Green Code of Conduct consultation launched
Sustainability initiative Vision:2025 has launched a consultation for a music industry Green Code of Conduct to provide clear, minimum, environmental standards for all UK outdoor events.
The code has been developed by trade bodies including AIF, AFO, NOEA and EIF, as well as organisations such as Festival Republic and Julie’s Bicycle, with support from live event promoters across the UK.
“Developing a code of conduct by the industry for the industry has multiple benefits,” says Chris Johnson, chair of Vision:2025. “It will provide standards for sustainable practices that are credible, realistic, and crucially, workable, for all event organisers. It will bring the clarity, along with national consistency, that stakeholders across the sector are asking for, as we take steps to reduce emissions and impacts as part the industry’s journey to net zero.”
Creating a Green Code of Conduct is a practical and potentially effective step that the industry can take to show leadership and improve standards
The Green Code is a direct response to recommendations made by the select committee on the future of music festivals, in May. It also relates to the framework set out for the wider music sector in the LIVE Green vision, launched earlier this year.
“Creating a Green Code of Conduct is a practical and potentially effective step that the industry can take to show leadership and improve standards,” says Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn.
Steve Heap, general secretary of the AFO, and chair of the Event Industry Forum (EIF), which oversees health and safety publication the Purple Guide, says: “The Purple Guide is an established publication that advises how our industry manages health & safety best practice. This Green Code of Conduct could provide the blueprint for a new sustainability chapter.”
Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) adds: “The development of the Green Code of conduct will help AIF members and all outdoor events to manage their impacts and agree on some top-level shared principles. It is vital that we continue to work together as an industry and with government to mitigate impacts and take collective action.”
The online survey is open for comments here until 14 January.
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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.
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 .
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here
New industry sustainability resources launched
Five years on from its inaugural edition, the second Show Must Go On report has been published, offering a comprehensive insight into outdoor event sustainability.
The report, which is available to download here, is the result of years of planning, research, data gathering and crowdfunding from within the industry. The Show Must Go On launches alongside a free-to-access online resource, the Vision2025 website, that features case studies, briefings and a supplier directory.
Both resources reflect the progress made in terms of the technologies, materials and operational practices used to reduce the environmental impacts of live events. The report is divided into chapters on governance, resources and waste, water, food, energy, travel and transports.
So far, more than 100 festivals and events have made the Vision:2025 pledge, committing to cutting the environmental impact of the events sector in half within five years.
“After a decade of the Powerful Thinking industry steering group, this is a significant step in the journey. The industry has now come together around a vision and has crowdfunded world-leading resources to inspire meaningful action,” comments Chris Johnson, chair of Powerful Thinking and Vision2025.
“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date, the time to act and to tackle the climate crisis is now”
“This has been a huge collaborative effort and our thanks go out to all contributors, including our three gamechangers: Festival Republic, Continest and Nordic Wristbands, whose financial support underpinned the process.
“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date, the time to act and to tackle the climate crisis is now.”
Alison Tickell, CEO and founder of Julie’s Bicycle, the charity behind Powerful Thinking and Vision 2025, adds: “Living within the generous boundaries of our planet’s ecosystems is now the only job in hand. As a creative and events collective, we can bring inspiration and community to this task.”
Live industry professional will discuss ways to reduce the environmental impact of events at music business sustainability gathering the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on 3 March, presented by A Greener Festival in partnership with the International Live Music Conference.
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