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Green Guardians: Travel & Transport

IQ Magazine’s second edition of the annual guide aims to boost the profile of sustainability pioneers working to make the live business greener

By IQ on 12 Oct 2021

VeloConcerts’ mobile stage

VeloConcerts’ mobile stage

image © VeloConcerts

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly initiative boosting the profiles of those working at the forefront of sustainability, in the hope that it might also inspire others.

The 2021 list, which originally ran in IQ 103, includes 40 entries across eight categories, highlighting some of the organisations and individuals who are working so tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

This year’s winners have been chosen by a judging panel that includes experts from A Greener Festival, Greener Events, Julie’s Bicycle, the Sustainability in Production Alliance, the Sustainable Event Council and the Tour Production Group.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Catch up on the previous instalment of the Green Guardians Guide which looks at resource management.

Big Green Coach
Big Green Coach (BGC) was established in 2009 by Danny Newby and Kevin Green to provide environmentally responsible transport options to live events.

Their environmental commitment goes further than just providing coach travel as a viable alternative to cars, as they plant trees for every coach transported to an event.

The company now provides coach travel and/or shuttle buses to most major festivals in the UK and Europe (Download, Creamfields, Boardmasters, Reading, Leeds, Parklife, Boomtown to name just a few in the UK; and the likes of Tomorrowland and Rock Werchter on the continent), as well as for most major UK tours.

BGC’s environmental commitment now extends to protecting five square feet of Amazonian Rainforest for ten years for every customer they transport to live events. This has resulted in millions of square feet being protected thanks to BGC customers.

From 2022, all the company’s services will be carbon neutral (this year their services for Camp Bestival, Creamfields, Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude, Leeds Festival, Reading Festival and Wireless were all carbon neutral). This is a significant step forward, as it involves approximately 2,000 coach journeys.

“Any offsetting scheme Global Motion offers has to be gold standard, delivering on all of its promises”

Global Motion
Entertainment freighting company Global Motion (GM) has been championing environmental solutions within the live music industry since long before the pandemic, however, during this time, the company says it found a captive audience.

GM’s managing director, Adam Hatton, has been vocal in the sustainability conversation since the Tour Production Group, a group of touring decision makers, formed in early 2020. GM encourages its clients to minimise, then neutralise.

Hatton says, “As a global population we need to establish how much carbon we can spend and then work out what we are prepared to spend it on. V8 engines might be out, but live performance is vital to the human experience; there’s no doubt touring will continue worldwide.

“Any offsetting scheme Global Motion offers has to be gold standard, delivering on all of its promises. To that end, we have partnered with DHL, the world’s largest freight forwarder. Owned by Deutsche Post, DHL’s scheme is subject to the highest scrutiny. Global Motion can now offer verified carbon neutralisation of the highest level on all of our tours through DHL’s proven system – a system currently utilised by Formula 1.”

Collaborating with the DCMS, Public Health England, AIF, and others, Tuned in Travel helped produce The Purple Guide

Tuned in Travel
The aim of Tuned in Travel is to find innovative solutions to the negative environmental impact of audience travel, which, on average, accounts for 60-80% of an event’s overall carbon footprint. Since 2013, the company has been working directly with event organisers to provide audiences with safe, reliable transport options, helping to reduce the number of vehicles taken to an event.

When the pandemic hit, the demand for passenger transport all but ceased. However, this did not deter Tuned in Travel from pushing forward with their green initiatives and goals to improve the industry. The company has continued to expand its UK-wide operator network; an expansion that allowed it to work with operators local to partnered events, helping to reduce dead mileage and fuel consumption on services.

Tuned in Travel continued to work closely with event organisers and industry specialists for 2021/22 events, still guaranteeing that they would offset 100% of the carbon emissions generated during their services through donations to Ecolibrium. Collaborating with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Public Health England, Association of Independent Festivals, and others, Tuned in Travel helped produce The Purple Guide Covid-19: a comprehensive guide for festivals in event planning and travel safety (click here to access the document).

Pieter Smit is offering customers the opportunity to use vehicles that rely on synthetic diesel fuel, made from waste materials

Pieter Smit
Despite the enormous impact that the coronavirus had on its daily business, Pieter Smit continues to improve its green credentials. Pre-planned investments in the group’s real estate included the company renovating a building in the Amsterdam area with a geothermal installation.

A storage hall was completely rebuilt with high-density insulation panels, and the long-term goal is to add solar panels to create a zero-emission building.

In Dortmund, Germany, the company is renovating an old industrial hall for rehearsals and small events, renewing the roof and windows with the best possible materials, and installing an air/water heat pump system.

The company is offering customers the opportunity to use vehicles that rely on synthetic diesel fuel, made from waste materials, for their projects.

Additionally, Pieter Smit has invested in E-cars (VW ID.3) for the use of office employees, while a number of Mercedes eVito vans have been acquired to bolster the group’s electric vehicle fleet, which, together with the extensive programme of solar panel installations, is a significant step toward reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint.

From the carbon footprint to set-up time, VeloConcerts’ professional stages are minimal where it counts

VeloConcerts’ aim is to explore the possibilities of the modern stage. Founder Jonas Skielboe knew he wanted to rethink the classical performance to include environmental awareness and modern mobility. The company has collaborated with industry professionals and artists to bring opera to the street and take rock out of the garage.

VeloConcert’s technical engineering combines a clean design with the compact transport of a professional sound system that doesn’t rely on an external power source. The stage is incredibly mobile thanks to the help of an e-bike motor that makes for easy and safe transport, uphill and down.

There’s no need for any tools and no risk of forgetting an important component. Packing and unpacking a stage that can host up to seven performers at once can be achieved in a matter of minutes.

VeloConcerts offers the fastest path to hosting a non-invasive event in any environment. From the carbon footprint to set-up time, their professional stages are minimal where it counts. Advanced e-bike technology allows musicians to arrive on the spot with a pristine sound system, ready to create new levels of interaction between performers and audiences alike.


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