Green Guardians: Event Infrastructure
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 artists and activists.
Continest container units are a market-leading, award-winning and eco-friendly portable accommodation solution, utilising innovative foldable container technology. The flat-packed containers are specially constructed to enable quick and easy transportation, installation and relocation, and their groundbreaking design has won plaudits around the world.
A great solution for events, venues and brands looking to increase their facility and temporary accommodation capacity in an environmentally conscious way, Continest provides solutions to help meet sustainability targets. Due to their patented design, multiple units can be transported on a single truck, enabling huge savings on road.
In 2020, d&b launched its Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programme offering customers reconditioned loudspeaker systems
Aware of the impact that the live entertainment industry has on the environment, d&b makes a conscious effort to ensure that sustainability is a permanent part of its mission with the company developing effective programmes to support this undertaking.
d&b is EMAS certified, meaning it observes a set of guiding principles, including upholding human rights and well-being, resource protection, energy and emission reduction, product responsibility, sustainable innovation, and much more.
In 2020, d&b launched its Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programme offering customers reconditioned loudspeaker systems. Purchasers benefit from a rider-friendly sound reinforcement system while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of raw materials.
This programme makes d&b one of the first sound companies to adopt an organised approach to sustainability and reliability in the pro audio industry. The first-ever CPO J-Series system was recently installed at Westville Music Bowl in Connecticut, USA.
d&b is committed to ensuring its new products are environmentally responsible as well. The recently launched D40 amplifier combines advanced voltage management to drive systems that demand less input power. The D40 includes enhanced energy-saving features, power efficiency and automatic wake-up for environmentally responsible and sustainable green building requirements.
Alongside recycling and responsible disposal of end-of-life equipment, PRG regularly rebalances equipment to reduce freight
Sustainable practices have been at the heart of PRG’s ongoing development throughout the pandemic. The company now boasts a huge global network, having set up a group of 22 digital studios around the world in one year, including xR Virtual Production Studios in Los Angeles, Hamburg and Paris.
This ensures that the company’s EMEA customer base has access to PRG’s state-of-the-art facilities and expertise wherever they are in the world.
This global reach is aided by The PRG Alliance, a series of 15 partner companies worldwide that support clients locally with an exceptional quality of innovative event production solutions.
The company’s commitment to providing consistent service locally is mobilised largely thanks to the PRG Crew Platform, which allows warehouses and events to be staffed with local talent, reducing the global carbon footprint involved in transporting employees.
PRG is also committed to sustainable practices in its technology and is a member of various industry accredited programmes, including Albert.
Alongside its recycling and responsible disposal of end-of-life equipment, PRG regularly rebalances equipment to reduce freight.
Its products adhere to this sustainable mission. The PRG SpaceframeTM, for example, is an ultra-lightweight, collapsible and fully wind-braced, carbon-fibre touring frame with integrated LED panels. This product dramatically reduces pre-tour engineering time, shipping footprint/weight, carbon emissions, load-in and load-out times, as well as labour required on tour and locally.
NNNN has succeeded in designing speaker solutions that reduce energy consumption by up to 90% compared to other brands
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 other brands.
As yet another UN climate report has made abundantly clear, developing more sustainable solutions is a no-brainer. Yet, NNNN says it still experiences challenges with businesses that choose traditional solutions over greener alternatives. Therefore, it has been key for the company to both initiate and join conversations, both nationally and internationally, with regard to sustainable development in the live entertainment industry.
In spite of Covid, a lot has been happening at NNNN in the past year:
▶ The company has been developing new products, making better and more sustainable audio solutions available for green buildings, houses of culture, and consumers.
▶ In November 2020, NNNN won the Green Founder award – an initiative established by Drammen Rotary to accelerate green and sustainable development in the region.
▶ NNNN has been Eco-Lighthouse certified, which is the most widely used environmental certification scheme in Norway, verified to hold the quality and standard matching international eco-labeling schemes (EMAS and ISO 14001).
▶ The company also became an associate member of A Greener Festival.
Tait is continuing to build dedicated resources to empower clients and design teams to call on its vast library
During 2020 and into 2021, Tait focused on updating its library of assets, making all assets available for use globally and throughout the business.
This builds on practices that the company has developed over many years and optimises sustainable use and reuse of equipment.
Crucially, this also reduces reliance on virgin materials. In addition, Tait is continuing to build dedicated resources to empower clients and design teams to call on this vast library of existing components.
This year, Tait’s UK offices are beginning the transition to renewable energy, and its waste and recycling streams are being monitored to ensure it maximises recycling potential.
The company’s UK facilities in Neasden and Haverhill are now both ISO14001 accredited, and it has installed infrastructure to collate carbon emissions for Scope 1 & Scope 2 and key elements from Scope 3 globally. This will form the basis for Tait’s carbon reduction strategy.
The group has partnered with organisations such as the Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA), Theatre Green Book, and Live Green to help drive industry-wide change, educate teams, and further sustainability efforts.
In order to give back to the communities and institutions that helped build the success of the organisation, Tait’s principal sustainability advocate, Carol Scott, guest lectures at colleges and universities on incorporating sustainable practices into the ecosystem of live events.
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.
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 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 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
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 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
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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