Climate Change and The Landscape Group: Towards Net Zero
In its efforts to support the work of the RPS Climate Change Working Group, the Landscape Group has adopted a range of measures aimed at making the group’s activities carbon neutral and minimising its other environmental impacts. These measures are being introduced over the next few months, some with immediate effect and some once the covid-related social distancing measures no longer serve to deter or prevent the use of public transport and car sharing.
As landscape photographers, most of us enjoy travelling to locations that we find inspiring and many of our events, therefore, take place in places that are more remote and not well-served by public transport. We are very conscious that our events programme is likely to be a significant contributor to the RPS’ overall carbon footprint. Reducing this footprint therefore focuses heavily, but not exclusively, on events. To the extent that it is possible, we hope to reduce the amount of travel by car to attend our events and, where this is not possible, to mitigate remaining travel by means of carbon offsetting.
We acknowledge that carbon offsetting is second-best to avoiding emissions in the first place but we believe that it can make a valuable contribution to making the landscape group’s activities carbon neutral. To do this we have chosen a certified UK-based offsetting organisation Forest Carbon that operates through planting woodlands that genuinely would not otherwise have been planted.
Our initiatives include:
- Developing a range of workshops that aim to encourage photographic projects close to home or with minimal travel
- Wherever relevant and feasible, event location information will contain details of how to arrive by public transport as well as by car
- Workshop / field trip leaders will be asked to offer pickups from the nearest rail station or bus stop where this is feasible and can be fitted into the schedule. This will not be introduced while social distancing rules continue to apply
- When participants request pickup from an airport, the group will make a charge for this equivalent to the offsetting cost of the participant’s flights. This charge will be waived if the participant can demonstrate that their flight emissions have already been offset*
- When hiring vehicles, priority will be given to finding electric or hybrid vehicles rather than the cheapest vehicle available
- Event booking pages will include an facility for participants to indicate that they are willing / able to car share with other participants travelling from a similar home location
- Adding a non-optional offset charge to all event ticket prices
- Conferences and seminars will be arranged in locations with easy access (ideally walking distance) from a rail station
- Selecting significant supplies and suppliers (eg catering and accommodation providers) at least in part on sustainability criteria.
* The offset charge has been calculated following an analysis of actual miles travelled by event participants during 2019. The charge will be reviewed periodically.
Members who wish to offset their own travel and other emissions can do so via Forest Carbon at https://www.forestcarbon.co.uk/carbon-offsetting-options
How a picture tells the story of Climate emergency by RPS Science Photographer of the Year finalist Solmaz Daryani