Some offices organise a sweepstake for the World Cup. However, perhaps predictably (unlike the semi-final on Tuesday) we got interested in the associated emissions of this occasion. We started to think – what would the carbon story of a global event like this look like? Luckily we could turn to FIFA's own comprehensive calculations document to find out.
When the President of the USA spoke directly about the EPA proposed carbon reduction target of 30% for USA power stations we knew this was the start of an important consultation process.
Almost simultaneously that the EPA was announcing its Carbon Reduction Plan, Aaron Selverston of Green Biz contacted us about a piece he was writing highlighting the evolving and vital role of carbon visualisation in supporting environmental priorities at this time.
Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes a 30% reduction in carbon pollution from power plants by 2030. But the numbers are big. And we wanted to show the actual volume of CO2 saved in a way that everyone can understand.
We have teamed up with technical consultants ERG to show, at a White House event, how environmental data can inspire and influence change.
Five years on, our far-fetched idea of forming a business to visualise carbon emissions and other invisible stuff is developing at a pace. What gives me real satisfaction is that the range of clients is so extensive – campaigners, universities and corporations. Each has a story to tell – and the narratives speak of both challenge and opportunity.
Carbon Visuals will be displaying an exhibition of images and film at a fringe event of Clerkenwell Design Week hosted by energy and low-carbon services consultancy XCO2 Energy. Included will be images showing energy efficiency and actual volumes of CO2 of London’s public buildings.
Carbon Visuals has created some simple images to show the potential for engaging Australians in their country’s ‘carbon story’. The images support an article for The Conversation by David Holmes, journalist and lecturer in Communications and Media - Visualising Australia’s carbon emissions.
Ted Flanigan of EcoMotion contacted us at Carbon Visuals last year having seen one of our early images of a London Bus next to one metric tonne of Carbon Dioxide. At that point EcoMotion had recently designed and produced a giant inflatable representation of a ton of carbon dioxide. Over 31 feet in diameter, THE Ton is a gigantic air-filled ball. A dramatic sight, specifically designed to stimulate people into reducing their emissions.
Our core design team in Bristol, headed up by Creative Director Adam Nieman, has been greatly enhanced by the addition of two new faces - Daniel Ulf-Hansen and Dave Forman who complement our existing contract programmers, 3D graphics and animation guys (yes, they are all guys at the moment).
I am looking forward to speaking at Ecobuild, considered an important event for all those concerned with sustainable design, construction and energy. My chosen topic for the panel is, not surprisingly, ‘making carbon visible’.
I am delighted that the Carbon Visuals team has invited me to write a few words on the theme of ‘un-burnable carbon’. As a long-time advocate of zero-carbon transport methods I feel privileged to comment on a subject which I have to admit was unknown to me until earlier in the year.
We are delighted that our real time video New York City’s Carbon Emissions has been included as a winner in The Best American Infographics 2013. The video is featured as one of just 10 interactive infographics.
Carbon Visuals received another trophy last month in the Information is Beautiful Awards in London. The Silver Prize was given in the Motion Interactive category for ourNew York City Emission video.
In many organisations, the first concerted effort towards managing carbon is the calculation of an annual carbon footprint. An annual baseline is established but in subsequent years, the accuracy of these calculations is often improved.
One consequence of these changes is that the carbon footprint being reported can increase. This is a challenging moment for a company - especially for people charged with reducing emissions.
Back in Spring 2011 we had a call from Colorado. This was followed by an email with a brochure attached. The brochure 'Carbon in our daily lives' included estimated but detailed emission figures associated with the everyday activities of Aspen residents.
Typical figures were given for emissions associated with a heated driveway, a large pond circulation pump, skiing, a health club visit and a bluefin tuna suchi
Participating at SWSX Eco got me thinking again about how we engage people in the climate / energy challenge. I don’t mean the small percentage of committed greens or sceptics at either end of the spectrum. We are talking here about the man and woman on the street – the majority who we need to engage to support, rather than block, the transition to a low or zero-carbon future.
Mistakes are easily made, especially with abstract data. Visuals can sometimes bring new insights - even to those most familiar with the figures; and the integrity of communications can be aided by a fresh pair of eyes.
This is the strap-line on the feature about our visuals in the current edition of Conservation magazine published by The University of Washington. Rather than a play on words there is a depth to this phrase that is about a pivotal point in each person’s comprehension of climate change.
Human induced climate change is claimed to be the greatest challenge of the 21st century. But man-made carbon emissions continue to rise - the 400ppm carbon milestone causes barely a ripple. I am intrigued as to why, in society at large, there is little grass roots support, no loud and clear call for action to address this issue.