In southwest England, the Eden Project is home to the largest indoor rainforest in the world. This environmentally themed complex notably relies on electric vehicles to limit its carbon footprint. Tim Smit, the co-founder of the project, tell us his story for our series The Drive to Better.
Some have called it the 8th wonder of the world. Built on the site of a former clay pit in the Cornwall region, this environmental complex hosts two giant greenhouses that reproduce tropical and Mediterranean biomes – in other words, the ecosystems specific to each climate. Inside are more than 5,000 different plant species from around the world. The goal? To make visitors more aware of ecology, the vital importance of nature and the need to preserve the planet.
The electric vehicle, with its principle of zero emissions*, is the ready-made mobility solution for such a project! That’s why Groupe Renault provided the Eden Project with 18 electric vehicles (Twizy, ZOE and Kangoo Z.E.) to help with the travel needs associated with the complex’s activities.
The Renault electric vehicles are used both to transport visitors and to complete deliveries within the site, including to the biomes. Outside of the site, they are used to collect the food products sold to visitors. Not to mention the Twizy, fully equipped with blue emergency lights and a siren, that serves as an ambulance! By showing its support for this project, Groupe Renault has demonstrated its commitment to the implementation of environmentally conscious practices within companies.
The Eden Project’s ambition, of course, goes beyond electric mobility, as the site seeks to reduce its carbon footprint and maximise its self-sufficiency in all areas.
With nearly 2 million plants to water, managing that resource is a central element of the project.
That’s why two thirds of its needs are covered by collecting rainwater and groundwater.
For the food and cooking, the keyword is “local”! To raise public awareness about the need to consume local products and promote a positive social impact, priority is given to food producers within the region.
When it comes to waste management, the site’s motto is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Thus, even before thinking about recycling and composting, work is done to reduce waste.
In concrete terms, that means a reduction in the amount of packaging as well as the elimination of plastic water bottles and the use of reusable dishware. The result: no less than 90% of waste is reused locally.
The next step for the Eden Project will be focused on energy and the construction of a geothermal power plant on the site. It’s another step towards true self-sufficiency!
* Zero CO2 emissions or regulated atmospheric pollutants during road use, excluding wear parts
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