those in need. And in the museum galleries, visitors are challenged to think about today's world.

Efforts rewarded

That approach was rewarded by the recognition as a VCDO laureate, as the first museum in Belgium. The recognition, awarded by Voka, confirms the sound approach of the museum and of the fact that all aspects of sustainability. It is an important symbol of the social and ecological role that even a museum can (and should) take on. MSK strives to further develop this role year after year, with the support of expand this role year after year, with the support of Voka.

SDG Pioneer

Since October 2022, MSK can also call itself an SDG Pioneer. This certificate is an international recognition awarded by the UN and builds on the VCDO charter. Thanks to consistent implementation of our best practices in 2020 and 2021, we are proud to bear this title. This title further highlights our sustainability efforts and motivates us to be a model for socially and ecologically conscious museum operations internationally as well.

E SDG poster UN emblem PRINT 2020