Statistics show green gains at festivals

By benchallis on 05 May 2011

Environmental campaign group A Greener Festival has now published details of the annual analysis of all of the entries into the 2010 Greener Festival Awards scheme, which shows just how far festivals around the world have come in adopting environmentally friendly practices. The results from festivals which include The Isle of Wight Festival, Shambala, The Glastonbury Festival, The Sunrise Celebration, Bestival, Croissant Neuf Summer Party, T-in-the-Park and Waveform in the UK as well as Peats Ridge and the Falls Festival in Australia, Oya Festival (Norway), SOS 4.8 (Spain), Boom Festival (Portugal), OpenAir St Gallen (Switzerland) and Bonnaroo and Lightning in a Bottle (both in the USA) can now been compared to results aggregated from the Awards schemes in 2008 and 2009.

The results show that 100% of the participating festivals now promote public transport in an attempt to reduce audience greenhouse gas emissions, which are the largest contributor to most festival’s carbon footprint, and 58% offer tickets which combine festival entry with rail/coach tickets. A whopping 88% now promote liftshare or car-pooling – to push up car occupancy for visitors to the site, with the aims of both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the need for extensive parking areas. 77% of participating festivals measure greenhouse gas emissions from audience travel, artist travel and transport and festival production.

When it came to recycling, 100% of the entrants had some form of recycling, and 75% of events now ban non-recyclable disposable good such as polystyrene containers, preferring either to concentrate on re-usable containers for food and drink or recyclable cups, plates and cutlery.  When it came to the delicate issue of human waste, 47% now had compost toilets on site (up from 36% in 2009), with many saying these were preferred by customers.

84% of festivals have now adopted the use of at least some renewable energy on-site (up from 71% in 2009), which include solar power, wind power, hydro-electric power and bio-diesel from sustainable sources. Whilst 90% now have written environmental policies to reduce CO2 emissions, only 39% had completed full carbon footprint or greenhouse gas analysis. We will be pushing ALL festivals to measure their greenhouse gas emissions in 2011.

Of the award winning festivals, all (100%) now had a dedicated environmental co-ordinator (up fro 91% in 2009), 93% have a written environmental policy, 91% had policies and measures in place to reduce noise pollution, 55% ask caterers to use organic and/or free range products, 64% undertook an environmental impact analysis and 90% had a ‘switch off and save’ policy in their business premises.

The analysis, by Nicolas Pianet, was based on entries from 47 festivals who all won the 2010 Greener Festival Award.

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