Adelaide Local Meeting's carbon footprint audit - a summary

 

The Meeting House complex uses 1856 kWh/annum of electricity, valued at $445 and responsible for emissions equivalent to 1.89 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Based on average Meeting House and facility usage patterns, this translates to 4.46kW per hour of use, or $1.07 per hour, with emissions of 4.55 kg carbon dioxide equivalent hourly.

Embodied carbon emissions from the construction and maintenance of all the buildings on the site amounts (over a 40 year period as specified in the audit procedures) to approximately 31 tonnes of carbon dioxide. In truth, this may be an overestimation, as the Meeting House itself is over 150 years old, built of wood and natural slate and was, in the main, transported to its location by wind power (sailing ship).

Individuals (that's us!) produce approximately 37.5 g of carbon dioxide per hour, whether we are using the Meeting House or not. The other living things (trees) on the site may have sequestered several tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lives, and may be acting as an ongoing sink to the order of approximately 25 kg carbon dioxide per annum.

Waste generated on the site is separated into rubbish for landfill and green waste. Approximately 1820L of waste is sent to landfill each year, and this generates in the order of 450kg of carbon dioxide per annum. Recycling the site’s 6240L of green waste through aerobic composting sequesters the carbon into the soil and is carbon neutral.

Mains water use on the site is unknown. An estimate of 6.5 kL mains water is consumed on the site each year with a greenhouse gas impact of approximately 11.16 kg of carbon dioxide per annum, while treatment of sewer waste accounts for 201.6 kg carbon dioxide annually.

Rain water captured on the site amounts to approximately 16% of the rain that falls onto the two roofs available for catchment. An estimate of runoff to stormwater is 184 kilolitres per annum.

The Meeting House currently displays several energy saving features, such as efficient lights and timers on appliances.

The carbon footprint for the Meeting House site is summarised below –

Area

Emissions per annum

Emissions per hour of use*

Emissions per hour of use per person**

Energy use

1893 kg

4.55 kg

152 g

Water use

11.16 kg

0.03 kg

1 g

Waste & sewer

651.6 kg

1.57 kg

52 g

Embodied carbon in the buildings (based on 40 yr figure)

777 kg

1.87 kg

62 g

Total carbon footprint

3332.8 kg (3.33 tonnes)

8.02 kg

267 g

*assumes the Meeting House & facilities are used for approximately 8 hours per week

**assumes Meeting attendance of thirty people

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© 2009 Religious Society of Friends: South Australia Regional Meeting