Transitions (5-27 May 2018) is a sustainable exhibition – and it’s carbon neutral.
Transitions is a carbon neutral event. Actually, the lifecycle of the Transitions project, from the first photograph, is carbon neutral, but I’ll focus on the event here. Activities measured for their carbon footprint are:
- Set up or the transporting of goods;
- Production of the exhibition’s works: printing, framing and mounting photographic works;
- Production of the Transitions book;
- Printing for all other exhibition documents;
- The opening (Saturday, 5 May): food and drinks;
- Electricity over the duration: 5-27 May 2018 (based on like-for-like usage in the gallery space); and as used in studio to produce the exhibition’s works;
A brief explanation of the ‘carbons’
The footprint, neutrality, and offsetting (or carbon credits)
An Australian company, Pangolin Associates, measured the carbon footprint. Pangolin takes the activities listed above, and more, into account and determines each impact and ‘scope’. Put another way, each fall into a type: the carbon emissions for which I am responsible, and those due to my suppliers’ goods and services, e.g. my framer, the winery supplying the reds and whites at the opening, and the printer of the book.
Pangolin calculates Transitions’ total emissions in tonnes. I then offset those emissions with certified carbon credits. Carbon credit projects prevent or eliminate greenhouse gases. They are often forest/biodiversity conservation or clean energy initiatives. Technically, one carbon credit = one tonne of greenhouse gas. Offsetting makes Transitions a ‘net zero emissions’ exhibition – or, carbon neutral.
Trees, biodiversity corridors, clean energy
There are amazing carbon credit projects across the globe that also help sustain communities and create jobs. For Transitions I selected two Australian initiatives: one in Tasmania (avoided deforestation), and another in Western Australia (biodiversity corridor conservation). Living in the Blue Mountains, on the doorstep of World Heritage wilderness, these two are especially close to my heart. I’ve also included a forestation project in Timor-Leste, and a solar energy project in Southern India.
Keep the footprint low, offset less
That’s obviously a key part of a sustainable activity. Here’s a bit more about choices for this event.
Going local, Transitions’ suppliers include:
- Hopetree Framing in Wentworth Falls. Hopetree has framed all of the works in Australian timber, and packaged them up in recycled paper (not plastic).
- Springwood Printing Company in Faulconbridge, just down the mountain a few hundred metres. They’ve printed the book.
- Ross Hill Wines in Orange NSW for the opening’s wine. Ross Hill is also certified carbon neutral – the first Australian winery to achieve the Federal Government-recognised certification (NCOS). Ross Hill is a Transitions supporter (thank you).
- 4 Pines Beer for the beer drinkers. 4 Pines brews in Sydney, and they set a great example for ethical business, they’re an accredited BCorp. BCorp is an international organisation that recognises the highest standards of social and environmental performance.
- Logan Brae Orchards for the non alcoholic option. Just further up the mountain in Blackheath. Head to Logan Brae for freshly picked apples, and sample the juice at the exhibition.
- Lyttleton Stores for the tasty nibbles. Based in the mid mountains, the food is locally sourced, ingredients often from their own garden, and deliciously healthy.
- Pangolin Associates for measuring the footprint, and managing the offsetting process. Pangolin is an Australian carbon and energy management company based in Sydney, and doing work in the Blue Mountains. They are also accredited under both NCOS and BCORP.
Feathermark joins Low Carbon Living Blue Mountains as the first individual studio and artist. This initiative required another, thid party assessment of Feathermark’s working studio.
I print my own works on an Epson wide format printer in my studio. That’s going really local, my studio. Epson focuses on the environmental friendliness of their printers. Mine is seriously energy efficient.
In-studio work for the exhibition
I mainly use natural lighting, but my studio is otherwise energy efficient: lighting, heating (essential, I Iive in the upper mountains), all equipment. Importantly all of it runs from solar panel generation.
Admittedly there is a lot of driving, to shoots, to pick up and deliver, the to’ing and fro’ing. I drive a PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle). I mainly run my vehicle on electric, which is charged via solar panels.
You may have noticed elsewhere on this website I’ve donated to the reforestation not-for-profit organisation, Trees For Life. Feathermark has planted a lot of trees now, this is different from the carbon credits. It’s simply a donation to reforest Australia in a managed, sustainable way. For Transitions, I’ve planted 10 trees for the exhibition and 20 for the book production. I also plant a tree for each work sold.
So come to Transitions at Everglades – and feel good about it.