SiLC23 Sponsor Spotlight: How Natural History Museum was inspired by sustainability showcase

Ahead of SiLC23 on 8 November, catches up with some of the high profile sponsors, beginning with Natural History Museum, finding out how the team was inspired by last year’s event.

We are at the dawning of a new age for licensing. With legislation coming at us from all angles, the landscape upon which business operates is about to shift dramatically. The $340bn global licensing industry has the chance to be leading that sustainable transition from the front, we just have to seize it.

That opportunity sits at the heart of this year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference – the brand licensing and consumer product industries’ only event dedicated to collective sustainable development – as it makes its return to the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday, 8 November 2023.

Of course, this year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference wouldn’t go ahead without the support of the industry, our Products of Change community and our honourable list of sponsors, all of which are flying the flag for sector sustainable development while taking great strides themselves.

Let’s meet a few, starting today with: Natural History Museum.

The Natural History Museum continues to enjoy a partnership with the ethical clothing brand, Joanie.
The Natural History Museum continues to enjoy a partnership with the ethical clothing brand, Joanie.

London’s iconic institution, The Natural History Museum is working on a new set of licensing programme-specific sustainability guidelines it believes ‘will steer future product development in the right direction’ while encouraging partners and other members of the licensing industry to do the same.

This is just the latest in a long list of actions the museum has taken in recent years to reduce its impact and help educate those at every juncture across its value chain of stakeholders. At NHM, the sustainable journey is ongoing and ever-evolving as new strategies are implemented from the simple (minimising packaging) to the more complex (seeking alternative product materials and developing customer-facing educational campaigns).

Some of the most notable partnerships to have emerged from NHM this year include its work with Dunelm which has launched its own Conscious Choice label with the aim of making it easier for customers to find homewares with a reduced environmental impact, and Joanie which continues to display a commitment to sustainable fabrics.

Ambitions for 2024: The Natural History Museum, among many other initiatives, is actively looking at how to better educate customers on second uses for their products after they have finished with them, rather than throwing them away. The UK has a vibrant second-hand industry and the more the Museum can educate consumers to embrace a second life culture, the closer we can move towards a more circular economy.

Maxine Lister, head of licensing: “It was fantastic to be able to attend the conference in person for the first time last year. Aside from the engaging panels and discussions on offer, it was equally valuable to be able to further expand on these discussions with other attendees between sessions.

“We took a huge amount from the conference, much of which has since steered our own approach to sustainability within our own licensing programme.”

The Sustainability in Licensing Conference 2023 takes place on Wednesday 8 November at the Royal Geographical Society, London. The full agenda can be found by clicking here. Tickets for this year’s Sustainability in Licensing Conference are available to purchase now. Both in-person and digital-only options are available. Contact or for more information.

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