Carbon Audit 2012

Carbon Audit, 2012


We have carried out a rough and ready carbon audit on the 2012 touring programme, making some gross assumptions just to give some basis for discussion and action.
This shows that the 10% of our activity to remote destinations creates slightly more carbon dioxide than the 90% to European destinations.
Moreover, there are alternative low carbon travel routes to Europe, but not to remote destinations, so we can work to reduce the emissions for European trips. In contrast, the club aspires to support more remote and adventurous trips, so we can expect this component to increase in the future.

Carbon Audit - approach

In the absence of any real data on the climate impact of the Eagles' touring programme, we've carried out a rough and ready audit of last year's touring programme FROM THE REPORTS IN THE YEARBOOK. This gives us destinations and numbers, but it is incomplete and doesn't give any real detail on methods of travel. Just to give us a starting point, we've made the gross assumption that everybody flew both ways from the UK, for each trip. This is clearly a little pessimistic, for European trips at least, as some Eagles take lower carbon transport, others travel from closer and join trips together. Nonetheless, it gives us some kind of basis for discussion.

Carbon Audit - results

The first figure, above, shows the number of individual Eagle tourists by country of tour (blue) AND the carbon emissions in tonnes for the transport to that country (orange). All the remote trips beyond Europe are combined together (in this case, North and South America, Mongolia and the Tatras). As expected, the emissions from the remote trips are considerably higher.
The total carbon dioxide emissions are about 450 tonnes, from 470 individual tourists (just under a tonne per tourist).This is a pretty substantial addition to the current average UK annual emission of 12 tonnes or so, for just one week of the year!
It is instructive to compare the emissions from the European trips with the remote trips, as shown below.

This shows that the 10% of the club's activity is to areas beyond Europe, and this creates slightly more carbon dioxide than the trips to Europe. On average, a trip to Europe generates about 0.5 tonnes, whereas the average for a remote trip is more than 5 tonnes. If you have been on two remote trips in a year, you have probably doubled the damage that you personally are doing to the climate.
We can work to reduce the total for European trips, by persuasion and by making it easier for Eagles to chose low carbon alternatives. On the other hand, there are no practical alternatives to flying for remote destinations, and the number of remote trips that the club will support in the future is likely to increase.
There are no great surprises in these figures – it more or less confirms what we all probably realised. The most important determinant of environmental impact is where you go.

Dave Vincent
Steve Wright
May, 2013

Climate Care, Eagles