ICOM Award for Sustainable Development Practice in Museums

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is pleased to announce the launch of the ICOM Award for Sustainable Development Practice in Museums.  

The ICOM Award is the first global award that recognises innovative initiatives
and exemplary museum practices in sustainable development. It is also the first award that ICOM addresses to all its members. 

In line with ICOM’s 2019 Kyoto Resolution On sustainability and the implementation of Agenda 2030, Transforming our World and the ICOM Strategic plan, the ICOM Award contributes to the strengthening of ICOM’s engagement towards sustainable development. The award presents itself as a learning opportunity for museum professionals and the ICOM Network. 

ICOM, as a global organisation, aims to demonstrate the various ways in which the museum sector contributes to sustainable development; and inspire museums and museum professionals everywhere in the world to begin or strengthen their efforts for sustainable development in practice. 

Furthermore, ICOM aims to serve as a catalyst for collective action, encouraging all ICOM Bodies (National and International Committees, Regional Alliances, and Affiliated Organisations) to play an active role in promoting sustainable development practices within the museum community. In this way, ICOM is launching a groundbreaking initiative that brings together all its bodies in a united front for sustainable development. 

Through this initiative, ICOM reinforces its commitment to Agenda 2030 and beyond by being at the forefront of change within the museum sector and inspires an accelerated development of sustainable practices leading to long-term changes for the museum sector and our common future. 

The ICOM Award receives entries, which are judged by an international jury on the basis of the five dimensions of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, namely the 5 P’s: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The ICOM Award ceremony will take place at the ICOM 27th General Conference in 2025 in Dubai.  


Who can apply? 

Museums that are ICOM Members in good standing for the years 2023 and 2024 can apply for the Award. 

If you are not a member: 

If a museum is not yet an ICOM Member and belongs to Categories 1 and 2 (see the ICOM Membership grid), the museum can first apply for institutional membership in its own country to its National Committee. Once the membership application has been approved by its National Committee, it can be attached to the application for the Award together with the receipt of the first membership fee payment. You will find more information on the ICOM institutional membership here: 

Information on ICOM membership
Directory of ICOM National Committees 

If a museum is not an ICOM Institutional Member and if the museum belongs to Categories 3, 4 and 5 (see the ICOM Membership grid), an ICOM Individual Member can apply for the Award. In that case, it must be done on behalf of the museum where they work, attaching a Letter of Support from the institution. 

Who cannot apply: 

ICOM Individual Members in Categories 1 and 2.
ICOM Individual Members in Categories 3, 4 and 5 without the support of the museum where they work. 

Application process 

The Call for applications will be open from March to September 2024. 

The project applicants (referred to as “Candidates”) shall send their applications to the ICOM Secretariat* together with an endorsement (see endorsement process below) from the ICOM Bodies (National Committees, International Committees, Regional Alliances or Affiliated Organisations). 

*The online application form will be available on ICOM’s website when the call is launched. 


  1. The applications are sent to the ICOM Secretariat with an endorsement from the ICOM Bodies (National and International Committees, Regional Alliances, and Affiliated Organisations). 
  2. The ICOM Secretariat carries out verification to ensure that Candidates are eligible and provides the list of eligible projects to the Jury for examination.  
  3.  The Jury makes a first selection, a Longlist, from the list of eligible projects. 
  4. After further examination, the Jury provides a Shortlist of projects. 
  5. The Jury makes a selection of three (3) final Candidates, the Award finalists. 
  6. The Winner is announced at the Dubai General Conference in 2025, during the Award Ceremony. 


Each of the ICOM Bodies (National and International Committees, Regional Alliances, Affiliated Organisations) who have taken part in an online Capacity Building session (see below) organised by the ICOM Secretariat can endorse applications. A template for the award endorsement letter will be provided by the ICOM Secretariat to the ICOM Bodies. Potential Candidates can contact the eligible ICOM Bodies listed on the ICOM member space for an endorsement. To manage the endorsement process, each of the ICOM Bodies shall appoint a Board member who shall be the reference person for the award endorsement process. 


The ICOM Award for Sustainable Development Practice in Museums aims to create learning opportunities that are available to the ICOM network. A programme of capacity-building sessions will be organised for the ICOM Bodies (National and International Committees, Regional Alliances, Affiliated Organisations) as well as interested Candidates to have a common understanding of the ICOM Award, Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and Sustainable Development. The idea is to encourage well-developed proposals in shared understanding and to empower ICOM Members as actors in sustainable development. 

First dates for capacity-building sessions: 

For National and International Committees, Regional Alliances and Affiliated Organisations (ICOM Bodies):
13th of February: 11:30 – 13:00 CET or 14th February 2024: 16:00 – 17:30 CET 

For interested Candidates:
20th of February: 11:30 – 13:00 CET or 21st February 2024: 16:00 – 17:30 CET 

The capacity-building sessions are developed in partnership with ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and Curating Tomorrow.