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Green Guardians: Transport and travel

The Green Guardians series continues by spotlighting the companies who are providing low-emission travel for the live music industry

By IQ on 27 Aug 2020

tour buses

These companies are providing tools to help artists and fans reduce their environmental impact


image © Rennett Stowe/Flickr

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly initiative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

The inaugural list, which originally ran in IQ 90, features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committee, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.

Following on from last week’s feature on the companies providing decor & set design, this edition of Green Guardians looks at how to reduce our collective carbon footprint with savvy methods of travel.

 


Transport & travel

Qualité Motel
Canadian electro-group Qualité Motel have always been sensitive to environmental issues, but the main change to the band’s habits came in 2018, when the ACT movement started in Montreal, offering touring artists a deeper understanding of their environmental impact, and providing tools and a list of actions that can be done differently.

The band emphasises that every small gesture counts: they bring reusable water bottles and coffee thermoses to avoid trashing plastic bottles and single-use coffee cups; they bring their own lunch; and their eco artist rider requests local food, local alcohol, “access to water” instead of bottled water, zero-waste catering, etc.

“We also encourage them to extend as much as they can those principles to the rest of the event,” says band member François-Simon Déziel. In 2019, Qualité Motel launched a new festival called La Virée du Saint-Laurent where they organised three beach parties along the Saint-Laurent River, and embarked on a seven-day tour using a sailing boat in an effort to achieve zero-waste events, zero-emission transport and 100% local proposition for food and alcohol.

The band emphasises that every small gesture counts: they bring reusable water bottles and coffee thermoses

Chooose
As human beings, we leave an unavoidable carbon footprint, simply by existing on Planet Earth. By now, we’ve learned that the choices we make, especially with regards to travel, can affect the size of that footprint, and many of us already make an effort to reduce our emissions where possible.

Chooose makes it easy to act on climate change by making solutions for global CO2 reduction available to everyone. With a monthly subscription, it is possible to directly support some of the most impactful CO2-reducing projects around the world.

These projects are carefully handpicked by the Chooose international carbon advisory team, and verified by acknowledged institutions such as Veritas, DNV GL, and the United Nations.

The average CO2 footprint for a world citizen is 4.8 metric tons per year, but emissions vary depending on the country e.g. the average person in Nepal emits 0.3 tons per year, compared to the average Canadian’s 15.2 tons.

Based on numbers provided by The World Bank, Chooose therefore offers subscriptions based on country.

Chooose makes it easy to act on climate change by making solutions for global CO2 reduction available to everyone

Rock Werchter
During the 2006/07 season, when Yourope (the association of European festivals), launched its Green & Clean guidelines for greener festivals, Rock Werchter was among the first to get on board.

In association with Belgian public transport companies, SNCB and De Lijn, Rock Werchter offers a free train e-ticket for anyone who buys a ticket to the festival, and/or free return travel by train or bus.

Festival-goers can take the train to Leuven or Aarschot stations, from where De Lijn takes them by shuttle bus to the Werchter site on either hybrid buses or buses with diesel filters.

NMBS also provide night trains to ensure people get home after each day of Rock Werchter, and after the promoter’s one-day festivals.

The festival also encourages fans, crew and volunteers to cycle to Werchter and runs a park & bike scheme whereby fans can use car-parks near the festival for free, before using their own bikes to complete the final leg of the trip.

Rock Werchter offers a free train e-ticket for anyone who buys a ticket to the festival, and/or free return travel by train or bus

Big Green Coach
Big Green Coach claims to be the largest events travel company in the UK, through its work with more festivals and gigs than any of its industry rivals.

It is the official and exclusive coach partner to major festivals such as Boardmasters, Creamfields, Download, Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude, Leeds, Parklife, Reading, Wireless and many more. Further afield it transports fans to the likes of Outlook, Hideout, Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop.

Since its creation in 2009, Big Green Coach has been working hard to make a positive impact on the environment. More recently, for every customer who books travel with Big Green Coach, the company commits to sponsoring and protecting 5 square feet of Amazonian rainforest for ten years.

This has resulted in more than 1.2million square feet of rainforest in Peru being protected by Big Green Coach for the next ten years. The company’s target is to protect an area covering 3m square feet during the next five years.

The company commits to sponsoring and protecting 5 square feet of Amazonian rainforest for ten years per customer

Pieter Smit
Sustainability goes hand in hand with Pieter Smit’s efficiency-driven factors, and as a result, all its trucks are Euro 6 and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, meeting all the latest EU standards.

This is the most environmentally friendly technology available for (long-distance) trucking. In addition, all Pieter Smit vehicles are equipped to run on biodiesel.

Company policy dictates that vehicles must drive as few unnecessary kilometres as possible, which often means leaving trucks and trailers at venues for a few days, while the driver travels home on public transport.

Among its various sustainability credentials, Pieter Smit’s new and renovated buildings use geothermal heating systems (earth warmth) together with improved insulation materials and triple-glazed windows.

At company HQ, 600 solar panels, with a 153 KWP capacity have been installed, and the buildings have been fitted with LED lighting to reduce energy consumption, meaning the company delivers electricity back to the grid.

All of its trucks are equipped with the most environmentally friendly technology available for (long-distance) trucking

FahrradGarderobe
Literally translated as ‘bicycle cloakroom,’ FahrradGarderobe (FG) promotes quality-conscious, environmentally friendly and socially responsible event tourism throughout Germany and beyond.

Bicycle cloakrooms (or ‘bike racks’), are becoming commonplace at festivals and sporting events, thanks to FG, who provide guarded, insured, and fully accessible, mobile parking spaces for attendees’ bikes.

The use of bicycles delivers a significant CO2 reduction for events, with the bonus that FG staff and volunteers can directly record the diverse positive and negative visitor impressions at each event and pass that feedback to the organisers.

Bike parking also cuts down on possible congestion around escape routes, while space-saving on a large scale.

FG also encourages event visitors to check out the local area outside of the event itself, and supports regional eco-cycling initiatives.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here.

 


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