Blog: Festival stats show modest green gains

By benchallis on 05 March 2021

A Greener Festival have announced that they will be presenting the findings from their analysis of the 2011 Greener Festival Awards scheme at their upcoming Green Events & Innovations conference, scheduled for March 16th 2012 at London’s SouthBank Centre. The analysis, researched and compiled by freelance events manager Nicolas Pianet, aggregates the data collected by A Greener Festival’s environmental auditors at 46 events during the 2011 festival season in North America, Europe and Australia, which were attended by over 2.25 million people.

The festivals, which range from massive events such as Glastonbury (177,500 England), T in the Park (85,000 Scotland), the Malmo Festival (200,000 daily, Sweden), SOS 4:8 (40,000 daily, Spain) and Bonnaroo (80,000 US) to smaller festivals such as the 1,000 capacity Wood Festival and Waveform in the UK and the 4,500 capacity Island Vibe in Australia, have all signed up to the Greener Festival Awards scheme to adopt environmentally friendly practices and reduce their impact on the planet.

A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O’Neill said: “Last year we focussed on travel and transport, and it was really rewarding to see festivals adopting better practices, and the audience starting to slowly reduce its reliance on the car. Whilst this work is ongoing, this year we are going to focus more and more on water & waste – in particular the issue of abandoned tents and camping gear at out of town festivals – a vast waste of resources and a cost to festivals – as well as to the environment.

The Key findings include:

• Only 34% of festivals said that they did NOT have a problem with left behind tents and in the UK these tended to be smaller festivals; Conversely 81% of festivals now have action plans to deal with the ever growing problem of unwanted tents and other camping equipment.
• Abandoned tents were not just a UK problem, with non-urban festivals in mainland Europe, Australia and the USA reporting a rise in left behind tents and other camping gear.
• 100% of Award winners promote public transport
• 88% promote liftshare and car pooling
• 80% calculate the event’s travel footprint (77% in 2010)
• 87% use at least some renewable energy on-site (84% in 2010) – some others use green tariffs and/or green energy from their national grid
• Most common on-site green energy sources are bio-diesel and solar power, and festivals also use pedal power and kinetic energy
• 100% of festivals recycle plastics, glass, paper and metals
• 52% prioritise ethical, fair trade and environmentally friendly traders
• 37% have mandatory requirements for fair trade / organic teas and coffee
• 75% conserve water and re-use grey water


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