A sustainable exhibition

Transitions (5-27 May 2018) is a sustainable exhibition – and it’s carbon neutral

Here’s how…

Transitions is a carbon neutral event. Actually, the lifecycle of the Transitions project, from the first photograph, is carbon neutral, but I’ll focus on the event here. Activities measured for their carbon footprint are:

  • Set up or the transporting of goods;
  • Production of the exhibition’s works: printing, framing and mounting photographic works, and production of the Transitions book;
  • The opening (Saturday, 5 May): drinks and food;
  • Electricity over the duration: 5-27 May 2018 (based on like-for-like usage in the gallery space); and as used in studio to produce the exhibition’s works;
  • Advertising.

A brief explanation of the ‘carbons’

The footprint, neutrality, and offsetting (or carbon credits)

An Australian company, Pangolin Associates, measures the carbon footprint. Pangolin takes the activities listed above into account and determines each impact and ‘scope’. Put another way, each fall into a type: the carbon emissions for which I am responsible, and those due to my suppliers’ goods and services, e.g. my framer, the winery supplying the reds and whites at the opening, and the printer of the book.

Pangolin calculates Transitions’ total emissions in tonnes. I then offset those emissions with certified carbon credits. Carbon credit projects prevent or eliminate greenhouse gases. They are often forest/biodiversity conservation or clean energy initiatives. Technically, one carbon credit = one tonne of greenhouse gas(es). Offsetting makes Transitions a ‘net zero emissions’ exhibition – or, carbon neutral.

Trees and corridors

There are amazing carbon credit projects across the globe that also help sustain communities and create jobs. For Transitions I selected two Australian initiatives: one in Tasmania (avoided deforestation), and another in Western Australia (biodiversity corridor conservation). Living in the Blue Mountains, on the doorstep of World Heritage wilderness, these two are close to my heart.

Keep the footprint low, offset less

That’s obviously a key part of a sustainable activity. Here’s a bit more about choices for this event.

Going local, Transitions’ suppliers include:

  • Springwood Printing Company in Faulconbridge, just down the mountain a few hundred metres. They’ve printed the book. The paper is Australian recycled (FSC), with vegetable inks.
  • Ross Hill Wines in Orange NSW for the opening’s wine. Ross Hill is also certified carbon neutral – the first Australian winery to achieve the Federal Government-recognised certification (NCOS).
  • 4 Pines Beer for the beer drinkers. 4 Pines brews in Sydney, and they set a great example for ethical business, they’re an accredited BCorp.

Printed works

I print my own works on an Epson wide format printer in my studio. That’s going really local, my studio. Epson focusses on the environmental friendliness of their printers. Mine is seriously energy efficient.

In studio work for the exhibition

I mainly use natural lighting, but my studio is otherwise energy efficient: lighting, heating (essential, I Iive in the upper mountains), all equipment. Importantly all of it runs from solar panel generation.


Admittedly there is a lot of driving, to shoots, to pick up and deliver, the to’ing and fro’ing. I drive a PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle). I mainly run my vehicle on electric, which is charged via solar panels.

Tree planting

You may have noticed elsewhere on this website I’ve donated to the reforestation not- for-profit organisation, Trees For Life. Feathermark has planted a lot of trees now, this is different from the carbon credits. It’s simply a donation to reforest Australia in a managed, sustainable way. For Transitions, I’ve planted 10 trees for the exhibition and 20 for the book production. I also plant a tree for each work sold.

So come to Transitions at Everglades – and feel good about it.