It is with great pleasure that we announce the findings of our ecological footprint study, begun last year. The Findhorn Foundation ecovillage has recorded the lowest ecological footprint ever recorded in the developed world – just half the UK national average.
The study was undertaken by GEN-Europe (the Global Ecovillage Network) in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Research Centre (SDRC) in Forres. Technical support was provided by the internationally-recognised footprinting consultants, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) based at the University of York. Deniz Dincel from Turkey collected the data, sponsored by the EU Volunteer Service, and she also raised funds for the project.
SEI’s John Barrett, who played an active role in the study, said: “SEI has now undertaken a footprint analysis of a number of communities across the UK and the Findhorn ecovillage has the lowest to date. We believe that everyone has something to learn from their low footprint lifestyle.”
Key features are:
* Our footprint is the lowest footprint ever measured for any permanent community
* Our footprints are, for home and heating 21.5%, food 37%, travel 43% and consumables 46% of the national average
* The community scored just 6% of the national average for car mileage, primarily due to the limited need for commuting. However, our air mileage is much higher than the national average
* We have a low home and energy score for our footprint because The Park is a net exporter of electricity through our wind turbines
* Guests to the community are included in the footprint
The study was managed by Jonathan Dawson, community resident and president of GEN-Europe. When asked how the community was able to achieve these remarkable results, Jonathan explained: “A high number of people eat food that is locally grown, organic and vegetarian – and this makes a big difference to the size of the footprint. In addition, many residents live in energy-efficient houses and the ecovillage’s four wind turbines not only provide for the community’s own needs, but make it a net exporter of electricity.”
Foundation Management Team focaliser, Bettina Jespersen said: “What this shows is that communal living can be part of the solution. Whether you live in London or on a farm in Mexico, shared resources contribute to a lighter footprint on the planet.”