We’re ‘walking the talk’, transforming our operating systems to eradicate emissions and become a working example of regenerative transformation.
We’ve joined the Race to Zero, through our partners Planet Mark, pledging to become a climate positive organisation by 2030.
What does this mean?
We’re on the journey to net zero and have committed to become a climate positive organisation by 2030.
As well as our target to cut our own carbon emissions by two thirds (66%) by 2030, being climate positive means taking more greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere than we add. To do this, we’re working to create our own carbon sinks by respecting, protecting and restoring nature.
At a glance
We’re rebuilding relationships between people and the natural world to help stabilise the climate and create a healthier planet.
We’re retrofitting our operating systems to reduce emissions - using green infrastructure, geothermal energy, electric transport.
We’re designing future Eden Projects to be built and run sustainably.
We’re moving towards low carbon, circular systems - by recovering water, resources and generating our own energy.
We’re protecting and repairing nature to create natural carbon stores.
We can’t do it alone and will continue to work in partnership with our supply chain, supporting sustainable, regenerative industry outside of the organisation as well.
Eden's climate positive strategy
*Update: According to the 2023 IPCC AR6 Climate Change Synthesis Report, global net anthropogenic GHG emissions were estimated to be 59 ± 6.6 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2019.
To help us understand and tackle our greenhouse gas emissions, we've divided them into three areas (scopes 1-3) that align with UN greenhouse gas protocol guidelines.
Scope 1 (direct – accounts for 14% of our emissions):
Heating, cooling, moving around
Scope 2 (indirect – 11%):
Scope 3 (external – 75%):
Buying in food, goods, materials (includes the CO2 produced in making and transporting things), travel (staff, visitors, suppliers) and building things
We heat our Biomes using our onsite geothermal plant. 100% of our electricity is generated via off-site renewables, which helps drive demand for the national grid to switch to clean energy sources. We currently cook our food using fossil fuels.
Vehicles and travel
The majority of our Eden fleet vehicles run on renewable electricity but most visitors currently come in combustion engine cars.
Around 10,000 tonnes of carbon are locked up in the soil that our plants depend on.
85% of our catering supplies are sourced locally. Items in our shops are made locally and from recycled or recyclable materials. However, incoming goods and services (along with staff commutes and business travel) account for a major share of emissions.
Water and waste
70% of our waste is recycled. Over two thirds of our irrigation and loo flushing water is recycled rainwater. However, processing waste and water still currently contribute to our emissions.
Reducing our carbon footprint
We aim to reduce total emissions by 7% each year.
By March 2025, we aim to have reduced scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% and scope 3 emissions by 28%.
By March 2030, we aim to have reduced scope 1 and 2 emissions by 100% and scope 3 emissions by 55%.
These targets will be reviewed regularly (at least every 5 years, in line with the Paris Agreement) and our progress will be reported publicly every year.
Progress on our carbon footprint so far
2021/22 compared to 2019/20:
We reduced our emissions by 17% – ahead of our target.
We reduced our direct/scope 1 emissions by 22%.
We reduced our indirect/scope 2 emissions (using the grid average carbon emissions factor) by 31%.
With Planet Mark we calculated* that we reduced our external/scope 3 emissions by 14%.
*Emissions calculations follow the GHG (greenhouse gas) Protocol for Corporate Emission Reporting and are verified and certified by Planet Mark for scope 1, 2 and limited scope 3 emissions.
We’re transforming our energy infrastructure and demonstrating what’s really possible.
Our geothermal plant has been producing heat since June 2023. This heats our Biomes, helping to completely phase out fossil fuel use. This also heats our new nursery facility, Growing Point, where we now grow plants for our gardens, restaurants and shop.
Progress so far
We’ve completed the pipework for our geothermal energy plant, and in June 2023 we began heating the Biomes and plant nursery using this new system.
Despite a 13% increase in energy use from 2020/21 to 2021/22 that reflects a bounce back post Covid, we’ve reduced our core energy consumption by 17% compared to 2019/20.
We’ve reduced energy use through lower and more efficient use of air handling units, whilst still maintaining optimal ambient conditions to meet the Mediterranean and Rainforest Biome temperature requirements. We’ve also reduced energy consumption across the site.
We aim to have cut visitor travel emissions by 55%.
We’re taking fossil fuel vehicles out and bringing electric buggies and an electric car fleet in. We’re installing infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, increasing our public transport routes and exploring how we can use Park and Ride from further afield.
Progress so far
We’ve installed our electric vehicle charging hub, which is powered by renewable energy and supports our visitors in making more zero emission journeys to and from our destination.
We are protecting, restoring and creating natural carbon ‘sinks’.
We are working to help nature take carbon dioxide gas out of the atmosphere and lock the carbon up in plants and in the ground as a solid.
We will continue to make soil, grow plants, regenerate landscapes, make and use biochar, work on national and international regenerative projects and run education programmes – all activities that also increase biodiversity.
Reclaiming and restoring land and regenerating landscapes
Exceeding national targets on biodiversity gain
Regenerating soils and monitoring soil carbon capture
We’re working on projects both nationally and internationally, including being the home of the National Wildflower Centre and continuing the regeneration of a dry tropical forest in Costa Rica, to increase biodiversity and fight climate change.
All of our activities are aligned to respect, protect and repair the natural world, halting biodiversity loss and deforestation. We avoid palm oil where possible. Where it is used, we only purchase or sell products that contain RSPO-certified palm oil. We support relevant certification schemes that support our mission, such as Fairtrade, FairWild and Rainforest Alliance.
We’re developing our own CO2 removal projects to generate our own carbon credits, such as woodland and wildflower meadow creation and biochar production. This is known as insetting.
Progress so far
In Cornwall, through the National Wildflower Centre and Living Landscapes Team, we have created 5.17 hectares of new wildflower habitats in our outer estate as well as continuing to manage 1.73 hectares of established wildflower fields.
We have also created wildflower verges along our main access roads using a mixture of annuals and perennials to ensure wildflowers will be a key element of our site for years to come. The pollinator impact of the meadows will be monitored by our research collaboration with the University of Exeter.
Eden Project Cornwall is over two decades old. We're retrofitting old site systems to reduce emissions from our operations, implementing circular systems and reducing our energy use. All future Edens will be designed, built and run in a sustainable way.
We're installing clean technologies, replacing gas boilers and cooking systems, installing more solar PV and electric chargers, exploring the best circular systems for water and waste and increasing energy efficiency (the best kWh is the one that isn’t used).
We are aiming for zero carbon, regenerative design and material use that align with the UN sustainable development goals. All future Eden Projects will be leading examples of ultra-sustainable construction.
Local materials and circular systems
We’re sourcing materials locally to avoid transport emissions and maximising reusable construction materials.
Progress so far
Our new on-site nursery Growing Point uses recycled and reclaimed materials, geothermal heat and harvested rainwater and will provide plants and food for our gardens, restaurants and shop.
We will complete a whole life cycle carbon assessment of Growing Point to inform our construction approach on all future Eden Projects.
We’ll continue to develop responsible supply chains in order to reach net zero by reducing emissions from external goods, service and travel. By 2030, we aim to reduce these emissions by 55%.
Responsible supply chains
75% of our carbon emissions currently come from goods and materials coming into the project along with staff and visitor travel.
To help reduce this we have developed a sustainable procurement policy that seeks to:
Achieve procurement decisions that are economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound.
Benefit the local economy and reduce our carbon footprint by sourcing from local producers and suppliers of goods and services.
Support global trade and communities in emerging economies through fair trade schemes.
Condemn compulsory or forced labour and support the Government's implementation of the Protocol on Forced Labour and other relevant treaties.
We’re developing a charter that will encourage suppliers to adopt their own decarbonisation pathways that align with ours.
Local skills and industry
We are sourcing goods and services in ways that minimise product and transport emissions. We are supporting and developing sustainable, local supply chains.
Progress so far
We’ve calculated the extended carbon footprint of our supply chain, having undertaken an emissions hotspot study with Planet Mark.
We are sharing this data with our suppliers and partners to help minimise the environmental impact of our supply chain and operations together.
We already recycle 70% of our waste, and over two thirds of our irrigation and loo flushing water is recycled rainwater. However, processing waste and water still currently contribute to our emissions, so we will balance these unavoidable emissions by creating more natural carbon stores.
We’ve still got more to do in the Race to Zero:
Supplier charter – working with our supply chain and key suppliers, we’ll develop the supplier charter to reduce external/scope 3 emissions.
Energy auditing – we’ll complete our ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) audit this year.
Natural carbon removals – we’ll further develop opportunities to create carbon sinks on our own sites.
Energy and transport – we’ll expand our EV charging provision to meet growing demand. We’ll support this with the generation of our own electricity.
As well as everything listed above, we are working on:
Engagement – we provide our audiences with hope and agency in response to the planetary emergency, demonstrating that the solutions do exist and communicating this through content that is underpinned by sound science. Our Science Advisory Panel informs content development and helps determine our position and policies.
Financing – we continually reinvest into infrastructure on site and work with external funding partners to unlock the benefits of renewable technologies.
Governance – the Enabling Leadership team (ELT) works with all the teams at Eden Project Cornwall to support and enable our mission related projects. The central Eden Project support teams operate each Eden Project site, project and programme.
Join us on the journey
And … we will share our story with you. Join us on the journey.
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