Business | 16-07-2021

New Zealand glass studio achieves carbon zero certification

Two years of hard work to make their glass practice as environment friendly as possible have paid off for glass artists Lynden Over and Christine Robb, who run Lava Glass in New Zealand. Their glassblowing studio has achieved carbon neutral certification and claims to be the first glassblowing studio in the world to have done so.

As many glass artists are aware, the act of turning sand into glass takes an incredible amount of heat. A furnace containing molten glass roars 24 hours a day, and a second furnace must be fired up to keep the molten glass moving. Reducing the environmental impact of a glass studio is, therefore, not an easy task.

However, the two artists were determined to do as much as they could.

“I wasn’t prepared to continue as a glass artist if I couldn’t do it in a sustainable way,” explains Lynden Over. “It has been a rewarding journey to convert the studio to carbon zero status and know that I am able to look after the planet while following my passion.”

In order to reduce their carbon footprint, and to sequester some of the carbon released in the making of their artworks, they converted their gas furnace to an electric one and used clean, green electricity to run it. They also changed over to electric cars.

For the carbon sequestration programme, they planted 100 hectares of pine trees and 25 hectares of New Zealand native trees. The native tree planting is part of an environmental benefit programme, which links pathways of native bush, creating wildlife corridors.

Waste reduction has also been a focus and in 2021 they have diverted 67% of Lava Glass waste away from landfill.

Because Lynden’s work is inspired by the rugged New Zealand landscapes, the couple felt it was important to be mindful of that environment.

Lava Glass’s carbon emissions are measured via independent auditing by Toitū Envirocare. This year, they had to offset 90.14 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

The next task is to drastically reduce these carbon emissions. They have developed a Greenhouse Gas emissions management plan with Toitū Envirocare, and have set reduction targets for the coming years.

Lynden and Christine are going the extra mile for sustainability and see their internationally-recognised Toitū carbon zero certification as an effective way to reduce their environmental impact. They strive to be at the forefront of environmentally-aware art making at Lava Glass.

Lava Glass is based in Taupo, New Zealand. It comprises a glass art gallery, glassblowing studio, glass sculpture garden and café. It was founded in 2002 and, over the years, Lynden has created an original range of collectable glassware and many award-winning works.

Find out more on the website:

Image: Lynden Over and Christine Robb celebrate their carbon zero certification.

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