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Green Guardians 2022: My Cause, Reverb, Smart Power

The Green Guardians is spearheaded by IQ and an expert panel of sustainability experts to recognise suppliers who are improving the live music business when it comes to being more environmentally friendly.

Our international panel of judges this year includes representatives from A Greener FestivalGreen Events & Innovations ConferenceGreener Events, Green Operations Europe (Go-Group), Julie’s BicycleLe Réseau des Femmes en Environnement,  Sustainable Event AllianceSustainable Event SolutionsTour Production Group, and Vision:2025.

The 2022 list of Green Guardians includes 20 entries across a wide range of event suppliers and solutions providers, all of whom are working tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Catch up on the previous instalment profiling Gem-Stage, Instagrid and Green Producers Club here.


My Cause UK
My Cause UK offers people the chance to volunteer at the UK’s biggest festivals whilst making an impact for a cause they care about. The concept is simple – volunteers give their time at a festival, and in return, My Cause makes a donation to a charity of their choice.

Volunteering, says the organisation, “is a gateway to making unforgettable friends while getting free entry to the UK’s leading festivals!”

Volunteering with My Cause UK allows participants to “become part of a community that is exciting, adventurous, and passionate about making a change in the world we live in.”

In its first six years of operation, My Cause UK has donated close to £180,000 (€208,000) to more than 700 charities in the UK, thanks to the efforts of a steadily growing army of festival volunteers.

Reverb has greened over 350 tours and 6,000 concert events

Leading the green music movement since 2004, Reverb partners with artists, festivals, venues and more to reduce their environmental footprint while empowering millions of fans to take action on today’s most pressing environmental issues.

Working with artist partners like Billie Eilish, Maroon 5, Pink, Harry Styles, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, and many others, Reverb has greened over 350 tours and 6,000 concert events. With a focus on creating measurable impact, Reverb has eliminated 280,000+ tons of CO2e, prevented the use of over 4 million single-use plastic bottles at concerts, supported 4,800+ environmental non-profits, and more.

Reverb launched the Music Climate Revolution campaign in June of 2021 to unite the music industry in the fight against the climate crisis by cutting industry emissions, funding carbon-fighting projects, and demanding climate action from world leaders. Since its launch, the campaign and its partners have raised more than $3million (€2.9m) to support dozens of diverse global projects that draw down, sequester, or eliminate greenhouse gases, resulting in a reduction of 50,000 tonnes of CO2e. Music Climate Revolution partners have also engaged millions of fans at shows and online in climate action and advocacy.

Smart Power’s client roster includes Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres World Tour

Smart Power
Smart Power specialises in delivering carbon and low-power solutions for the international live, touring, broadcast, and screen
sectors. The company provides full-service technical hires, including power advancing; onsite technical support; fuel management; comprehensive distribution planning and installation; site lighting; energy monitoring; and reporting.

As specialists in battery and DC solutions, Smart Power is leading the charge for a transition away from generator power towards grid-connected battery solutions. Its approach to energy management is simple – deliver the most renewable energy mix available for the job in hand. To this end, it integrates a range of strategies, including biofuel generators, kinetic (people-powered) solutions, solar, and mobile battery solutions.

The company’s suite of energy and power monitoring tools ensures that clients have the data they require for their scope 1 and 2 emissions reporting, whilst also enabling Smart Power to optimise power management systems to ensure ongoing reductions in fuel consumption, GHG, and tailpipe emissions.

2022 has been an exceptional year for Smart Power with its client roster including Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres World Tour, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, the BBC Earthshot Awards, the Great Escape Festival, and the Great North Run.


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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 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.”


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