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Sugar cane, bubbles and concrete jelly babies

The world’s first carbon footprinting exhibition

After reading various tweets about concrete jelly babies and bubbles at the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Footprint exhibition this week, I paid a visit to see how they related to carbon footprinting.

Future Gallery

Future Gallery

The Carbon Trust Footprint Exhibition was held in the Future Gallery, formerly home to The Photographers’ Gallery, from April 2-4. A well-chosen location to reach the mass public in Central London during the Easter break. The Carbon Trust, an organisation who would not usually be involved in curating art exhibitions, aim to help businesses, governments and public sector organisations to move to a low-carbon economy through carbon reduction.

We created the gallery to inspire people to take a fresh look at carbon, and shine a light on brands that aretaking positive action to limit their environmental impact”, said Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust.

BT

BT

Along the entrance, canvases are hung with facts on carbon related trends including “83% of young adults in China would be more loyal to a brand if they could see it is reducing its carbon footprint”. The entrance leads to a room which contains approximately 15 displays by high profile brands who work with Carbon Trust, including, Tesco, Danone, Walkers, Dyson, Loomis and SodaStream. Each display is supported by an A4 page of text which explains the company’s efforts to reducing their carbon footprints.

Here’s a brief summary on what was exhibited:

Tarmac

Tarmac

“Tarmac was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard in 2010…Tarmac has cut carbon emissions per tonne of cement by 41% over the last 10 years…In addition, Tarmac has developed a Carbon Footprint Calculator which enables it to give customers the carbon impact of any Tarmac product, from any site.”

Danone

Danone

“Danone has worked with the Carbon Trust to reduce the carbon footprint of its Actimel bottles by 65%… The carbon reduction was achieved by switching from a petroleum-based bottle to a 95% plant-based bottle, using plastic derived from sugar cane.”

SodaStream

SodaStream

“The Carbon Trust has certified that the carbon footprint of sparkling water made with the Fizz Home Drinks Maker is 85% less than a generic sparkling water footprint for products sold in PET bottles in the UK.”

Loomis

Loomis

“Loomis UK measured the footprint of its Cash and Valuables in Transit vehicles and earned the right to use first transportation services company to carry the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label.”

The first of its kind, the exhibition on carbon footprinting was quite interesting and successfully highlighted the on-going work of the Carbon Trust as well as the efforts being made by the companies they support.

There was an opportunity to make the exhibition more visual to keep the viewers’ attention for longer and to make a greater impact. The physical pieces on display would become meaningless without the supporting text. Therefore the message may have been lost on many of the viewers.

Whitbread

Whitbread

All in all, it was interesting to see carbon footprinting breaking into the art scene and making new attempts to reach the public, to encourage them to reconsider where their consumer goods have come from. More events like this would be welcomed.

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