The Findhorn Ecovillage has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery to explore what is required for a village with residents and businesses, buildings, gardens and roads to achieve carbon neutrality.

This means measuring all emissions, even those from suppliers and visitors. The work will set annual goals for reducing the community's carbon footprint (7.1tCO2e/capita in 2019* 3.2tCO2e excl. guest travel), already lower than the UK average (12.7tCO2e/capita) but needing considerable further reductions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Measures to achieve this can include increasing solar energy installations, replacing oil and gas heating with heat pumps, encouraging the use of electric vehicles by installing additional charge points, securing financing for necessary investments, and creating a support system for individuals to reassess their lifestyle so they consume fewer resources.

The Findhorn Ecovillage attracts visitors from around the globe who want to learn how to establish an eco-village, including food production methods that regenerate the soil. However, this has accumulated a carbon footprint for international travel (2,122tCO2e in 2019) that is unsustainable. One challenge will be to disseminate our experience online so that participants can stay home while benefiting from leading-edge knowledge.

On the road to net zero by 2030, a carbon offsetting service is offered by Park Ecovillage Trust. Guests and residents can balance emissions that they have not yet been able to reduce by investing in tree planting and forestry projects in developing countries where growing trees will draw down carbon dioxide and store it in the biomass.

July 2022