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Green Guardians: Activation, communication, marketing

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. The first instalment of the Green Guardians Guide looks at activation, communication and marketing.


Activation, communication and marketing

Atmosfair
Atmosfair is a German non-profit organisation that actively contributes to CO2 mitigation by promoting, developing and financing renewable energies in more than 15 countries. It relies exclusively on voluntary climate payments from private individuals and businesses.

Aiming to decarbonise the world economy, Atmosfair’s software tools and consulting services assist businesses in executing their climate policies, with a particular focus on business travel. The company’s philosophy is to only compensate what can’t be avoided or reduced. This approach constitutes the foundation for all the organisation’s partnerships, ensuring not only climate integrity but also cost efficiency.

Atmosfair cooperates with the travel sector worldwide in order to strengthen climate protection. Among its many partners are tour operators, airlines, airports, travel agencies for leisure/business travel, organisations such as the German Travel Association and the German Business Travel Association, as well as travel media such as guidebooks.

One of its main areas of interest lies in preparing comprehensive CO2 analyses for companies with high numbers of business trips and then providing tailored travel management advice. This not only saves CO2 emissions, but also money – and not least improves employee satisfaction.

Music Declares Emergency has continued to build on that initial demonstration of intent from the music industry and artists

Music Declares Emergency
Now two years since its launch, Music Declares Emergency (MDE) has continued to build on that initial demonstration of intent from the music industry and recording artists to ensure that music plays a pivotal role in responding to the climate emergency and encourages everyone to take an interest in how we make the world a better place for all life.

The organisation’s Turn Up The Volume week around Earth Day 2021 saw a series of major announcements on sustainability from businesses, with Beggars Group and Ninja Tune outlining their paths to becoming net-zero businesses, and Earth Percent, a new charity that will work with the industry to fund climate causes, announcing their launch and board members.

Despite the lockdowns, MDE managed to trial its Bandstand event in Weston-Super-Mare in the UK, with the help of local community and arts groups. This saw local talent join forces with businesses and environmental and community groups in the area for a day of free entertainment and talks, covering everything from local transport issues to beach cleaning, wildlife preservation, and plastics reduction. By using music the community organisers brought together a diverse audience to consider how their community could become more sustainable; the logic of MDE in practice.

As we approach COP26, MDE is working on a major national-scale activation – more on that soon – and it continues to help sister groups launch around the world, putting music at the heart of the campaign for a greener, fairer future for all.

#DrasticOnPlastic saw more than 60 AIF member festival websites ‘wrapped in plastic’ for 24 hours to raise awareness

Drastic on Plastic
Launched by the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in association with RAW Foundation to coincide with Earth Day in 2018, #DrasticOnPlastic saw more than 60 AIF member festival websites ‘wrapped in plastic’ for 24 hours to raise awareness of the devastating effects of single-use plastic.

Website visitors were faced with facts about the extent and impact of everyday plastic use, alongside links to RAW Foundation resources. One of the key messages was to promote re-use as opposed to single-use, and to illustrate the footprint of festivals, with 23,500 tons of waste generated and audiences consuming ten million plastic bottles annually. The campaign attracted global media attention across TV, radio and online, generating over 15m impressions on social media.

Crucially, all participating festivals committed to banning plastic straws onsite in 2018, as a minimum first step, and pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic at their events by 2022, in light of the Covid-19 crisis and festival rescheduled.

Enviral believes that storytelling plays a crucial role in communicating our way out of the climate crisis

Enviral
The world is in a super interesting place right now. People everywhere are stopping and thinking about the impact they are having on the planet. Enviral reports a surge in demand for many of its sustainable clients as people see just how much impact is possible if we all work together. The company contends it is lucky to work with some amazing clients who are at the forefront in the fight for our planet and who are calling for its health to be put at the heart of all recovery business decisions.

As an agency, Enviral has come a long way over the last couple of years. Not only is it Pending B Corps, but it has been working on some really high impact campaigns recently, especially in the run-up to COP26, which includes working with many of the company’s environmental and business heroes. Enviral remains fully committed to pushing boundaries in order to be the best that it can be – from calling out greenwash to turning down clients regularly if they are just looking to tick boxes or get a quick purpose feel-good campaign out the door.

The company believes that storytelling plays a crucial role in communicating our way out of the climate crisis, and Enviral is truly dedicated to championing that.

Seacourt developed LightTouch – a printing technology using no water or harmful chemicals and with instant LED drying

Seacourt
Seacourt’s mission is to create a positive impact on the environment, society and economy through print services and printed communication. The company’s aim is to be the market leader in terms of sustainability and quality, and to help its clients, its client’s clients and its supply chain to become more sustainable. The company’s ethos is to lead by example, living the values and leaving a positive legacy for future generations. Seacourt was amongst the first printers to adopt waterless printing, then pushing the boundaries of print. It went on to develop LightTouch – a pioneering printing technology using no water or harmful chemicals and with instant LED drying.
▶ 100% waterless LED drying offset printing
▶ 100% alcohol and chemical free
▶ VOC free inks
▶ 100% renewable energy
▶ Zero waste to landfill
▶ Net positive (beyond carbon neutral including the entire supply chain)
▶ Four Queens Awards for Sustainable Development
▶ Highest scoring B-Corp printing company in the world
▶ B-Corp “Best for the world” for 2021

Seacourt’s commitment has proved there is a better way to approach printing. The company calls it “planet positive printing”: every time its customers produce a piece of print, it will have a positive impact on society and the environment.

 


GEI is holding its inaugural summer edition on 16 September and will be featuring representatives of a number of this year’s shortlisted Green Guardians. Tickets for the event can still be purchased by clicking here.

Green Guardians: Transport and travel

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.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Green Guardians: Communication and marketing

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 FestivalGo GroupGreen Music InitiativeJulie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.

Following on from last week’s feature on the companies providing eco-friendly alternatives for powering live events, this edition of Green Guardians looks at PR and marketing initiatives helping live events become greener.

 


Activation, communication and marketing

TicketSellers
TicketSellers pushes its sustainability agenda through its Eventree platform. The company builds all of its software in-house allowing it to incorporate new features to help its clients’ events to be greener, as well as engaging their audiences in sustainability initiatives. Its first carbon-balancing tool, for instance, was launched in 2009.

Clients Shambala, Boomtown, Nozstock, Noisily, Just So, Elderflower Fields, and mountain-bike fest GT Bicycles Malverns Classic have all benefited from the goodwill associated with engaging customers with the impact of their travel.

Eventree is TicketSellers’ crew management platform, accrediting tens of thousands of event workers each year. The system captures postcodes for requested vehicle passes and looks to present event organisers with comprehensive carbon footprint analysis for crew travel.

In 2018, the festivals who implemented the Eventree carbon calculator on their ticket page collectively balanced over half a million miles of travel carbon.

Festivals who implemented the Eventree carbon calculator collectively balanced over 0.5m miles of travel carbon

Enviral
Frustrated by the volume of fake environmental claims and greenwashing, Enviral  founder Joss Ford wanted to put great environmental and social brands in the spotlight so that other eco-minded consumers could purchase from them. Essentially, he wanted to create a PR agency that could help green businesses use their force for good, in order to evoke positive behaviour change and ultimately make whole industries better.

Ford advises potential clients to: “Make sure it’s genuine. A disingenuous purpose or greenwashing will only work to damage your brand, so if you’re going to talk the sustainability talk, then your festival better walk the walk.”

He adds:“If you’re looking to genuinely improve green credentials, then getting attendees involved with your initiatives will help them feel like they’re part of this positive change. For example, offer attendees the option to pay a few extra pounds for renewable power at the event. Initiatives such as this will help festival goers feel like they’re contributing to positive change.”

“A disingenuous purpose or greenwashing will only work to damage your brand”

Heartfeldt Foundation
Established by platinum-selling DJ and producer, Sam Feldt, the Heartfeldt Foundation uses its voice to make a positive impact at festivals and events including Coachella, Ultra Music Festival, ADE Green, IMS and A Greener Festival Awards.

Last year, the foundation produced Heartfeldt Neon Jungle, which took place during the Amsterdam Dance Event, with the aim of making it carbon neutral. Visitors to the event were asked about their method of transportation so that the amount of offset required could be calculated. Meanwhile, the venue removed single-use plastics in its food and beverage section, employed a liquid smoke machine as FX instead of C02, served healthy, non-alcoholic drinks, and brought in an entire jungle of plants.

Prior to the pandemic, Heartfeldt was busy with the production of a self-sustainable, pop-up touring concept, designed to positively contribute to the communities it visits, which will be rolled out as soon as touring restarts.

Over 60 UK festivals have committed to eliminating single-use plastic by 2022

Drastic on Plastic
Launched by the UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in association with RAW Foundation to coincide with Earth Day in 2018, #DrasticOnPlastic saw more than 60 AIF member festival websites ‘wrapped in plastic’ for 24 hours to raise awareness of the devastating effects of single-use plastic.

Website visitors were faced with facts about the extent and impact of everyday plastic use, alongside links to RAW Foundation resources. One of the key messages was to promote re-use as opposed to single-use, and to illustrate the footprint of festivals, with 23,500 tonnes of waste generated and audiences consuming ten million plastic bottles annually. The campaign attracted global media attention across TV, radio and online, generating over 15m impressions on social media.

Crucially, all participating festivals committed to banning plastic straws on-site in 2018, as a minimum first step, and pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic at their events by 2021 (now 2022 in light of the Covid-19 crisis and festival reschedules).

 


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


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Green Guardians: Power

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 those providing environmentally friendly food and beverage options at events, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those ensuring events are powered in a sustainable way.

 


Power

Midas
Midas recognised during the early stages of its development, that in order to respond to client demands and requirements, it should own the machinery itself.

Investment in plant is one of the company’s main annual expenditures, and to complement its fleet, Midas stocks large quantities of mains cable and distribution products, and can cater to both the UK’s smallest events and to its most prestigious festivals.

As part of its services, Midas offers full site design, often working to very tight timescales and budgetary demands, sometimes in the most challenging and sensitive locations around the UK.

Midas sees all contracts as bespoke by nature and therefore treats them accordingly in order to deliver efficient, reliable and, above all, safe electrical systems.

Operations range from optimised generator sizing, to avoid plant running inefficiently, to road haulage and logistics. The Midas aim is to deliver cost-effective solutions to festival power hire clients, whilst at all times minimising the impact on the environment.

Midas sees all contracts as bespoke by nature and therefore treats them accordingly in order to deliver efficient, reliable and safe electrical systems

MHM
MHM was incorporated in early 2010 as a supplier of power generation, solar-hybrid generators, fluid storage, lighting towers, engine drive welders and product-related accessories to the UK and Irish rental markets for both purchase and rehire. The company has been awarded the prestigious SafeHire certification quality mark, which is governed by Hire Association Europe.

All MHM products are manufactured in a purpose-built facility based near Milan, Italy, that has individually designed production lines that produce the MHM range of equipment swiftly and efficiently, without compromising on quality or safety.

In keeping with modern-day requirements, MHM places particular emphasis on environmental considerations as it develops its product range. Examples for this progression include the increasing use of hybrid technology, LED lighting, solar power, clean fluid storage and emission-efficient diesel engines.

MHM undertakes to pursue the use of renewables to power their equipment wherever and whenever possible.

MHM undertakes to pursue the use of renewables to power their equipment wherever and whenever possible

Immersa Off Grid
Immersa Off Grid is a sister company to Immersa Ltd, which provides energy consumers, large and small, with bespoke energy solutions, utilising renewable energy generation and storage.

Immersa Off Grid focuses on the deployment of renewable energy and storage to festivals and events, principally on a rental/leasing basis, with the goal of replacing existing dirty/expensive equipment and infrastructure, such as diesel generators with clean alternatives, including temporary solar arrays with battery storage.

The use of solar and battery storage in concession-stand vehicles has a direct positive impact, as there is no diesel generator running to power the vehicle, meaning no noise and no exhaust fumes. This has an easily definable impact on people working in the vehicle, and everybody who visits it.

If all such concession stands at an event were powered in the same way this would have a huge effect on the localised environment and would be of great benefit to all those attending.

The use of solar and battery storage in concession-stand vehicles has a direct positive impact

Greener
Greener was founded in January 2018, in order to make an impact on the carbon dioxide footprint of on- and off-grid energy markets, using mobile batteries and smart energy planning.

The idea emerged in 2014, after a backstage visit to one of the biggest festivals in The Netherlands. Greener’s founders were shocked to discover how little thought had gone into accurately and efficiently planning the power supply of equipment such as lights, audio and food trucks.

As they investigated further, they saw the same lack of planning for energy efficiency in other areas, like construction sites and grid maintenance. Instead, all they could see was unnecessarily massive equipment running on very low efficiency rates – a situation they felt compelled to change.

The people behind Greener are convinced that there are many opportunities to make practices in the energy sector less of a burden on the environment. The company sees solutions in technological innovation and it is bringing these to the market to make our world greener.

The people behind Greener are convinced that there are many opportunities to make practices in the energy sector less of a burden on the environment

Wattsun
In the event, construction and film sector, more than 100 million litres of fuel are burned per year. This is associated with pollution, noise, odour and high costs. With the threat of climate change that we, as individuals, can no longer close our eyes to, organisations are being held increasingly responsible for pollution. Wattsun pop-up Power was established to help address this.

In 2015, Wattsun began the development of its portable battery systems and several prototypes were built that ultimately led to the current Wattsun products for which it has obtained a worldwide patent.

The Wattsun is extremely user-friendly. Thanks to the intuitive design and simplicity of operation, anyone, even without technical knowledge, can operate the system. The design immediately gives the user the idea that the modules are stackable and no matter how the module is stacked, clockwise or counter-clockwise, it always works, while the loading and unloading programme is automated in such a way that the user does not have to think about charging and discharging.

In the event, construction and film sector, more than 100 million litres of fuel are burned per year

We Love Green Festival
Having decided to create a music festival with a prominent focus on environmental issues, We Love Green organisers really had to start from scratch.

The festival site, located in Bois de Vincennes forest in Paris, is not supplied with electricity, so organisers had to find innovative energy solutions. Solar panels were installed onsite and despite the technology only being available in the UK at the time, they have since managed to source French, local providers willing to bring solar energy to temporary events.

We Love Green now uses 100% renewable energy powered by biofuel generators that use 100% French-produced rapeseed biofuel; and green hydrogen, which is produced in Paris with electricity from a wind farm.

“Rethinking” is We Love Green’s key strategy, according to co-founder Marie Sabot. “You have to rethink your way of doing things: you have to rethink design, rethink organisation, rethink implementation. We have to readjust ourselves to prioritise the health of our planet and its ecosystems.”

“We have to readjust ourselves to prioritise the health of our planet and its ecosystems”

Power Logistics
Power Logistics is a global leader in the provision of temporary events power, with a customer-focused service and respected track record that spans two decades.

The company’s logistical and electrical safety records are exemplary, and they also provide services within permanent venues as well as temporary, green-field events. It maintains a whole host of equipment and services in-house, from a fleet of dedicated event generators suitable for use with biodiesel, to an extensive stock of mains cabling, distribution and lighting equipment. In addition, it also has the facilities and expertise to fabricate new products, as well as adapting existing equipment to meet a client’s specific requirements.

Being energy efficient is at the forefront of everything the company does. It continually investigates new and alternative methods to make events as carbon efficient as possible. Sustainable solutions and reducing impact on the environment are key to ensuring Power Logistics’ business is both efficient and cost effective for its clients.

Power Logistics is a global leader in the provision of temporary events power

ZAP Concepts
ZAP Concepts offer consultancy in energy and sustainability; specialising in energy assessment, measurement and logging, together with the design of optimal power supplies for live events, through the use of its unique and internationally awarded Smart Power Plan.

The company not only accurately manages power at festivals and events, it is also active in the field of energy consultancy for both indoor and outdoor venues and public and private land-owners. The organisation designs and specifies permanent grid power connections for sites, based on the power needs of the different events that take place there, reducing or removing the need for temporary generators.

ZAP also works with developers of innovative energy systems by offering coaching and executive support. In addition to providing practical advice, it can also form the bridge between the technical developers of these systems and producers of festivals and events to achieve successful pilot schemes.

 


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

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
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.

 


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Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel

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 artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.

 


Staffing and personnel

My Cause UK

My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival,  Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.

My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.

My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”

“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”

Roskilde Festival
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.

Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.

The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.

Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.

Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings

Greenpeace
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.

Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.

The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.

In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”

 


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Green Guardians: Event infrastructure pioneers

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, will be compiled each year to highlight some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

To identify the companies, organisations and individuals that are pioneering sustainability measures, a Green Guardians committee has been established, including representatives of some of the sector’s most respected bodies, including A Greener Festival, Go Group, Greener Events Foundation, Green Events Netherlands, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle, Réseau des Femmes en Environnement (The women in environment network) and Vision:2025.

This inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, and we would like to congratulate all those featured for making this year’s guide. As well as thanking everyone involved for the hard work they are putting in to making the world a cleaner and better place. The goal next year is to feature 100 Green Guardians and establish this as an annual guide for anyone that is looking for partners to address sustainability matters and, ideally, help to make the live events industry carbon neutral.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Up first, are sustainailbity pioneers from the event infrastructure sector.

 


Event Infrastructure

TOHU
Located at the centre of Montreal’s Cité des arts du cirque, the 1,200-capacity TOHU is a place where dissemination, creation, and experimentation converge with culture, environment and community involvement. Since its 2004 inception, it has become an example of sustainable development through culture.

TOHU’s 360-degree circular hall is in the purest circus tradition and plays a major role in the incredible growth of Quebec circus, which it places at the top of the bill, thanks to its dedicated venue and festival.

TOHU’s Pavilion is green not only in spirit, but in body, too. It was been awarded LEED GOLD (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – a programme that imposes the strictest environmental standards, not only during construction but also in the management of the completed building.

Among the many measures TOHU can boast are passive geothermal power, an ice bunker, biogas heating, natural/hybrid ventilation, recycled architecture, green roofs, a naturalised basin, and even a vegetable garden and beehives.

Since its 2004 inception, TOHU has become an example of sustainable development through culture

Passareco
Passareco offers soil protection solutions that make it possible to use nature while also protecting it: whether parking lot infrastructure, hiking or bike trails – Passareco helps customers reconcile the different usage requirements.

Climate protection is central to Passareco and as a result it sources wood from regional sawmills and uses 100% green electricity. The company’s all-encompassing approach to sustainability means it is incredibly careful in choosing its partners, and it promotes like-minded organisations such as tent rental company Tent in Time, social company Syphon AG (which produces floor-protection panels), landscapers Biel-Seeland, and a variety of social enterprise operations that variously provide skills training to unemployed and disabled adults.

Passareco also champions ESB’s Biel/Bienne green electricity product, which is Naturemade Star-certified – produced in the Biel city area through a combination of electricity from the Taubenloch Gorge and power from solar roofs.

Passareco offers soil protection solutions that make it possible to use nature while also protecting it

NNNN
NNNN was created to target the audio market with a disruptive solution and mindset, combining acoustic quality with sustainability. The company’s patents enable it to do with sound what LED did with light, and it has succeeded in designing speaker solutions that reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, compared to leading premium brands.

Transportation is one of the largest contributors of CO2 emissions, so NNNN is setting up a local manufacturer in the US to cover the North American market, while manufacturing in Norway will cover the European market.

NNNN’s speakers are made of sustainable Nordic spruce and are manufactured without toxic substances such as beryllium. Manufacturing in Norway is done with 100% hydroelectric power, which has no CO2 footprint. The company says its search for better solutions for the environment has only just begun.

NNNN was created to combine acoustic quality with sustainability

FGH Security
Although its mission statement is “Keeping People Safe,” environmental issues have always been on the agenda for FGH Security. The company was an early adopter of the #DrasticOnPlastic campaign and saves 100,000 cups and bottles from going to landfill every year, simply by issuing 500 mugs and 500 sports bottles to its team.

FGH has been carbon-neutral for a number of years and as part of its ISO 14001 certification, it calculates all the carbon it has produced (travel Co2, paper, electric, etc.) and plants four trees for every ton. The FGH team is also working on a plan to build an office from sustainable materials, complete with solar panels, vegetable gardens and a gym that produces electricity.

Boss Peter Harrison tells IQ, “Most of the things we have done – electric cars, a paperless office, #DrasticOnPlastic – are actually cost-neutral, so doing good does not need to cost a lot. It just needs the will, tenacity and some thinking outside the box.”

Although its mission statement is “Keeping People Safe,” environmental issues have always been on the agenda for FGH Security

Continest
Continest is an innovative, foldable container solution especially developed for relatively short-period usage anywhere there is a need for temporary accommodation, office/meeting rooms, first aid, command posts, storage, service areas, and cooling and heating purposes. The containers are uniquely developed for easy and quick set up and transport, thus being environmentally friendly. The solution offers an 80% cost cut on logistic and storage costs, and a similar reduction of CO2 and GHG emissions.

In the next 12 months, three main innovations will be rolled out: the CN20 Solar 20-foot, foldable container; connectable Wet Cell units; and the bullet and blast proof foldable version.

Continest aims to succeed in the event market segment as well as providing innovative solutions to the defense industry.

The company claims to be the world’s first signage specialist that only deals with sustainable materials

The Sustainable Signage Co.
With its plastics-free signage solutions, The Sustainable Signage Co. is a forward-thinking, can-do operation, whose focus is to help companies and individuals reduce the amount of plastic-containing materials that are currently being used in the signage industry. It does this by offering sustainable alternatives that are as good, if not better, than current plastic signs used, while also helping to minimise the amount of plastic entering landfill every day.

The company claims to be the world’s first signage specialist that only deals with sustainable materials that can meet the demand of internal and external signage in small and large quantities. Its products have been scrutinised and accredited by A Plastic Planet and it says it is the only signage company to have been accredited with this certification mark.

Located in the West Midlands, UK, the company has both UK and international clients, and even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was encouraging the use of Skype or Facetime to reduce carbon footprint whenever possible.

Water scarcity is a very real concern for organisers

SANI
Water scarcity is a very real concern for organisers because events cannot take place without a guaranteed supply of freshwater and wastewater supply for sewerage maintenance.

SANI solutions has developed water-saving sanitary vacuum products for the event sector, including vacuum toilets, showers and urinals.

SANI’s products require less water and less power, meaning that emissions from wastewater transport and power consumption are reduced in comparison to traditional festival toilets. There is a lower faecal load of wastewater compared to portable toilets and the wastewater left is more resource efficient to clarify in sewage treatment plants compared to portable toilet wastewater.

The company says that it can save: up to 80% in wastewater transport costs compared to conventional flush toilets; up to 30% in energy costs through more efficient units, distributors, etc; and up to 50% in storage costs for wastewater and freshwater. In 2019, SANI worked with Rock am Ring to install vacuum toilets, showers, washing units, urinals and toilets with wheelchair accessibility. The festival saved 25-30% water for the event, or about 1,500-1,800m³ .

 


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