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7 Key Takeaways from GEI12

A Greener Events Innovation Conference

Torchbearers for sustainability and our very own Directors at AGF, Claire O’Neill and Teresa Moore welcome the Festival and Events industry to GEI12. From food waste to transport, audience engagement to sustainable electricity, our experts cover every nook and cranny when it comes to greener events, here are 7 Key Takeaways from GEI12.

7 Key Takeaways from GEI12.


Chris Jonhson GEI 12
Shambala/ Powerful Thinking
Eric van Eerdenburg GEI12
Paul Reed GEI12
Tijl Couzij GEI12
Lab Vlieland
Victoria Chapman GEI12
Live Nation

Moderator: Claire O’Neill

Claire O'Neill

Part 1: Living Lab of Live

Our panel discussed moving from waste to resource and exploring the challenges and advancements of the circular festival vision. How can we guide consumer behaviour? How can we wrestle control of the festival supply chain? Paul Reed(AIF)broadcasts details of the Drastic on Plastic Pledge, in the 2nd of its three-year time scale and disclosed the wider campsite waste problem. Campsite waste accounts for a much larger sustainability depreciation than plastic cups, mainly through leaving behind tents and other excess waste, our experts shared their findings and visionary methods of tackling the problem.

Part 2:Transportation for Festivals.

Observations on the impacts of audience transport, offsetting CO2 emissions, carbon balancing and transitioning festival attendees to public transport. Our delegates tackled the challenges of managing vehicle transition towards sustainable fuels, new energy resources and how sustainability can be cost-effective.

"Our overall ambition to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030"

"We know that a reusable cup can be used between 5-15 times, making it better than any single-use cup. We must also remember that cups are often around 2% of a camping festivals overall waste"

2)Breakout Session: Innovation Quick Fire Round – Future Flash

Chris Hurdle GEI12
Electric Wheels
Jacob Bossaer GEI 12

Chris Hurdle of Electric Wheels explains the availability and benefits of electric transport. Chris dispels myths and misinformation regarding the electric vehicle revolution, sheds light on their high-quality performance, battery life and cost-effectiveness.

Jacob Bossaer of the sustainable water company Bosaq, sheds light on the challenges of water circulation, creating decentralised water networks, sustainable solutions, accruing economic value and conservation.

"We match and peg back the prices of our diesel competitors, to say our electric vehicles are more expensive is just wrong"

"Only 0.3% of water worldwide is ready-available for human consumption."

3)Panel: It’s a Human Story

John Robb GEI12

Moderated by John Robb (The Membranes)

Speakers: Chiara Badiali (Music Declares Emergency); Holger Jan Schmidt (GO Group); Kerry O’Brien (YUAF); Laima Leyton (In Place of War).


Chiara GEI 12
Kerry O'Brien GEI12
Laima Leyton GEI12

In this talk we explored how to engage and motivate people young and old to participate in the climate conversation, covering both social and environmental issues faced on a worldwide scale. Can music relay the sustainability message? We investigated the potential art and creativity has to facilitate attitude changes across generations, crystallising our roles in creating a sustainable future and supporting the creative sustainability narrative. Our speakers make the sustainablity story a human one.

4) IPM Production Note: Reducing Touring Footprint - A sustainable Trucking Update

How Can Touring Operate More Sustainably?

Hosted by: Rick Smith (Rule Out Loud Management)

Speaker: Maarten Arkenbout (Pieter Smit Trucking)

Maarten Arkenbout

Carbon-neutral fuel, convincing the customer to buy into sustainability and lobbying sustainability to affect the largest reduction in of CO2e. Maarten Arkenbout of Pieter Smit Trucking provided insights into the costs in sustainable fuel consumption, new electronic automotive technology advances and the difficulties in quality data regarding vehicle performance.

5)Breakout Session: Saving the World begins at Breakfast


Mark Laurie GEI12
Mark Laurie NCASS


Kate Cooper GEI12
Kate Cooper (Birmingham Food Council)
Mia Frogner GEI 12
Mia Frogner (Øyafestivalen)
Javier Rojo GEI 12
Javier Rojo (Quantum Waste)

An exploration of the impact of food and catering on the environment. A Discussion covering food waste, food salvaging and food safety. What is organic, seasonal and local food? When there is little profit in locally sourced, what are the chances for the sustainability of food production? What is a sensibly use of land for food production? How do we find different ways of fertilising our soils? Is organic food a western indulgence? Kate Cooper(Birmingham City Council) and Mia Frogner(Øyafestivalen) provided tough answers and a realistic vision regarding the future of food sustainability and the perils of our wide-ranging food trends.

“If you want to eat seasonal and local in London in March you will not eat”

“I guarantee that there isn’t a person in this room who understands the food that they’ve eaten. Nearly all the food you eat, you have no idea where it comes from”

Bringing value to waste

When recycling is becoming more expensive for the waste industry, what is the most sustainable and effective way to recycle? Javier Rojo(Quantum Waste) shares his experiences and challenges when operating in the waste management sector.

"These days in London, you have negative prices in recycling, so you separate everything. You still have to pay for the paper mill to take on your cardboard. You have to pay before the plastic recycling to make pellets with your with the plastic, which is a little bit demoralising in that regard."

5) A greener Tour – Round 2!

Gordon Masson GEI12
Coralie Berael GEI12
Tanner Watt GEI12
Emma Banks GEI12
Patricia Yague GEI 12
Rebecca Travis GEI12

A frank discussion on artist, promoters, venues, tour managers and production companies’ sustainable actions and initiatives. This panel confronted the issues of single-use plastic and how the industry has pushed back on environmental impact reduction. Additionally, our speakers thrust the spotlight on audience transportation and the idea of climate positivity as opposed to carbon neutrality.


"We're working with artists to push for what we're calling climate positivity to offset and support clean energy projects and carbon fighting projects at a level of a minimum of 150% of your footprint"

7) International AGF Awards Winners!!

International AGF Award winners
Øya Festival our International Greener Festival Award winners!

Congratulations Øya Festival our International Greener Festival Award winners!
Øya festival in Oslo have been pioneers and passionate drivers in the green event space since their dedicated environmental actions began in 2002. This has gradually grown to be an integrated space of management, manifested in sustainable food experiences, a green purchasing policy, fossil-free transportation, emission reductions and sophisticated resource management. The organisational focus draws on experience and competent external partners to achieve pioneering new standards for environmental festival management. Øya has gained national recognition as a special festival of expertise and willingly shares experience with other festivals – locally and abroad. In 2004 it contributed to making a festival specific criterion for the national Eco-lighthouse certification and a guide book to environmental outdoor events; revised in 2017. Øya was one of the first festivals to speak at GEI back in around 2008 and have been Outstanding award winners in the Greener Festival Awards for over 10 years.

AGF would like to extend our deepest gratitude for all the support and expertise we have we have had the benefit of this GEI. Thank you for joining us on our sustainability journey and contributing to an amazing conference that informs the future of sustainable events. See you next year!!!!!