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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 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

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

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