Green Space Dark Skies Andrew Pattenden

Unboxed Green Space Dark Skies project releases sustainability findings

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Green Space Dark Skies (GSDS) – an UNBOXED project produced by Walk the Plank – has released details of its sustainability successes and carbon savings.

Green Space Dark Skies took thousands of people into National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to create large-scale temporary artworks with new Geolight technology.

Green Space Dark Skies as a large-scale national project provided the resources and partners to embed sustainability from the planning, delivery and measurement stages towards achieving ambitious targets across both the social and environmental aspects of the project. The scope of data collection was vast including energy, transport, materials, food and beverage, waste, accessibility, diversity, and digital. The aims were to leave no trace and be climate positive, ultimately removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces.

The report contains the carbon data for the entire project, shares learnings and innovations gathered on the way and does not shy away from some of the challenges faced.

The greatest carbon savings were from Lumenators (participants) or staff and crew using coaches instead of individual car journeys (47.23 tCO2e), vegetarian meals instead of meat (approx 25-30 tCO2e), and choosing hotels with green energy tariffs (16.3 tCO2e).

Report highlights include:

  • 50/50 split of vegetarian and meat meals overall
  • 71 per cent of suppliers came from within 50 miles
  • 13/19 events used more than 80 per cent renewable energy
  • 81 per cent of Lumenators shared transport
  • 26 per cent of accommodation had a green energy tariff
  • Followed the waste hierarchy and diverted >99 per cent of our waste from landfill
  • Accurately measured impact across all areas for all stakeholders for scope 1, 2 and 3
  • Taken action to ensure the long-term impact of the activity is climate positive through mitigating ten times the carbon footprint through the planting of 15,154 trees with the Woodland Trust.

Nathan Jackson, head of production at GSDS and Walk the Plank, said: “We did not take a ‘business as usual’ approach to this work and our aim was for Green Space Dark Skies Lumenators to become caretakers of nature for the future. Our landscapes are places worth protecting, for everyone, forever. Our aim was for Green Space Dark Skies to be an example of best practice in sustainable event production, thinking about all aspects of our operational delivery. From the outset, we wanted to be transparent about successes and challenges for the collective benefit of everyone working in event production.”

Green Space Dark Skies won the National Outdoor Events Association Sustainability Award 2022.

The summary of the Sustainability Report is free and available to access online here.

Image: Andre Pattenden