After an amazing response to our online Carbon footprint estimator, now readers can find out which professions are the environmental angels and which are gas-guzzling sinners...
More than 700 readers have completed Building’s online Carbon footprint estimator and architects have emerged as the most environmentally friendly bunch, especially those that are from Northern Ireland and aged between 18 and 35.
The average carbon footprint left by those who answered Carbon Coach’s questionnaire was eight tonnes, which is competent, but still above the national average of four tonnes. Even the young Irish architects fell short of this mark, leaving a footprint of seven tonnes every year.
International project managers aged over 55 have the most work to do. They leave a carbon-heavy footprint of 11, which is about the average in the USA.
Building’s Carbon Coach is Dave Hampton, the winner of the Sustainable Leadership Award at the 2005 Building Sustainability Awards. He says everyone needs to be aiming for a score of less than nine tonnes.
The average annual fuel bill in the homes of Building’s readers, divided by the number of people living in the household, is £200-400. The over 55s was the only age group to exceed this average, spending £400-500 per person, per year.
Our Welsh readers also spend £400-500, as do those working outside the UK.
Our readers in East Anglia drive the highest number of miles annually. They travel on average 14,000-18,000 miles behind the wheels of their small cars (equivalent to 10,000-12,000 miles in large cars). Readers working outside the UK also drove this above-average number of miles – 10,000-14,000 miles in small cars (equivalent to 8,000-10,000 miles in large cars).
Not surprisingly perhaps Londoners’ personal car usage was the lowest. They drive 6,000-10,000 miles a year if they have small cars (equivalent to 6,000-8,000 in a large car). Readers aged 18-35 also drove this below average number of miles, as did architects.
Most of Building’s readers travel 100-300 miles every week on public transport, however, the over 55s and those working in the South-west, Scotland and Northern Ireland do not travel quite this far. Northerners only travel about 60 miles a week on public transport.
Sixty four per cent of contractors never step foot aboard a bus, tram, train or tube.
Clients were most likely to be seen waiting at the bus stop, only 53% of them said they do not use public transport.
Eighteen to 25 year-olds rely on public transport more than any other age group, with 51% using it every week. The over 55s prefer to have the use of their own vehicles, with only 30% opting for a more communal form of transport.
Londoners take advantage of public transport more than readers from any other region, with 72% using it every week. Only 17% of Northerners, on the other hand, leave their cars at home.
Long haul flights
Not surprisingly, our international readers spend the highest number of hours aboard long haul flights – every year they spend 13 hours in the air. Our Northern Irish readers flew the least. Their average time spent onboard a long haul flight was less than one hour.
Architects clock-up the fewest hours in-flight, their average was five in comparison to an overall average of seven hours. Quantity surveyors spend an above-average nine hours aboard a plane.
As for shorter flights, project managers spend nine hours a year in the air, whereas architects are only in-flight for seven hours. The over 55s rely on domestic and other short-haul flights more than any other age group, spending nine hours on-board.
Building’s Scottish, Welsh and London-based readers raked up 10 hours every year flying short distances, whereas those from Northern Ireland managed with just three hours in the air. The average time spent on short haul flights was eight hours.