Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of Green Space Dark Skies

Green Space Dark Skies aims to be an exemplar low carbon production which will invest in nature and the climate. We are ‘walking lightly on the land’ in all of our activity and leave no trace of our time there. This acknowledges the responsibility to protect natural environment and biodiversity.

We are highlighting the beauty, value, and diversity of species that our landscapes provide a home for.

 

To reduce our travel carbon footprint, we are using the Big Green Coach Company to provide coach services to and from many of the event locations, and encouraging the use of Kinto Join, a car share app.

 

We have a zero-waste policy in place and we are ensuring the repurposing of materials, PVC-free recyclable banners, recycling wristbands and using minimum resources.

 

We are measuring and reporting on all of our impacts, whether positive or negative.

 

Our sustainability targets are:

§  100% renewable energy usage

§  Zero waste policy on resource usage

§  Limit disposable and single use plastics

§  Follow the waste hierarchy

In order to become a leading low emissions project, Green Space Dark Skies has come up with a set of guiding principles. To protect the beautiful green spaces we will be journeying to, we will leave no trace of our time there. Green Space Dark Skies will also be carbon net positive*, ultimately removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces. We are following a zero waste policy and will use as few resources as possible – those we do rely on will be from sustainable sources. The aim of the project is to inspire people with the beauty and wonder of the landscapes we’ll be visiting. Our promise is that we’ll measure and report on the impact we’ve had, both positive and negative.

* We are measuring and balancing 100% of our unavoidable Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We also acknowledge our Scope 3 emissions and the complexity associated with calculating these, and are working hard to rise to the challenge with our stakeholders.

 

From the work of our Head of Production and Sustainability Manager through to our Lumenators, artists and crew, we’ve thought about how everyone involved can help to achieve our sustainability goals. This includes carbon literacy training, a shared handbook, and focusing on sustainability at every production team meeting. We’ve also thought about how to be sustainable in every part of the work we’re doing – across marketing, production, travel and more. Last but not least, we will use specially-developed tools to keep track of the impact we’re having, and find ways to counteract any unavoidable emissions.

 

Green Space Dark Skies is intrinsically rooted in nature, celebrating our landscapes and the life within them. Read our Sustainability Strategy here.

Visit our Sustainability Frequently Asked Questions here.

DID YOU KNOW…?

  • Nearly half of the UK’s carbon footprint comes from emissions released overseas to satisfy UK-based consumption of imported products including clothing, processed foods and electronics
  • Scotland has multiple options to confidently end its climate emissions by 2045
  • Global temperatures are now at their highest since records began
  • Solar power and onshore wind are the cheapest ways of generating electricity – the energy they produce is cheaper than using nuclear, gas and fossil fuels
  • Food production is responsible for 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions
  • In order to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C, global emissions need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030
  • Oceans are vital ‘carbon sinks’, meaning that they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide
  • The UK has the biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, spending €12bn (£10.5bn) a year supporting dirty fossil fuels
  • Producing meat creates vastly more carbon dioxide than plants such as vegetables, grains and legumes
  • The Government has committed to end the use of coal in the UK energy system by 2025

Edited from wwf.org.uk

 

What does carbon net positive mean?

To be carbon neutral means avoiding Scope 1 and 2 emissions wherever possible and balancing unavoidable emissions through schemes and projects that help to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, such as tree planting. To be carbon net positive means going beyond this: a carbon net positive project will invest in removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces. We are measuring and balancing 100% of our unavoidable Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We also acknowledge our Scope 3 emissions and the complexity associated with these, and are working hard to rise to the challenge with our stakeholders.

What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

Scope 1 emissions are those produced directly by GSDS, for example in the production workshop and head office, or from our own company vehicles. Scope 2 are indirect emissions associated with things like purchased electricity for our own use. Scope 3 are indirect emissions associated with the project such as embodied carbon in production materials, employee and supplier transport, and emissions from waste.

Why is it important to measure carbon emissions?

Carefully measuring carbon emissions will allow us to track the impact Green Space Dark Skies is having, and to share this with others. Measuring carbon emissions is also key to making sure we achieve our aim of being carbon net positive. Above all, we hope to create a model that other large-scale, outdoor events can adopt, so that they too reduce the impact of their events and also, maybe become carbon net positive.

What is local climate investment?

We are focused on reducing the impact of our events. Local climate investment and balancing is to cover unavoidable carbon emissions.

We will be working with local communities to find projects to support that will help to reduce carbon emissions.

How to measure your own carbon emissions

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has created an online environmental footprint calculator. Take the questionnaire and discover whether your carbon emissions are in line with the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2045.

Why are Dark Skies so important – and what are we doing to protect them?

Did you know that 99% of people in Europe and the US can’t experience a natural night sky? Light pollution is having a major impact on dark skies across the globe, harming animals, nature and even our health. One third of the planet cannot see the Milky Way Galaxy, a drastic change that has taken place very quickly, over just a few decades.

While many of us have learned about pollution and the impact it’s having on our climate, oceans, and air, fewer people know about light pollution and the way it’s encroaching on our night skies. As our planet continues to get brighter, humankind’s connection to dark skies is rapidly being eroded.

Green Space Dark Skies will involve temporary lighting in the landscape. The handheld lights the Lumenators will carry will be used for a short period of time, at dusk. From the earliest stages, planning for the project has included input from National Park officers who are involved in International Dark Skies accreditations. The team at Walk the Plank has also been working with lighting manufacturers Core Lighting and our technology partner Siemens to develop the low impact lights that our Lumenators will carry. These will be specifically designed to be sensitive to the night-time environment, working to guidelines set by the National Parks UK Dark Skies lead Duncan Wise.

For more information have a look at https://www.nationalparks.uk/dark-skies/

The Lumenators, just by being at these…often remote locations will feel connected to the landscapes around them, especially at dusk when your senses are more alive to the sights and sounds of nature. It will be a truly memorable experience that will hopefully inspire them to support nature conservation and the conservation of tranquility and darkness

Duncan Wise
Dark Skies Lead at National Parks UK

Take a look at the following websites for more information about why understanding our carbon footprint is important and what we can all do to reduce our impact on the environment:

WWF – The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the world’s leading conservation organisation

Julie’s Bicycle – Julie’s Bicycle mobilises the arts and culture industry to act on the climate and ecological crisis

Tiny Eco Home Life – Tiny Eco Home Life is dedicated to simple, sustainable, eco friendly living