GALA Interim Carbon Footprint

photo: Angelo DeSantis / Flickr

photo: Angelo DeSantis / Flickr

As part of the GALA programme, it was agreed that the carbon emissions of the events (workshops and labs) and those of the key partner organisations would be quantified. The main carbon impacts covered in this assessment are: – travel, accommodation and the impact of partner organisation footprints. This interim carbon footprint report includes the carbon emissions associated with: -

  1. Art Motile workshop, A Coruña. November 2013
  2. On The Move workshop, Berlin. March 2014.
  3. Riksutställningar partner meeting, Visby. May 2014.
  4. Goethe Institut, Prague. June 2014.
  5. Julie’s Bicycle office operation associated with GALA.

Julie’s Bicycle has robust data for all workshops that have taken place, but data for the GALA labs is more sporadic, and therefore hasn’t been included in this piece of analysis.

Overall emissions

Chart 1: Carbon emissions for travel and accommodation for workshops 1 – 4 (Total = 21.2 tonnes CO2e)

Chart 1: Carbon emissions for travel and accommodation for workshops 1 – 4 (Total = 21.2 tonnes CO2e)

Chart 1 shows the breakdown of travel and accommodation emissions associated with the first four workshops/meetings. Total emissions equal 21.2 tonnes, which roughly equates to the carbon emissions associated with four average sized European dwellings[1]. Clearly, flights are the biggest impact, being the most common mode of transport (chart 2), and having a carbon impact c.4x higher than train travel for example. Domestic flights are generally classified as <800km, so often flights from neighbouring countries have been included as domestic. The carbon emissions associated with each of the host venues for the duration of each event hasn’t been included in this analysis. It’s often very difficult to calculate and the results wouldn’t be very meaningful. It’s estimate that these emissions would be equal to <1% of total emissions.

Chart 2: Total passenger kilometres for all attendees to workshops 1 - 4, by transport mode.

Chart 2: Total passenger kilometres for all attendees to workshops 1 – 4, by transport mode.

The carbon emissions associated with Julie’s Bicycle office for 12 months were apportioned according to the number of hours worked on the GALA project. This equalled 200kg CO2e, or 1% of the GALA workshop related emissions to date.

Carbon emissions for travel and  accommodation, by workshop.

Carbon emissions for travel and
accommodation, by workshop.

Chart 4: Carbon emissions for travel and accommodation per participant, by workshop.

Chart 4: Carbon emissions for travel and accommodation per participant, by workshop.

Charts 3 and 4 show how these carbon emissions breakdown across the different workshops. The first two workshops – Art Motile and On The Move are roughly similar in magnitude when comparing carbon emissions. However, the carbon emissions associated with the partners meeting in Visby were significantly higher. This is a consequence of Visby’s remote location, which involved either at least 2 flights, or one flight, a bus and ferry journey for each participant. Chart 4 shows that on average each participant was responsible for almost 900kg CO2e by attending the Visby meeting. The impact of accommodation was higher for this meeting as participants stayed for up to 4 nights each. This was because the partners meeting also coincided with a conference on arts and sustainability, which the majority of participants stayed for. Conversely, The Goethe Institut workshop had significantly lower carbon emissions as all the participants were Czech, and many were already located in Prague. Those who weren’t located in Prague either travelled home by train on the same day, or stayed in non-hotel accommodation (which has a lower environmental impact).

 

Clearly location (and the location of invited participants!) does have a significant effect on the carbon emissions of each of the workshops. Some participants did opt for international trains where possible, and video conferencing has been used in some instances where travelling was unnecessary. Key recommendations for the remaining workshops and labs:

 

  • Lab partners should be contacted in order to assess the carbon impact of their travel, where meaningful data is available.
  • Workshop and lab partners should refer to Julie’s Bicycle resources, or consult Julie’s Bicycle on steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental impact of the event (including the procurement of food, and accommodation).
  • Participants should be invited to travel by rail and ferry wherever possible.

 


[1] http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/eea_report_2008_6

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