Findhorn Ecovillage 2018 Carbon Footprint Report

Goran Wiklund has completed his assessment of our community carbon footprint for 2018. Here are his summary conclusions:

The total greenhouses gas emissions have been calculated to 3,392 tCO2e (tonne CO2 equivalent) a reduction of 25% compared with 2017 when we emitted 5,235 tCO2e. The highest source of emissions is from flying with 2,829 tCO2. Vehicles produce the second largest quantity of emissions, and account for 480 tCO2.

There are many reasons for the reduction on previous years, but a major one is that the number of guests on the Findhorn Foundation (FF) programmes fell by 34%.

The assessment is done according to the international standard Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol. The GHG Protocol differentiates between three Scopes:
Scope 1: direct emissions from burning fossil fuel (petrol, gas, wood etc.)
Scope 2: indirect energy (purchased electricity)
Scope 3: other indirect emissions (travel, food, consumption etc.)

Direct and indirect energy emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) account for 466 tCO2e (926 tCO2e). Scope 3 emissions are 3,466 tCO2e (4,308 tCO2e), which include FF programmes and Findhorn Bay Holiday Park (FBHP) guests’ travels.

Total emissions in relation to the number of household members of the ecovillage average 8.3 tCO2e per person, a drop from 13.7 in 2017.

It is difficult to make comparisons between the years because more emission sources have been added and data collection has improved. On the other hand, some data has not been available for 2018. In addition, some of the models for calculating guest travel contain uncertainty, which to some extent is compensated for by the fact that the same models and assumptions were used in 2017 as 2018.

Bottom line: We can be encouraged by the fact that both our total collective carbon emissions and average individual member emissions were reduced from 2017, and worried by what may be implied by fewer guests coming our way.