Progressing towards goal 2 of the Outdoor Friendly Pledge
The goal is clear: to reduce our overall energy consumption at events and in particular, to reduce the use of diesel generators as a power source. However, we have some very significant challenges.
Our event locations are situated in some of the wildest, remotest and beautiful landscapes in the UK. From an event planning perspective operating in these stunning locations normally means we are building our event centres and overnight camps (for the SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day™, Dragon’s Back Race® and Cape Wrath Ultra®) which are all in fields with no existing infrastructure. With no water or electrical services, all our infrastructure has to be built temporarily, which means bringing in our own generators, water bowsers, marquees, catering equipment, tents etc.
A remote overnight campsite on day four of the 2019 Dragon's Back Race® - Finding greener and more sustainable, but also mobile, power sources for such locations will be a challenge ©No Limits Photography
A minority of our event venues are fixed like our Event Centre in Kinlochleven for Skyline Scotland® and we clearly have different opportunities at these locations to reduce our energy consumption.
Our main goal is to reduce our energy usage across all the events and wherever possible we will use renewable energy. For 2021, we will need to understand the amount of energy we are using (we have never measured this before) and use this as a benchmark to reduce from. Our benchmark will certainly improve year on year as we start to understand our energy usage and find more efficient ways to reduce our usage through technology and efficient planning.
We understand there are greener technologies available for event power generation, but often these are not suitable for our events. This is because we often operate in remote and difficult to access locations and we have to move our overnight camps every day, for multiple days. For example, large hybrid generators or solar pods that are used at large festivals would typically be delivered to site on large lorries, having taken days to commission, and then remain static for the duration of the event. It is fundamental that our generators are 100% mobile and very quick to commission because they need to be moved on a daily basis.
We will pledge to use the most sustainable technology to supply our overnight camps, but this also needs to be balanced with usability.
What we already do:
- Use energy efficient LED lighting inside our event marquees and LED festoon lighting outside.
- Do not provide routine overnight lighting at our remote overnight camps to embrace the wilderness experience and reduce our power consumption.
- Use battery powered devices to run our safety management systems early and late each day to reduce the overall time that our generators need to provide power.
What we are pledging to do:
- Accurately measure our power consumption throughout 2021.
- Investigate, develop and test the use of sustainable technology where possible (hybrid generators, solar pods etc.) for our event power requirements.
- Work with event stakeholders to improve the infrastructure at key locations so that we are able to use mains power.
- Work with our landlord at the Ourea Events HQ to switch our electricity provider to a 100% renewables source.
- Use more energy efficient equipment.
- Understand how efficient our electrical systems are and plan for efficient power management.