WWF Scotland’s Earth Hour has now become a firm fixture in the calendar for March, devoted to raising awareness of the threat of climate change.
The annual switch off sees a host of the world’s most beloved and well-known landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and the Houses of Parliament switch off lighting, along with hundreds of millions of people across the globe, for an hour to show they care about the future of our wonderful planet.
We were no exception this year, as 13 of our nation’s most famous landmarks switched off on Saturday 19 March at 8.30pm to mark the 10th Earth Hour.
Our participating sites included Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles.
Before and after pic #edinburghcastle #earthhour pic.twitter.com/qAVkU2x0cb
— Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) March 19, 2016
It was an extra special Earth Hour for us, as we were awarded WWF Scotland’s Public Body Champion for the second consecutive year! We won the inaugural award for our active participation in Earth Hour 2014.
David Middleton, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland, received the Award alongside colleagues on 9th March at Castle Campbell for our continued participation in Earth Hour and our commitment to tackling Climate Change.
Yesterday we received the @WWFScotland Public Body Climate Change award! #feelinghappy https://t.co/BFjsluOS2K pic.twitter.com/W2WpOCbQst
— Historic Scotland (@welovehistory) March 10, 2016
Castle Campbell has achieved a 56% reduction in energy consumption in 2014-15 (compared to the baseline year 2008-09). Much of this reduction is a result of the hard work of the staff there including Finlay Lumsden, Monument Manager and Green Champion who continues to seek out low carbon options for the Castle.
A great example of this is the installation of energy efficient LED lighting on the interpretation boards at the castle.
Earth Hour gives us an opportunity to reflect on sustainability and the way in which we live nowadays.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, if everyone in the world consumed natural resources and generated carbon dioxide at the rate we do in the UK, we’d need three planets, not just one, to support us.
We can already see the effect climate change is having across our estate; coastal erosion and increased wetting of stone due to wind-driven rain are becoming more prevalent, with the risk that certain sites could be lost completely. But by making small changes we can make our daily lives more sustainable.
We have a mandate as part of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to lead by example in reducing our carbon emissions, while also addressing wider aspects of sustainability and disseminating research to the public.
Our Strategic Themes and Actions include:
- reducing energy use in our buildings
- improving our operations
- improving energy efficiency in traditional buildings
- building resilience: preparing the historic environment for climate change
- improving sustainability
- developing and promoting sustainable tourism
- informing and influencing others
Our Climate Change Action Plan 2012-17 details all of our commitments to tackling climate change.
You can find details of our participating properties on the Earth Hour map.