In the development of artistic projects, network creation and relationship building across countries, long distance travel is necessary and inevitable. We are fully aware that transportation is our main environmental impact. To reduce this we use train and bus whenever possible, bicycles for shorter distances at our residencies in Denmark, and a low emission car for some of our European travelling. We compensate for our CO2 emission by planting a small forest.



14 percent of global greenhouse gas emission comes from transportation from petroleum-based fuels* and global transport is increasing, therefore it is important to be aware of how we transport our self.



Travelling on the ground

Our yearly budget of CO2 emissions shows that travelling by plane is the largest contributer. Therefore we seek to encourage the participants at The Independent AIR to choose other types of transportation.

Even though air travel is responsible for the majority of our emissions, it only accounts for a little more than half of the kilometers travelled during the last three years. Especially travelling by car and train in Europe has moved some of the kilometers from air to ground and thereby lowered the environmental impact per kilometer.


CO2 Emissions (ton/year)

  Yearly emissions of CO  2   by transportation type**

Yearly emissions of CO2 by transportation type**


TransportATION type AND emission (CO2)

  Total emissions distributed per transportation type

Total emissions distributed per transportation type

TransportATION type AND DISTANCE (km)

  Total kilometers distributed per transportation type

Total kilometers distributed per transportation type


Buying a car

In 2016 we moved the residency outside of Denmark to Redondo in Portugal. That was when we decided to buy a car, with the aim of lowering the impact of travelling through Europe and increasing mobility at the residency in Portugal.

The car has low CO2 impact (99 gr. CO2/km)  and was used in 2016 and 2017 for travelling to Portugal and back to Denmark. On the roads through Europe more participants were picked up to make the most of the passenger capacity.

Looking at a different scenario, where the participants travelled by plane and public transportation from the airports, emissions would have been nearly six times higher. By choosing the car instead of plane we have saved more than 5.5 ton of CO2



Co2 emissions and storage (ton Co2/year)

  Yearly emissions compared to yearly storage in hardwood forest.

Yearly emissions compared to yearly storage in hardwood forest.

Planting a forest

In April 2015 we planted The Independent Forest in the small village of Voel near Silkeborg. The forest consists of many different types of hardwood trees to support biodiversity. It was planted on 1.8 acres of land in cooperation with local families and the municipality of Silkeborg. Both nature and the local citizens are going to benefit from the new forest.


The yearly storage of CO2 in the forest is about 10.5 tonnes during the growth period***. This means that the trees obtain more than the amount of CO2 emitted from transportation in 2014 and 2017 and it nearly equals the emissions from air travel in 2015 and 2016.


As the forest was planted in 2014, the yearly storage did not occur before that time, but the initiative will have a positive effect on the environment long after 2017. Hardwood trees have a growth period between 75-90 years**** which means that the environment will benefit from the forest for many more years beyond the lifetime of The Independent AIR. The forest has a legal status which means it must be preserved.



  • The data of passengers, route and type of transportation has been collected by The Independent AIR.
  • The emissions by car travel were calculated according to numbers of passengers on the route. For local driving in Portugal and Denmark the number of passengers was estimated as an average of three passengers/trip.
  • For plane, train and bus travel an average value was applied for emissions (CO2/km/person).
Different sources were used to estimate the CO2 emissions for each type of transportation:

Plane, emissions: Myclimate
Flight, distance: Myclimate
Train, bus and car emissions: Danish Transport Authority
Train, bus and car distance:GoogleMaps

The majority of the transportation by car was done by the two cars of The Independent AIR:

Car, emissions (Honda Civic): 110 gr. CO2/km

Car, emissions (Ford Focus): 99 gr. CO2/km

The CO2 calculator of Myclimate uses a wide range of parameters to ensure valid calculations - for example fuel pre-production, allocation to cargo load and accounting for non-CO2 effects of aviation. The calculator uses a multiplying factor of 2 for fuel combustion, to account for non CO2-effects, since other forcing agents are emitted from aircrafts.
Read more about the methodology behind the Myclimate calculator here

* Souce (IPPC 2014) (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

**The calculations for 2017 only account for eight months since The Independent AIR residencies ends in August 2017.

***Yearly storage of CO2 in hardwood trees. Source: Danish Ministry of Environment

****Growth period for hardwood trees. Source:Danish Ministry of Environment