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Green Guardians: Food and Beverage

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

The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, 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 organisations conducting ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those ensuring we eat and drink in an environmentally friendly way at live events. 


Food and beverage

Stack-Cup’s vision is to live in a world where consuming is fun, guilt-free and doesn’t destroy the Earth. The team behind Stack-Cup believe that changing consumer behaviour and habits will lead to a better future for our planet.

Stack-Cup’s clients include The O2 (London), The Oval cricket ground (London) and Hong Kong Stadium. All of which had previously used tonnes of single-use plastics every year. However, by partnering with all three venues on the customer experience, cup logistics and washing infrastructure, Stack-Cup was able to implement a circular approach to reusing cups, ensuring that they were returned to the venues time and again.

In each case, there were challenges to overcome, from councils regarding health and safety through to customer deposit programmes. Working with each venue, Stack-Cup continues to fine-tune and improve its service. The company can track its impact by calculating the number of reusable cups, rather than single-use plastics, in venues, which can be articulated both in financial terms and reduction in CO2 emissions. Last year, it removed 14.8 million single-use cups from the economy.

The team behind Stack-Cup believe that changing consumer behaviour and habits will lead to a better future for our planet

The Food Line-up
The Food Line-up was founded in 2012 and is based on the principles of slow food i.e. good, clean and fair. Visiting festivals, the company’s founders became frustrated with the type of food that was being served, mostly by one giant company. They decided it was time food became part of the event line-up, hence the company name, and have been working with specialised chefs to achieve this ever since.

Alongside its main role as “food booker” for large-scale festivals and corporate events, The Food Line-Up has also developed projects such as the circular food-court, together with DGTL Festival; and Brasserie 2050, together with financial services company Rabobank, in the Netherlands. The project aims to address the issue of feeding the world’s rapidly increasing population, which is set to reach almost ten billion by 2050.

The project’s central theme was minimal impact on people, animals and the environment. In addition, all dishes were given an accurate C02 measurement and every dish told the story of a smart technologist, driven farmer or visionary entrepreneur.

The Food Line-up was founded in 2012 and is based on the principles of slow food i.e. good, clean and fair

Øya Festival
Øya Festival uses plates made from wheat bran that is compressed and shaped using steam. The end product is edible and tastes like a very dry biscuit – and has become a favourite amongst beer-thirsty audiences. Uneaten plates can be disposed of alongside food waste, and it is easy for the public to properly source them. Festivalgoers don’t need to scrape food waste off the plates, since food and plates go into the same garbage bin.

The plates are manufactured by Biotrem and are a Polish innovation. They are made from residual products that would otherwise be discarded, and represent a fantastic solution, as they replace a disposable product that would normally be made of single-use plastic.

There are drawbacks, as the plates weigh a lot, both as new products and as part of the festival’s total waste. They also tend to dissolve if left with hot liquid for too long. But all in all, it is a solution Øya is very proud to use, and the carbon footprint is minimal.

Øya Festival uses plates made from wheat bran that is compressed and shaped using steam

Det Runde Bord
Det Runde Bord (DRB) is the food waste partner of Roskilde Festival and many others, and has been spreading its message globally, and inspiring many, since 2014.

The organisation has attended around 100 festivals since its inception, and in total has saved six million meals from ending up as food waste – a significant part of which has come from wholesale food companies and food producers.

As well as food waste, DRB has undertaken a large number of projects relating to the environment involving food for the needy. During the coronavirus pandemic, the organisation was contacted by social workers due to the numerous soup kitchens that were forced to close down. DRB started production within three days, and since the end of March has distributed 500 single packaged meals a day (many thousands in total) to homeless people and drug addicts. The company will continue to do so until these people are in a sound nutritional state.

The organisation has in total has saved six million meals from ending up as food waste

Tollwood Festival
Tollwood Festival unites a zest for life, an enjoyment of culture, and a commitment to a tolerant, peaceful and sustainable world. Since the first festival in 1988, ecological and social commitment has formed the way the festival thinks and acts, and its key focus is to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible.

Tollwood is known for its international gastronomy, which is provided by around 50 restaurateurs, and since 2003, the festival’s catering has been certified in accordance with EU organic council regulation. This means that the event’s visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of 100% organic, vegetarian and vegan food from 20 or so nations. This dedication to organic, plant-based cuisine saves the festival 116 tons of CO2 per year.

As a leader in its field, Tollwood is often contacted by other festivals and venues requesting information about its returnable system and waste sorting systems.

“If you change conditions, you change behaviour! Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard. It’s your turn, it’s your responsibility, act now!”

Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard

Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods
Prior to starting the business in 1988, company founders Barry and Peter Tiffen, were travelling in South America where they witnessed first hand the destruction being carried
out to primary forests in order to make space for both cattle and palm oil. After seeing the effects this was having on the environment, the brothers set up Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods with the aim of providing healthy food at events and festivals and encouraging people to try a plantbased diet, which is a healthy and more environmentally friendly alternative.

In addition, after realising that very few events provide composting, the Tiffens established a system where they take leftovers to a nearby farmer to be composted.

Keeping busy during the pandemic lockdown, Barry and Peter have been converting a large, overgrown field into an organic allotment, as well as building an eco-house with rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic panels, an air source heat pump and a heat recovery system etc.


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