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Festivals launch Green Events Code to help make events more environmentally sustainable

By | Published on Wednesday 19 October 2022

Kendall Calling

More than 500 festivals and outdoor events from across the UK have come together to launch a Green Events Code which sets out standards, targets and practices for making events as environmentally sustainable as possible. The code has been launched as part of the 2022 Sustainable Event Summit.

Put together via the Vision 2025 initiative, and with input from trade associations and local authorities, as well as event promoters and organisers, the code covers topics including governance; energy; travel and transport; food and drink; materials and waste; water; and positive influence.

It is also based on five key principles, that the events industry: “Needs to act urgently on the climate crisis; will act based on evidence; will be transparent and report impact annually; accepts that not all climate-positive decisions will provide cost benefit in the short term; and will strive to improve year-on-year”.

The overall aim of those signing up to the code is a minimum of 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with specific targets including: a 50% reduction in fossil fuel consumption at live events by 2025; a reduction of at least 30% in meat and dairy consumption onsite by 2030; and to completely eliminate single use plastic by 2025.

The code has been financially supported by the Association Of Independent Festivals as well as promoters Superstruct and Festival Republic, with other organisations inputting into the code including LIVE, UK Music, the Local Government Association and the Institute Of Licensing.

AIF boss Paul Reed says: “It remains a uniquely challenging time for festivals, but it is vitally important that we maintain our focus on climate action and improving working practices around event sustainability. The Green Events Code will be invaluable in setting out clear and workable minimum environmental standards and targets for all UK outdoor festivals and outdoor events, helping to reduce carbon impact and move towards net zero”.

Meanwhile, Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn adds: “The majority of local authorities have declared climate emergencies, are putting in place net zero strategies and in turn requirements for live events. The Green Code has the potential to create consistency for everyone’s benefit, rather than a lottery of expectations”.

There is more information about the code here.