The Wellbeing Summit for Social Change – Acting Responsibly for our Planet
Recommendations from our pro bono partner, UreCulture
At The Wellbeing Project, we understand the urgent need to preserve our natural environment to protect the health and wellbeing of current and future generations. We believe that the health and wellbeing of the planet is intrinsically connected to the health and well-being of all people, and that social and economic sustainable development will only succeed if environmental components achieve their stability such that communities around the world can experience a good quality of life.
We are committed to planting a seed to bring sustainability to the core of our objectives, and are beginning the process of embedding this into event planning together with the pro bono consultancy of one of our specialist partners, UreCulture. For our first edition we are carrying out an audit of our carbon and circularity footprint, which will help build our future sustainability plan. The results of the audit will be presented transparently after the Summit and donations in compensation for this impact will be carried out. Our sustainability plan will include a detailed sustainability footprint audit, including creative and innovative solutions to reduce our negative impact and a reporting process which involves carbon circularity and social footprints. Our ambition for TWBS24 is to align with best practice in sustainability from the outset of our planning.
HOW CAN YOU MINIMIZE YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT?
WHILST IN BILBAO
The venues for the conference are all close together, so most journeys should be possible by walking, for most participants. If you do need to use a vehicle at some point, please choose public transport rather than taxis where you can (although of course, we understand this will not be possible for everyone).
Your Hotel Stay
– One of the largest parts of a hotel’s carbon footprint is the daily washing of towels and linen. Ask your hotel for their policy on this, and whether they have the option to only wash things on request rather than washing everything every day by default. You can also leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door when out to prevent unnecessary washing.
– Bring your own toiletries, and leave those mini bottles of soap and shampoo in the room! Hotels generate huge amounts of waste from single-use toiletries.
– Be sensible in your use of energy and water, like you would at home. It’s tempting to take extra-long showers, leave lights and appliances on etc. when we’re staying away from home, but the impact on the climate is still the same.
– Ask your hotel about their environmental policies and make it clear these issues are important to you as a guest.
DURING THE WELLBEING SUMMIT
Food and Drink
– Look for food options that are lower-carbon where possible – that means reducing meat and dairy, and seeking out less processed and more locally-produced food where possible.
– Avoid the use of single-use plastics and avoid buying plastic water bottles. 80 percent of plastic water bottles end up in landfills and it takes up to 1,000 years for every single bottle to decompose. Please bring your own water bottle and refill as necessary.
HOW CAN YOU HELP OUR PLANET?
Compensating for your Climate Impact
Rather than buying conventional “carbon offsets” (which can vary hugely in reliability and impact), donating to the programmes below will make a positive climate difference in a fast enough timeframe to help with the climate crisis. These won’t make your emissions disappear, but they will do something useful to help compensate for the climate impact of your flight.
In the non-profit industry a suggested benchmark for donations would be USD 70-USD 140 per tonne of CO2e. You can check the CO2e impact of your flight through this website.
1/ Cutting Fossil Fuel Use
ClientEarth is an environmental charity with a unique approach. They use existing environmental laws to challenge polluting projects – and win. In the last few years their actions have helped stop the construction of three huge coal plants in Poland and Germany and a giant gas plant in the UK, amongst a range of other victories. You can read more about ClientEarth here and donate here.
Solar Aid work to help communities in Africa ‘leapfrog’ over dirty energy and build a clean energy future. Their mission is to provide solar lighting to every home, school and clinic in Africa by 2030, replacing millions of polluting kerosene lamps and preventing the need for new fossil-fuelled power stations. They don’t simply hand out solar lights – they work with local partners to build knowledge, capacity and skills in communities with the aim of creating a long-term sustainable solar lighting market that can thrive without outside support. You can read more about SolarAid here and donate here.
2/ Defending and Preserving Forests:
Did you know… nearly all forests across the globe are inhabited? For nearly 30 years the Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) have worked alongside Indigenous organisations and forest communities to advocate for their rights.
The FPP believes the smartest way to protect the world’s forests is by investing in the people who have managed them for millennia, and have a history of scoring crucial victories in defence of their lands. The FPP’s Forest Visions Partnership fund provides money directly to Indigenous groups and communities whose lands are under threat— to help secure their rights, protect their cultures, and defend their territories. Support the Forest Visions Partnership fund here. Please note, FPP can only accept donations from foundations or individuals.
3/ Supporting Regenerative Agriculture:
The AgroEcology Fund supports inspiring projects around the world that are changing the way we produce food. Industrial agriculture is a huge source of emissions – not just from fuel use and livestock, but nitrous emissions from fertilisers and massive amounts of carbon due to short-sighted soil management. Agroecology (combining traditional methods of farming with appropriate renewable technology) doesn’t just prevent emissions in the short term, it has the potential to pull huge amounts of carbon back into the soil in the longer term, while supporting local livelihoods and sustainably feeding the world. Read more about the Agroecology Fund here and donate here. Based partly on research by the Gallery Climate Coalition.
This list of programmes above is based partly on research by the Gallery Climate Coalition and Danny Chivers.
Create Conversations Around Our Planetary Crisis During the Summit:
Talk to people about the climate crisis and how it relates to the work being done at the summit. It’s probably the greatest threat to our collective wellbeing on this planet right now, including the huge mental and emotional toll it is taking on all of us. It can sometimes feel hard to raise as a topic but it’s vital that we do, otherwise we will not take the collective action needed to avert disaster. Look for ways to start a conversation about how we can all urgently reduce the carbon emissions from our work and practice, including ways to make The Wellbeing Summit for Social Change lower-carbon in the future.
ABOUT OUR FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY PLAN AND THESE RECOMMENDATIONS
The consultancy work relating to our future sustainability plan, the 2021 environmental audit and these recommendations have been developed by our pro bono partner UreCulture who work at the intersection of the arts and sustainability.
UreCulture’s goal is to support the cultural and non-profit industries align with sustainability best practice, whilst also maximizing the potential of the arts to catalyse change for a better future for the planet and its people. UreCulture works with Danny Chivers who is an environmental expert and carbon analyst.
These guidelines have been developed by UreCulture who work at the intersection of the arts and sustainability. UreCulture’s goal is to support the cultural and non-profit industries align with sustainability best practice, whilst also maximizing the potential of the arts to catalyse change for a better future for the planet and its people. UreCulture works with Danny Chivers who is an environmental expert and carbon analyst.