"SHAMBALA FESTIVAL CARBON FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS"
CARBON FOOTPRINT ANALYSIS 2008 Researched and written by Peter Harper (Centre for Alternative Technology) So-called “Carbon Footprinting” is a useful tool for assessing the environmental impact of human activities. It correlates well with many other environmental effects, and being in most cases easier to measure, it can act as a plausible proxy for most other environmental impacts. It can be applied to a surprising variety of ‘entities’, to households, to goods, to organisations, to sectors of the economy, or (as in this case) to events. This has an important role in the evolving societal debate on Climate Change in suggesting a preliminary distribution of responsibility. It is much to the credit of organisations like the Shambala Foundation that they proactively seek assessment and assume a degree of responsibility. In the process they also contribute to the establishment of norms or ‘benchmarks’ for similar entities, in this case ‘festivals’ and more broadly ‘events’. The ‘carbon emissions’ are usually reported in terms of a number in kilograms or tonnes, and the unit used is “carbon dioxide equivalents” or CO2e. This is to cover all greenhouse gases, not just CO2 itself. Carbon Footprinting is not an exact science, and any particular analysis will contain a certain amount of ‘philosophy’ in the form of assumptions and estimates to cover gaps in the data. The basic approach however, is reasonably transparent and robust, and can usually be broken down into functional categories such as heating, transport, waste etc, to reveal their relative contributions. If the whole score can be called the ‘footprint’, the pattern of the components might be called the ‘fingerprint’. The fingerprint is often very useful because it can show large and unexpected differences between categories, giving helpful guidance on where improvements can be most effectively targeted. Measured over time, the analysis can also reveal trends, providing feedback on the effectiveness of reduction measures. The most crucial decision is the ‘system boundary’: which elements shall be included, and which excluded? The event itself, spanning several days, clearly generates carbon emissions in various ways. We might call this the ‘core footprint’. It is surrounded by other sources of emissions associated with the event but separated in various ways, spatially, temporally or in terms of effective responsibility. The basic criterion for inclusion is: what emissions are additional to those that would have taken place anyway in the absence of the Festival? This itself raises some philosophical questions, but is good enough to make a start. We then break everything down into three dimensions: 1. What categories of emissions can be measured? 2. Who is emitting them? 3. When? In more detail: 1. What? Four main categories ● Travel ● Operational energy ● Goods, materials and services ● Waste 2. Who? Four ‘functional parties’ ● The organisers ● The venue ● The participants ● Subcontractors 3. When? ● Three time periods ● Before the event ● During the event ● After the event These can be expressed in the form of a table in which the cells potentially contain measurable quantities of carbon emissions that can be combined into a composite ‘score’ by simple addition. In practice the time periods do not affect the analysis much and can be lumped together unless extremely detailed results are required. In this particular case the Venue—a country park—caused no distinctive emissions that were not covered by statistics from the organisers, so these two categories are also combined. A results table would look like the one below. In principle, estimates of emissions can be obtained for each relevant cell from a combination of interviews, sampling, recorded quantities statistical inferences, and in some cases, faute de mieux, informed guesses. Heavier shade represents an expectation of high emissions, and suggests that particular attention should be paid to these categories, while in other areas proxies and estimates are acceptable in the absence of recorded data. CATEGORIES OF TRAVEL OPERA- GOODS WASTE EMISSIONS GENERATION TIONAL MATERIALS ENERGY SERVICES FUNCTIONAL PARTIES ORGANISERS/VENUE PARTICIPANTS THIRD PARTY SUBCONTRACTORS A reasonable assumption is that the largest proportion of the emissions will come from participants travelling to the festival, so we should focus especially on getting some credible estimates for this cell. Other potentially large categories are operational energy and perhaps goods, food and services consumed during the festival that might emerge as waste. In some areas there is a danger of double- counting, for example measuring both goods sold and goods consumed, although in some cases this offers the possibility of cross-checking, for example, waste is linked to goods. In some areas data are lacking. In these cases we are obliged to use plausible guesses that we call ‘guesstimates’. It is usually better to make an informed guess than to ignore a factor altogether, since the latter amounts to an uninformed guess known to be an underestimate. Where guesstimates have been used they are explained fully. Usually the discussion makes it clear that, even if the guesstimates are mistaken by a factor of two or even more, they make little difference to the overall result. After the data are collected and tabulated, a fingerprint and footprint emerge. What do they mean? Are they good or bad? The interpretation depends on a comparison with numerators or scaling factors that allow us to compare this event with other events, or indeed events with other activities. The most important scaling factor is simply the number of people (giving measures ‘per head’). Others are the length of the event (giving measures ‘per day’), and the costs or income connected with the event (giving measures ‘per £’). These will also allow us to compare the event with other recreational activities. SHAMBALA 2007 SCALING STATISTICS The event proper lasted 3 days, although there was an extensive on-site lead-up and a clear-up phase involving several hundred people. For some categories this is allowed for by using 3.5 as the numerator. There were reported to be 3700 paying participants, plus 3000 on complementary tickets helping in various ways to run the festival. In addition there were 25 Third Party subcontractors (referred to below as ‘traders’) and 38 craft pitches running workshops. TRAVEL Organisational travel before the event needs plausible guesses, based on an interview with one of the principal organisers. If 5 directors had 12 meetings alternately in Birmingham and Bristol, and travelled in typical cars (as we are informed they did: not trains!) with occupancy 2, that’s 831kg. The crew of 22 taking two round trips each to the site, 10 from Birmingham and 12 from Bristol with occupancy 4 would clock up 698kg. Allow a bit for extra wear and tear, say 100kg. Overall total 1610kg. PARTICIPANT TRAVEL Participant travel is by far the largest item and can be estimated in various ways. Unfortunately the various estimates are not consistent, so some degree of interpretation is necessary. BY SAMPLE One way of estimating the travel emissions is to interview a sample of participants. We interviewed 49 participants and asked about their origin, travel mode, type and make of vehicle, occupancy. (We also asked about other holiday travel, and we asked about tents, for reasons reported later). It must be emphasised that this sample was carried out rather haphazardly, in one area of the festival site, and might not be generally representative. SAMPLE TRAVEL DATA RESULTS Modes: 77.5% by car or van, 14% by train, 7% in hired coaches, and 1.5% by bus. Average distance travelled: 420km round trip, varying somewhat with mode: 426 for private vehicles, 456 for train, 268 for coaches. Average reported occupancy for cars and vans: 3.5 Average emissions per kg: 198g, based on standard data regarding vehicle models where reported or generic types where a specific model was not reported (see for example www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk). It is unlikely these vehicles are performing optimally, so it is reasonable to round up the average up to 200g, or 0.2kg. The sample data yield an apparent average figure for emissions per participant of 27kg CO2. From this an initial estimate of total participant travel emissions can be derived of 27 x 6700 = 180900kg. A more refined analysis would break the sample into groups, private, coaches, train, bus and look at the emissions separately. This gives a wide range: 3.2kg for hired coaches, 26 kg for train, 28kg for cars and vans, 39kg for bus. [It might seem surprising that the scheduled public transport trips are so high relative to private vehicles. Since scheduled trips would run anyway, you could say they should be better than hiring a coach. Nevertheless they come out no better than high-occupancy cars, or in the case of buses, much worse. This is an example of the intrusion of ‘philosophy’. The normal convention for travel calculators is to assume typical conditions on public transport, where occupancy is usually low, especially for buses. We have simply followed this convention so that the results can be compared with others.] Multiplying these with their proportions in the total population gives a slightly lower figure of 177109kg. By number of vehicles. The organisers reported vehicle numbers as follows: 1600 vehicles in car park 1050 camper vans and living-trucks 200 crew vehicles 25 traders with 2 vehicles each (count in crew tally) 38 craft pitches running workshops (count in crew tally) This means there were a total of at least 1600+1050+200 = 2850 vehicles. If we suppose (from the sample) that 76% came by private vehicle, this gives an average occuopancy of 1.79, much less than that reported by the sample group. If these vehicles had the same average emission factor as the sample group (200g/km) and travcelled the same distance (426km) the total emissions would be 242820kg, 40% higher than the figure reached by the sample method. Adding in the public transport estimates from the sample we get these two results: From sample: Approximately 180 tonnes From vehicle counts: Approximately 272 tonnes. This serious discrepancy indicates either that the vehicle-count is inaccurate, or that the sample is not a random one. For example, if vehicles were logged enetering and leaving, there migfht have been some multiple-counting, but this cannot be checked. Some might have been ‘booked in’ but did not in the end, turn up. A possible, even probable, bias in the sample data is that they were collected largely in the ‘family’ area where occupancies can be expected to be higher. Possibly they also travelled longer distances, giving a spuriously high ‘average’ for travelling distances that we then apply to the vehicles. The true figure is then likely to be higher than indicated in the sample. Our best guess is that the vehicle-count figure is likely to be closer, but too high. For the sake of the analysis we shall adopt a figure of 240 tonnes, recognising that this is simply a kind of weighted average. Third party travel can be estimated as follows. There are 88 traders and craftspeople bringing equipment and materials in vehicles with average emissions of 0.3kg/km. Suppose the average distance is less than the 420km for participants, since there is likely to be a bias in favour of local traders. A reasonable guess might be 300km, including some local trips for resupply etc during the festival. Total emissions therefore are 88 (traders) x 300 (km) x 0.3(kg) = 7920kg, small compared with the participant travel emissions. Total travel emissions were therefore: 1610 (organisers) + 240,000 (participants) + 7920 (traders) = 249530 or about 250 tonnes. OPERATIONAL ENERGY In 2007 this was dominated by red diesel used for generating electricity. The total was 9700 litres, with a specific emissions factor (SEF) of 2.63, so total emissions of 24985kg or 25 tonnes. If only all the elements were as easy as this one! Operational energy for traders would consist mostly of gas for cooking, usually from bottled propane. Lighting would come from the site network and is already accounted for. Data were not collected from all food venues, but data from other field kitchens suggests a figure somewhere between 50 and 100g propane per hot meal. Possibly Shambala has a lower rate of hot meals, but say 5000 people had two hot meals a day (while others cooked for themselves) =5000(people) x2 (meals) x3.5 (days) x75 (grams) x3 (g of CO2e per g of propane) /1000(convert to kg) = 7875kg CO2e. Perhaps the same assumptions should be made for the remaining 1700 people who (we guess) cook on small camping cylinders or ranges. Possibly this will mostly be hot drinks, but it is known that some camping circles bring food and cook meals. On the assumptions above the result is 2677kg CO2e, attributable to the participant’s operational energy cell. These are examples of ‘guesstimates’. They could be wrong in various ways, possibly by a factor of two, yet in the whole context they constitute small elements and are unlikely to affect the overall result. GOODS, MATERIALS AND SERVICES There is an important distinction between durable goods that are re-used frequently, and consumables that either disappear in the consumption or end up as waste. The approach adopted here is to ignore consumables and use the waste statistics to approximate them. That leaves durables, whose carbon emissions are ‘embodied’ during their production. The embodied emissions of a wide range of materials and products over a typical lifecycle, is widely studied, and figures are readily available. The problem is: how much of the total lifecycle can reasonably be attributed to the Shambala Festival? Organisers, participants, and traders all have re-usable equipment of various kinds. Short of very laborious sampling and measurements we try to break down equipment into material components of known carbon-intensity, then adjust for the expected number of lifetime uses. Most of the material is in the form of temporary structures made of steel, aluminium and plastic membranes. For the organisational side, the material is dominated by five large structures weighing an average of 25 tonnes. Assuming this breaks down as steel 10, plastic 10 and aluminium 5, this gives 18t+25t+46t=89tonnes per structure. Multiply by 5 = 445 tonnes. Assume they are each used 5 times a year and have a lifetime of 15 years, the embodied emissions attributable to Shambala would be 445/75=5.93 tonnes. To estimate this aspect for participants we actually asked questions about tents. The reason for looking at tents is that camping requires some special equipment, notably tents, which might not have been bought otherwise. We weighed the components of sample types We did ask about how often the tents were used (on average 4 times a year, suggesting a ‘regular camping’ subgroup of the general population) and assumed a conservative occupancy of two and an equally conservative tent life of two years. The calculations showed an average embodied carbon in tents attributable to Shambala Festival: 0.9kg. Possibly this should be doubled to include other camping equipment such as sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses, cooking equipment etc (which we did not measure) but this component is still small compared with most other emissions—as we expected. Call it 1.8kg. We have no information about how many tents there actually were, but as there are many shared tents it must be less than the population. A reasonable estimate is 5000, and this would give a total embodied energy attributable to participants of Shambala 2007of 9000kg. For traders we have almost no information, so a heroic guesstimate is required. Say that on account of necessary equipment etc their embodied energy is ten times that of an ordinary participant. There are 50 of them, so 1.8 x 10 x 50 = 900kg. How credible is this? Although the total amount of equipment might be considerably more than that brought by the average participant, it is likely to be used much more intensively. The ‘Shambala share’ would therefore be proportionately less. So this guesstimate probably errs on the high rather than low side. FOOD It is difficult to decide whether food consumed at the Festival should be included in its carbon footprint, since people will eat anyway. Possibly more alcohol is consumed, so it might be interesting to estimate a value for this. Unfortunately the emissions factors for alcohol are wildly variable, depending on which parts of the sourcing, manufacture and supply chains are included. Commercial beers at the point of consumption can range from below 1kg/l to 10kg or more when packaged and kept chilled. The unpackaged, un-chilled ‘real ale’ sold at the Festival would be at the lower end or even lower. Total bar takings in 2007 were £93,000. Assume for simplicity this is all beer at about £4 a litre; that’s 23250kg at 1kg/litre, giving 23250kg CO2e for alcohol. Say as a guess that this is twice what participants might otherwise consume, we could attribute 11625kg to the Festival. This could be added to the embodied carbon in camping equipment to give a materials emission of 17025 WASTE Although all the functional parties generate waste, the results are not separated accordingly, so waste emissions cannot be allocated to each party. Instead, the complete tonnage of waste is recorded, along with proportions separated for recycling. The 2007 figures are as follows: TONNAGE RECYCLED CO2E CREDIT REMAINING NET CO2E (tonnes) 35.5 7.95 9.59 70.6 62 This assumes that the recycled fraction has no CO2e implication, which actually it has. However the removal of cardboard and cans would somewhat reduce the default value of 2.6 tonnes CO2e per tonne of general waste, which is used for this calculation. The actual value could vary a great deal depending on the policies of the Waste Disposal Authority and the efficiency of the local landfill site, especially with regard to gas capture. In the absence of other data the figure of 62 tonnes CO2e must stand, and constitutes a large fraction of the total footprint of 2007’s festival. It could be argued of course, that as with food, an equivalent quantity of waste would have been generated anyway in the course of ordinary non-festival life. Therefore it should not be considered the Festival’s responsibility; or at least, an ‘expected’ quantity of waste should be deducted. Another philosophical minefield. Liquid waste from toilets and catering is much more difficult to assess. To avoid leaving a blank in the results, another guesstimate is required. Say that each participant generates 10 litres a day of waste water and toilet waste. 6700 x 3.5 x 10 = 234500 litres. This would be removed by 50 trips by tankers with 5kl capacity and engine emissions of 300g CO2e/km. Say it’s a 30-km round trip to the sewage works, then getting the stuff there would emit 50 x 0.3 x 30 = 450kg. In addition, conventional treatment of sewage takes about 0.5kWh per kl, assumed to be electrical at 0.54kg/kWh, so 235 x 0.5 x 0.54 = 63.45kg. Total 513kg. Not very much in comparison with other elements of the footprint. General results for 2007 can be seen in the table. CATEGORIES TRAVEL OPERA- EMBODIED WASTE OF EMISSIONS TIONAL IN GOODS & GENERATION ENERGY MATERIALS FUNCTIONAL PARTIES ORGANISERS/VENUE 1600 24985 5930 PARTICIPANTS 240000 2677 Equip 9000 Solid 62000 Alcohol 11625 Liquid 513 THIRD PARTY 7920 7875 900 SUBCONTRACTORS TOTALS 249500 35537 27455 62513 The overall total is 375005 or in round figure 375 tonnes, 56 kilograms per head overall, 19kg per head per day. Interestingly this is less than 60% of the UK per capita emissions rate, suggesting that the Shambala festival on average reduces the emissions of participants relative to staying at home. The results can be broken down in various ways. Chart 1 shows the principal categories, dominated as expected by travel. Chart 1. CHART 2 WASTE WASTE ORG TRADER TRANSPORT TRADERS EMBODIED TRANSPORT EMBODIED ORG. ENERGY EMBODIED OPERATIONA L ENERGY TRADER TRANSPORT ENERGY OPERATIONAL ENERGY Chart 2 shows what might be considered the ‘core’ emissions of the festival excluding the contribution of the participants, and assuming 95% of the waste is attributable to participants. This amounts to about 52 tonnes, and is similar to the margin of error in the participant travel calculations, showing how important accurate measurements of transport should be undertaken in hfuture exercises of this kind. Chart 3 shows the full ‘fingerprint’for 2007. CHART 3 ORG TRANSPORT TRADER WASTE EMBODIED PARTIC EMBODIED ORG EMBODIED TRADER ENERGY PARTIPANT PARTIC TRANSPOT ENERGY OPERATIONA L ENERGY TRADERS TRANSPORT There is a further interesting comparison: how does Shambala rate in comparison with other holidays taken by people attending the festival? We asked what other major holiday trips had been taken, or would be taken, in 2007. We then calculated the travel emissions, took an average of the various trips by each individual, and assumed as a first approximation that travel was also 82% of the total. The result is rather startling: average of other trips was 579kg per head, compared with Shambala at 51kg per head. Of course this is skewed by relatively few very long plane trips taken by a minority, and we did not adjust for the lengths of these holidays, but the graph below shows that Shambala does very well as a low-carbon holiday. 51kg well spent! 6000 5000 4000 AVERAGE TRIP CO2 IN 2007 3000 2000 1000 SHAMBALA SCORES SIMILARLY TO THESE SMALLEST BARS 0 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 SAMPLED INDIVIDUALS SHAMBALA 2008 Many of the figures collected in 2007 can be assumed similar for 2008, although there was no further survey and the uncertainties of 2007 should be noted.. There are also some new data and changes, with positive efforts to reduce emissions. In 2008 there were many more people, almost 9000. The same data table can be used, with amendments, or pro-rated at a ratio of 6.7:9 where no other data are available. CATEGORIES OF TRAVEL OPERA- EMBODIED WASTE EMISSIONS GENERATION TIONAL IN GOODS & ENERGY MATERIALS FUNCTIONAL PARTIES ORGANISERS/VENUE 1600 4734 7000 PARTICIPANTS 361000 3589 29050 48652 THIRD PARTY 5600 10578 1210 SUBCONTRACTORS TOTALS 368200 18900 37260 48652 TRAVEL Pre-festival Organisational emissions were assumed to be similar to 2007. For participants and ‘crew’ average round-trip-length was assumed to be the same at 420km. Some data have been provided on vehicles: 2836 cars and 832 live-in vehicles. In the absence of a fresh survey, this remains the only way to estimate emissions. If cars have the same average emission rate as 2007 (200g/km), the car emissions can be estimated at 2836 x 420 (km) x 0.2(kg) = 238224kg. Live-in vans are more difficult to evaluate but at 250g/km we would get 832 x 420 x 0.25 = 87360kg. Total for private vehicles = 325584, say in round figure 326 tonnes. To these must be added the festival-goers who came by public transport. In 2007 the sample suggested 14% by train, 7% by hired coaches and 1.5% by bus. 450 people (5%)came in coaches from Birmingham, London, Bristol and Sheffield, with a total of 1070kg or 2.3kg a head. A shuttle was provided from the station and numbers recorded, a total of 943 or 10.5%, although perhaps some had other arrangements to get from the station. Say 12% or 1080 people. The emissions would then be 1080 x 420 x 0.065 = 29484kg. If a similar proportion as last year came by service buses, that would be 1.5% x 9000 = 135 x 420 x 0.089 = 5046kg. So we estimate that 2430 or 19% came by public transport with total emissions of 35600kg, or 21kg per person. If these estimates are correct, then the number who came by private vehicle is 7290, with an average of 44.7kg per person. This suggests that occupancy at just under 2 is closer to the 2007 estimate based on vehicle numbers rather than the estimate based on interviews (3.5, which admittedly seemed high at the time). This casts some doubt on the accuracy of the 2007 sample, and makes comparisons of the two years difficult. It also means that the estimates of the proportion coming by various public transport modes, also taken from the 2007 sample, might be inaccurate as well. The bald result is that total emissions from participant transport are 361 tonnes, or 40kg per person, much higher than 2007, but with a suggestion that 2007’s estimate was too low. In 2008 there is a much sharper (and more plausible) distinction between the emissions per head from private transport (44kg) and public transport (21kg). Turning to Third Party travel emissions, in lieu of real data we can pro-rate at x 9/6.7. OPERATIONAL ENERGY While there are clear figures, they are not so easy to interpret as those of 2007. Recorded fuel use was 6000litres of reclaimed bio-diesel and 600litres of red diesel. Red diesel has an emissions factor of 2.63, so 600 x 2.63 = 1578kg. The factor for biodiesel depends on a number of processing and supply factors, but is generally agreed to be around 20% of mineral diesel. So 6000 x 0.53 = 3156kg, a total of 4734kg. This is a remarkable improvement on 2007. Data for participants and traders are pro-rated from 2007 estimates. EMBODIED ENERGY The equipment and facilities provided for the festival by the organisers was very similar to 2007, but has been adjusted up slightly to allow for more toilets and some other factors. Embodied energy for participants and Third Party contractors has been prorated at 9/6.7. WASTE Solid waste figures for 2008 are as follows: CO2e Saved/ Net Weight Factor Incurre Emission (t) t/t Credit d s tonnes Cans 1.54 3 4.2 Cans & Plastic Bottles Mixed 0 Cardboard 1.46 2.1 3.07 Compost 4.2 4.5 18.9 Cooking Oil 0 General Waste by RCV 30.22 2 60.4 General Waste by skip 8.4 2 16.8 Glass 4.04 0.5 2.02 Paper 0 Pallets 0 Plastic Bottles 0.66 1.5 0.99 Scrap Metal 0 Wood 0 Other 0 TOTALS 29.18 77.2 48 This represents a serious effort to get to grips with the waste problem. In particular separate collection of putrescible waste has both removed a high-factor component and reduced the emissions factor for general waste. The specification that all eating implements should be compostable appears to have worked well. In spite of almost doubling the number of participants, the net emissions (on the assumptions used) have fallen. To the total of 48 tonnes, the prorated liquid waste estimate is added at 652kg, giving a overall waste total of 48652kg. OVERALL CARBON FOOTPRINT FOR SHAMBALA FESTIVAL 2008: The 473000kg or around 473 tonnes. The fingerprint is shown in Chart 4, and is noticeably different from 2007. In particular the contributions from operational energy and waste are much reduced, in absolute as well as proportional terms. This of course raises the proportion attributable to participant travel from 66% to 78%. At just over 15kg per participant per day, this is lower than 2007, although as we have seen, it is probable that some of the estimates for 2007 were uncertain. 2008 is almost certainly better, and there has been dramatic improvement in many areas. It confirms the previous year’s finding that sustainable holidays are possible, points the way to further improvements, and sets new standards for events of this kind. CHART 4 TRADER ORG TRAVEL EMBODIED WASTE PART EMBODIED ORG EMBODIED TRADER ENERGY PART ENERGY ORG OPERATIONAL ENERGY TRADER TRAVEL PART TRAVEL