I am already over a quarter of the way through my placement, and feel like I have learned so much. The realization of just how bad the problem with world travel and sustainability actually is, has sunk in this month. This was brought on by interesting conversations with Chris, and also the chance to study and actually calculate Crystal Creek Meadows carbon footprint (all by myself!)- watch the video below. Chris showed me how he uses the businesses financial accounts to extract the relevant information to use in the carbon footprint audit, and enter it into a carbon footprint calculator to highlight our carbon emissions and allow us to identify the most problematic areas.
Here at Crystal Creek Meadows, the footprint is calculated to scope three, which incorporates all emissions created by the business, as well as external suppliers and the family themselves. This means that the footprint may appear higher than an organisation that only calculates to scope one. However, even at scope three, we are still not considering the emissions of our guests who travel many miles to get here, which is probably one of the largest sources of pollution. I find it amazing that many companies claim to be carbon neutral, yet fail to consider their guests/customers emissions for getting there in the first place.
I was shocked at how large the footprint for travelling was. It seems that driving and flying are creating Crystal Creek Meadow’s largest footprint, yet they still buy 72% of products locally, and make a conscious effort to combine longer trips. For example last year the family travelled to Europe which they have included in the businesses footprint audit. The audit for that quarter showed a staggering 73% of the emissions were from flying. Similarly this quarter, with my flight here has significantly increased the footprint for travel. It’s worrying, and the problem is only going to worsen if peoples’ attitudes and behaviours don’t change, but the question is… How can we change them?
I have spent time with Chris and Sophie discussing the ways in which Crystal Creek Meadows can help to create consumer change in these areas. Some of the goals we as a business would like to achieve are to:
• persuade guests to do less driving; whether that be by offering them free train transfers to our property or promoting the use of our bicycles for fun
• provide more information about the environmental impacts of different behaviours (currently there is no way for guests to realize many of their behaviours are environmentally wrong)
• foster greater environmental connectivity through aboriginal belief systems , with plans to implement further over the coming year
• encourage connectivity through the use of our vegetable patch
• switching to green energy in February, which will reduce our electricity footprint by 100%
It is an exciting time to be here with all these plans in progress, and I am really looking forward to being involved in some of the areas.