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Van Gogh Museum awarded sustainability certificate
Financial Director of the Van Gogh Museum Adriaan Dönszelmann with Annemarie van Doorn, Director of the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC). Photo: Jan Kees Steenman.

AMSTERDAM.- The Van Gogh Museum will be the first international museum to be awarded a BREEAM-NL In-Use sustainability certificate with a ‘Very Good’ score for building, management as well as use. This internationally recognized certification method assesses the sustainable qualities of the museum building and the way in which the building is managed and used. Adriaan Dönszelmann, Financial Director of the Van Gogh Museum: “Our museum has been awarded three stars and the qualification of ‘Very Good’ for all three categories and this is an international achievement of the first order. We feel very proud, because this has been a deliberately intended course of action, because we are greatly committed to Corporate Responsibility and sustainability. Our museum annually receives 1.5 million visitors and our core business is the conservation of Vincent van Gogh's cultural heritage. And according to us, maintaining the museum building and its environment in a responsible and sustainable way fully belongs to this objective. This certificate is the crowning achievement for the efforts we have made in this respect over the years.”

‘Very Good’ for building, management and use
BREEAM-NL assesses the building and its management and use in terms of nine categories, energy, materials, water, waste, health and wellbeing and management being the most important. Several of the measures with respect to sustainability taken by the Van Gogh Museum these last few years have resulted in the high ‘Very Good’ score. For example, the museum's own installations control the warm/cold storage, so that the building now uses sustainably generated energy resulting in a higher energy label. Furthermore, a transparent environmental policy focuses on the reduction of the use of water and energy and the minimization of the ecological footprint. Purchasing of products is sustainable and waste is sorted and disposed. The Van Gogh Museum also encourages its staff and visitors to make use of public transport. All staff members have been properly informed about such measures by means of a sustainability report.

“Managing your collection and building sustainably”
Annemarie van Doorn, Director of the Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC), which oversees the BREEAM-NL certificate, is pleased with this unique achievement: “It is praiseworthy that the Van Gogh Museum feels highly responsible for the sustainable performance of the building and they show that sustainability is also an important feature for the museum sector. Secondly, the museum has taken an important step by having both the management and the use of the building assessed. This may be an incentive for other museums to start implementing the sustainability of their buildings. And this is nothing but logical: it is a museum's core business to preserve the collection in a sustainable manner. So why not do the same with your building?"

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