For us, sustainability is a natural choice, in that it reflects the way in which Scouts approach their site and the surrounding environment. It demonstrates the shared responsibility they feel now and for the future of our planet.
That is why the development of the Dutch International Scout and Guide Center Estate Zeewolde (DISC) takes place in harmony with nature, for one, through creating water areas and open spots, allowing fauna to move freely and stimulating biodiversity. The planned buildings, such as the overnight accommodation building and the office building, will all be built sustainably.
Today’s young members create a vision for the future
For DISC, sustainability means building the park of the future. Our current young members know as no others how to create a vision on their park of the future. Together we want to ensure that not just now, but also in the future, young people can meet each other, pushing boundaries, and experience adventures, which will shape them for life, through a park that is both challenging, modern, future-proof and sustainable. Three Scouts have designed the toilet buildings for DISC. Sustainability was key by using skylights to allow daylight to enter, use motion detection for lighting, and use sustainable building materials in the form of wood, harvested by Staatsbosbeheer (Forestry Commission) in the woods surrounding the park, and by creating a greywater reuse system.
Ambitions are high
DISC has the ambition to be the most sustainable Scouts camp and accommodation site in Europe in 2020. This ambition translates into the following goals:
- Sustainable campsite with a high ecological value and at the same allowing activities and discovery. The area is part of the ‘Netherlands Ecological Network’ but has ample opportunities for Scouts to play and enjoy themselves;
- Sustainable buildings with an integrated approach to energy use and building materials, where sustainable operation and maintenance is key to the design and the principles of circular economy apply to the construction. Achieving an as high as possible score on the sustainability index can be used in communicating. The actual use of the building in the long term is more important than achieving sustainability in the short term;
- Sustainable use of the park by separating waste, using transport modes with a low impact on the environment, sustainable procurement, effective use of buildings and the sites;
- Outstanding and challenging ecological and environmental education for which non-formal learning is essential;
- In all ambitions, DISC aims to be exemplary. Communicating the approach and the achievements during its lifetime is vital;
- Procurement of green energy.
Quantifiable and visible
In 2018, DISC will become one of the “Scout Centres of Excellence for Nature and Environment (SCENES). In this way, DISC shows its willingness for a long-term commitment to preserving ecological value while impacting the environment as little as possible. Achieving this means meeting the following three general requirements:
- ecological landscape
- ecological and environmental education
- implementing environmental management
The Scouts and volunteers using the park will experience what eco-camping is. In this way, other Scout and Guide units will learn from this, and DISC will serve as an example. Real-time metrics will show Scouts how DISC is performing regarding energy use, the amount of renewable energy produced, potable water use, and with all that the total reduction, or more importantly, prevented CO2 emission.
Learning from other SCENES centres
More information on the Scout Centres of Excellence for Nature and Environment (SCENES) is available from the World Scout website. You can also see the 28 SCENES label sites on that website: Take a look at this poster..
In the Netherlands, several sites are a SCENES centre or want to become one. For further see the Scouting Nederland website.
- Using materials that have an as small as possible impact on the environment and human health;
- All wood has the FSC label;
- Energy performance requirements for buildings are resilient and future-proof. To achieve this requires building to be zero-energy or energy-producing;
- Buildings will not use fossil fuels; this means there is no use of natural gas, buildings will be all-electric;
- As DISC cannot easily be reached by public transport, reducing the environmental impact of transportation will be addressed. Stimulating car sharing, limiting available parking spaces, and restricting the on-site vehicle movement to what is strictly necessary, are a few measures to achieve this. Addressing transport of people and goods is crucial for large events;
- There will be a greywater reuse system for the toilet facilities;
- Waste is sorted into as many streams as the off-site waste disposal facility can manage. The supplier contracted will need to match the requirements of DISC. Scouts will help in the collection and sorting of waste into separate streams;
- The park will be designed and landscaped to increase biodiversity. Buildings will increase biodiversity through the use of green roofs and by providing shelter to fauna.
- Download 'Scouting voor duurzaamheid' on sustainable energy solutions used by the National Scout Park Zeewolde.
- Go to 'SCENES centers in Nederland' on the Scouting Nederland website.