Monthly Archives: February 2010

City Hall goes green

City Hall, home of the Greater London Authority, has been awarded Carbon Trust status. The converted status is only awarded to green buildings able to show an accurately measured carbon footprint, effective carbon management systems and demonstrable work on reducing energy consumption year on year. The landmark building, designed by leading architect Sir Norman Foster, was opened in July 2002 and was designed to maximise energy efficiency.  A spokeswoman for the Greater London Authority told edie.net: “Investment into a range of measures to make City Hall more energy efficiency will result in significant financial savings totalling £250,000 over the next 10 years” with 10% off annual fuel bills. Recent improvements including improved recycling, ongoing smart meter installation and voltage optimisation technology have further cut the building’s carbon footprint. Staff are encouraged to travel to work by cycling with bike loans and pool bikes available and now between 10 to 15% now cycle to work.  Other improvements still underway in the building will see more energy efficient lighting, which will emit less heat and use less energy installed, and a trial of more effective ways to turn off lights outside of office hours. Timing controls are also set to be introduced to shower and hot water generators, to improve the energy usage around the building. The building has also been signed up to the 10:10 campaign a drive to get individuals and organisations to cut their carbon footprint by 10% in 2010.

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London Fashion Week looks for sustainability

London Fashion Week saw more members of clothing and fashion industries demonstrating a commitment to social and environmental goals with the Week’s sustainable clothing conference shows. The event, attended by representatives from over 200 companies and organisations saw Environment Minister Dan Norris announce new signatories to industry roadmap the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) including the British Retail Consortium, Ethical Fashion Forum, Forum for the Future, Levis Strauss, MADE-BY, Cotton Made in Africa, RSPCA, Society of Dyers and Colourists. Since its creation the SCAP has brought together over 40 organisations, from high street retailers, to designers and textile manufacturers to battle the environmental and ethical impacts of ‘throw away’ fashion.  Edie.net reports that some of the biggest names in fashion are working to take actions which will make a significant difference to the environmental footprint and social inequalities which blight some of the consumer fashion supply chain.

Big blades keep Brits rolling!

A British firm has announced it will build the world’s largest wind turbine in a new factory. The Britannia blade will be developed Clipper Windpower Marine at their new factory, a 4000m2 facility expected to be completed towards the end of 2010. The factory will be used to develop and build blades for the ‘Britannia Project’, a 10MW offshore wind turbine prototype under development by Clipper. A prototype is scheduled for deployment in late 2012 blades will be 72 metres long and weigh more than 30 tonnes and will be funded partly by a Department of Energy and Climate Change grant of £4.46m, which was awarded to Clipper in September last year.

ILMC to look at green touring

The ILMC hopes to be ‘Turning the Tide in Global Touring’ this year when the global gathering of the live events industry takes a long hard look at sustainable touring.  While many festivals have been ahead of the curve when it comes to environmental efforts, there’s arguably more room for improvement when it comes to day-to-day touring. Music industry greening group Julie’s Bicycle will shortly be publishing an in-depth report on green touring, and representatives will exclusively present some early findings. Building on this research, this year’s International Live Music Conference will feature cross-industry panel will consider the practicalities of green touring to ask just how sustainable both large- and small-scale productions are. The panel, chaired by music lawyer and A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis will feature legendary artist manager Jazz Summers and leading promoter Rob Hallett from AEG Live along with other expert guests and the panel will ask whether it’s possible to affect change without affecting budgets and why impending environmental legislation could well make this issue a financial as well as a moral imperative. The ILMC is held at the Royal Gardens Hotel in Kensington, London between the 12th and the 14th March 2010 and the Green Room is at 10.00 on Saturday 13th March. See www.ilmc.com

Solar, so good – Glastonbury catches the sun

Worthy Farm, home of Glastonbury Festival, will soon also play host to the UK’s largest private solar electricity system. Festival organiser Michael Eavis is set to invest in 1,500 square metres of solar panels, which will generate the same amount of power annually as used by 40 homes.

The 1,100 solar panels will sit atop the barns which are home to the Worthy Farm herd while the Festival is on. On a clear, sunny day, the panels are expected to generate some 200kW of power. Any power which isn’t used on the farm will be exported to the National Grid.

Because solar panels create clean electricity, the Worthy system will save around 100 tonnes of CO2 a year (equivalent to the total annual footprint of 10 people in the UK).

Michael Eavis said “It’s a very exciting project for us. We first had renewable energy at the Festival in 1979 and we’ve been trying to increase it ever since. We want the Festival, and the farm, to be as green as they can be. The solar panels will make a huge contribution towards that.”

Work will begin to install the panels on August 1, as long as planning permission is granted and surveys confirm that the barn roof is strong enough to hold the panels.

www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk   Picture: Nick Cordes

Green Music Group is Go!

The GREEN MUSIC GROUP has launched in the US bringing together a collection of high profile musicians and music industrry leaders who are joining with reverb.org to green the music industry and activate fans.

Founding members include the Dave Matthews Band, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, The Roots, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Barenaked Ladies, Guster, Warner Music Group, Brushfire Records, Shoreline Amphitheater, Comcast Center, Verizon Wireless Music Center, Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn Bowl, and American Airlines Arena.

The new group celebrated its official launch on the 1st February 2010 in Hollywood, CA with the hope of implementing widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe. To announce its launch, Green Music Group founding members and friends gathered at Jane’s House in Hollywood for live performances by members of Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, Guster, and Maroon 5. Guests were treated to eco-friendly appetizers and drinks provided by Shin’s BBQ, VeeV, ZICO, Eel River, and Newton’s Vineyard. “Tonight we celebrated a watershed moment – music industry leaders and fans coming together to create significant change. Reverb has been helping individual artists and venues green their tours and shows for the last six years. We wanted to do more – our founding artists, venues and labels wanted to do more, and our fans were calling on us to take the lead,” said Guster guitarist/vocalist Adam Gardner, who founded Reverb with his wife, environmentalist Lauren Sullivan. “Green Music Group answers that call by using the collective power of the music community to bring about real lasting environmental change.” Since 2004, Reverb has greened over 80 major music tours while conducting grassroots outreach to over 10 million music fans. The nonprofit group has also worked with various entities within the music world from record labels to radio stations.

Green Music Group will build upon what Reverb has already accomplished, creating and implementing industry-wide green guidelines and standards while providing a dynamic online community where fans can take action. “DMB has been working with Reverb for a number of years to green our tours and have seen amazing results both backstage and from our fans’ response,” said Dave Matthews Band. “We are excited to exponentially multiply these results by joining forces with other like-minded bands through the Green Music Group.” Prominent music industry leaders agree. “We are proud to have several of our venues as Founding Members of GMG,” expressed Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. “We look forward to continued growth of our environmental efforts to follow the example set by these standouts and the other founders of Green Music Group.” 

Born out of the Internet age, Green Music Group has launched GreenMusicGroup.org, which provides fans and artists with a vibrant online community to engage in regular calls-to-action, beginning with the “GMG Challenge” set to launch next month. As additional incentive to take action, fans have chances to win prizes like VIP tickets and autographed guitars. Mike Brune, incoming Executive Director of the Sierra Club commented, “Green Music Group’s incredible reach and deep connection to young people has the power to be a major megaphone for our organization’s environmental campaigns.” GMG has partnered with a diverse group of non-profits ranging from Union of Concerned Scientists to Oxfam America to Hip Hop Caucus. Green Music Group encourages everyone who loves music and wants to be at the forefront of change to join the coalition.

www.GreenMusicGroup.org  and www.Reverb.org

Get involved in the Greener Festival Awards

The new GREENER FESTIVAL AWARDS scheme is open for 2010. If you organise a music or arts festival – or if you work at a festival then please do think about entering and making your festival a greener, friendlier place. The Self Assessment form can be downloaded from the home pages at www.agreenerfestival.com . This can be returned either to return digitally (preferred) or as a pdf to be posted back. Each Festival that enters needs to complete this Self Assessment and then submit this to AGF before your event with as much supporting documentation as possible – this might include a carbon footprint, an environmental impact assessment or a traffic and transport plan. There are some very useful tools on the Julies Bicycle website (the IG Tools) to help festivals and events measure greenhouse gas emissions – see http://www.juliesbicycle.com/resources and these can help reduce your carbon footprint. AGF will also need to appoint an environmental assessor to visit your Festival to complete an independent audit

In 2009 37 festivals in the UK, mainland Europe, the USA and Australia were awarded the prestigious Greener Festival Award and recipients included T-in-the-Park in Scotland, The Isle of Wight, The City of London Festival, Waveform, Croissant Neuf and Glastonbury in the UK, Bonnaroo and Rothbury in the USA and Bluesfest and Peats Ridge in Australia.  The Awards are widely publicised in both trade press and in mainstream press around the world and are recognised as a significant independent award recognising best environmental practice. The overall Greener Festival Award for best environmental performance will be awarded to one festival at the UK Festival Awards 2010. AGFG have also have linked up with Yourope and Virtual Festivals for the European Festival Awards and they will award the overall Green ‘n’ Clean Award for best environmental performance for a European Festival at the European Festival Awards 2010. This year the winners in the UK were the Croissant Neuf festival and the Winners in Europe were the Oya Festival in Norway.

You can get in touch with the team at AGreenerFestival using email to  agreenerfestival@aol.com