For those who weren’t able to attend The Gathering this year, here is an update on a small pilot project we undertook last year to explore how to measure and assess the carbon emissions associated with touring in the Highlands & Islands.

Some of you will recall the little green audience return cards that were distributed at venues that hosted the Doras Duinte / Rough Island Double Bill that was on the road last spring. We worked with Comar to collect data on performer travel, venue energy and audience travel at 17 venues on the tour.

This data was analysed to better understand where the most impact was and to give us a starting point for considering what solutions and approaches might be available to help reduce this in future.

Based on the data collected we built a prototype tool which allows performers to plot their tours, measure distances and ensure that tour planning is as efficient as possible. We also allowed for tools for calculating emissions based on vehicle type and weight.

As part of the audience feedback scheme we provided an incentive to audiences to respond, which was that for each feedback card received we would donate 50p towards planting trees in the Caledonian Forest. As a result of these returns we planted a grove of 10 trees which was calculated to more than offset the total usage of the tour.

We hope to work in the future to grow and develop this prototype tool and to help promoters, performers and audiences to understand more about their own carbon emissions and how to better manage these.

To view the live prototype and the data we collected visit: http://sustainability.thinkinform.com

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With thanks to all promoters and venues who assisted with collecting data; to all audience members who filled in return cards; to our funders – AmbITion Scotland and to project partners Comar and Trees For Life.

The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands)

Supporting live performance across the Highlands & Islands as part of a central, celebrated and indispensable part of the cultural life of Scotland.

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