We have three core aims
1) Improve the quality of life for islanders and contribute towards the viability of our small community.
2) Minimise fossil fuel dependency and create a community asset.
3) Offer opportunities for sustainable livelihoods within Foula.
What ‘Sustainability’ means to us
These terms ‘sustainability …sustainable development’ emerged only in the 1980s and are now used so frequently they can mean almost anything, but to us they are very real. People have lived and worked on Foula for millennia, at all times working with its unusual environment; people are part of the island’s ecology. Today many people on this island still farm the land for subsistence, but what makes us quite different from previous generations is our reliance on fossil fuels.
Little is wasted on Foula; if a wooden palette washes up on our beaches, it gets used, and because many of us farm we’re perhaps even more aware of our immediate environment than many communities in the UK. But our reliance on fossil fuels makes us accountable to other environments too: to the global ecosystem.
Foula currently holds a population of some 30 people with ages ranging from only 7 months to 93 years of age, and as a community we maintain all of our basic services. ‘Sustainability’ for us means keeping that community going and building the foundations we need to support it in the future, while minimising permanent damage to our environment.
A reliable and more self-sufficient energy system is vital to this goal, and so the Foula Community Electricity Scheme has been set up. The community now aspire to a high degree of renewable generation with the target being 85-95% of total energy requirement provided through renewables after Phase 1 and Phase 2 are completed. Our Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan (CERP) aims to further minimise our impact by looking at the way we operate on the island and seeing if we can make a difference as a group and as individuals.