Seven English festivals, one Scottish, one Italian, two American and five Australian events are the first recipients of the coveted 2009 Greener Festival Award, acknowledging the events’ efforts to reduce their environmental impact. In the UK, The Sunrise Celebration, Download, Firegathering, the Glastonbury Festival, Wireless, Hard Rock Calling and the Isle of Wight Festival all were praised for their green policies and on-site activities whilst in Scotland T-in-the-Park was congratulated for its innovative approach to water use and engaging with the audience to reduce the festival’s greenhouse gas emissions – the massive Rototom Reggae Sunsplash in Italy was similarly praised. In America, the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the 80,000 capacity Bonnaroo Festival were both praised for coherent and effective environmental best practices whilst in Australia the fantastic five Festivals who received the award were Peats Ridge, The Falls Festival, Bluesfest, WomAdelaide and Southbound were all congratulated for their efforts. All the award winners in 2009 will receive a special trophy designed by sixth form student Sade Goddard from Keswick School in Cumbria whose competition winning design is constructed from recycled plastics made from crushed CDs, remoulded plastic water bottles and unwanted wellington boots. The recycled plastic boards made by Smile Plastics “combine a strong environmental message with an evocative and distinctive appeal linked to the processing of plastic waste.”
The Greener Award is based on a 56 point checklist which covers green office policies, energy use and carbon reduction, travel and transport, support for green initiatives, waste management, recycling, water use and environmental protection and noise pollution and we have a team of environmental auditors who visit festivals to assess environmental good practice and effective green policies. The Award scheme is supported by Robertson Taylor, specialist insurance brokers for the music and entertainment industries. This is the third year of our awards scheme and it is clear that our participating event organisers are doing more and more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and move towards a carbon neutral infrastructure. The key issue now is working with the audience to reduce travel emissions – which can sometimes make up almost three quarters of a festivals’ carbon footprints. Our auditors have noticed that more and more festivals are starting to work with the audience to promote sustainable lifestyles – the team that came back from the Isle of Wight raved about the really clever initiatives there. In the US the Bonnaroo Festival was praised for its innovative education programmes and both Glastonbury and T-in-the-Park both work hard to promote green issues – by adopting new and improved practices each and every year, and by working to publicise new initiatives. We are also delighted with the new Award trophy designed and made by students at Keswick School in Cumbria which combines an attractive design with recycled plastics, CDs and Wellington boots, thousands of pairs of which are sadly left behind at festivals.