A Greener Festival Award Scheme

Assessing festivals on their green credentials

A Greener Festival Award Scheme

14 March 2011

To enter the Awards scheme a Festival needs to submit a Self Assessment along with all relevant supporting documentation. The Festival will then be ‘environmentally audited’ by an independent assessor and this Report, along with the self assessment and supporting documents, will form the basis of the Award Committee’s award.
 
The process for the awards is:
- The festival will submit its Self Assessment / documentation and pay an application fee
- The independent assessor is appointed
- The independent assessor visits the event and then prepares the Independent Report
- The assessor submits their Report and all supporting documentation they have received
- The Awards Committee meets three times each year to confirm Awards

Additional supporting documentation:
Event organisers will be required to supply waste, water, recycling and power use figures post event wherever available. These must be supplied within deadline to support the application and enable the board to allocate award scores. Other supporting documents might include an Environmental Policy, Environmental Impact Report, a travel and transport policy, an office policy and a ‘Carbon Footprint’ or other report measuring greenhouse gas emissions. We support the Julies Bicycle tools for measuring and reporting Greenhouse gas emissions (www.juliesbicycle.com). We have also been looking at the tools developed by the Sustainable Events Alliance and can potentially accept these as independent evidence of good practice.

Nationally supported schemes such as BS8901 and international ISO standards – initially ISO 9000 and now ISO 14000 and ISO 14001 are also useful and can be useful evidence as of course would be equivalent schemes in other countries. Many countries including Canada (the Canadian Standards Association) have environmental management, auditing, eco-labelling and other standards: the European Union has all of these plus the eco-management and audit regulations, and many other countries (e.g. USA, Germany and Japan) have introduced eco-labelling programmes. But please make sure any scheme adhered to is effective and independently verified. Some are perilously close to
‘greenwash’.

At a lower level support for schemes such as 10:10 or Climate Week (UK) may be of interest. Wherever possible you should be looking for independent verification of what has been set out in the Self Assessment especially where you can’t see the evidence on-site yourself.

The Awards:
The Australian Awards are the first to be announced each year, usually in March or April. We then try and have two further Committee meetings, one to look at UK, European and North American applications from the first half of the year (May, June, July) and then a final meeting in late September for the final festivals from the UK, North America and Europe which take place in August and September.
 
There are four categories of the Greener Festival Award:
Outstanding – for truly outstanding and inspirational events. These need to be exceptional events who have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, have excellent travel, transport and waste management programmes, protect the environment and minimise water use and communicate these steps to the public.
Highly Commended – for well managed environmentally aware festivals which have taken significant steps to reduce waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and engage with the audience.
Commended – for well-managed, environmentally aware festivals.
Improving – for festivals at the beginning of the green “journey” that can exhibit at least a significant engagement with the process of reducing the event’s environmental impact.
 
see more at www.agreenerfestival.com where the application form and guidelines can be downloaded
The Greener Festival Awards 2011 is proudly sponsored by ROBERTSON TAYLOR insurance brokers, specialist insurance for the music and live events industry.


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