A Greener Festival was set up to promote sustainable music events and environmentally friendly practices at music and arts festivals around the World and our Awards scheme is now an integral part of the global fight against climate change. The Awards are in addition to our other activities – we have our well read website, we run the annual ‘Great Big Green Ideas’ competition for members of the public to suggest green innovations for festivals, we run training schemes with Buckinghamshire New University and the European festivals organisation YOUROPE and we provide speakers for panels and for conferences (in 2010 we had representatives at the International Live Music Conference (UK), Green Events Germany, Event Scotland and the Event Expo in Hungary). We have new conferences planned for Finland and Hungary. In 2010 AGF released a double CD of emerging talent ‘Festivals Harvest’ in environmentally friendly packaging and AGF also undertake independent research, primarily on audience opinions.
The Greener Festival Awards scheme recognises and rewards festivals who have made significant steps in reducing their environmental impact. To enter the Awards scheme a Festival needs to submit the Self Assessment along with all relevant supporting documentation. The Festival will then be ‘environmentally audited’ by an independent assessor and this Report along with your self assessment and supporting documents will form the basis of the Award Committee’s award.
The application fee is currently £200 plus VAT for UK Festivals and MUST be paid in advance. This is to cover the expenses of the environmental assessor and our administration. If you festival is in Europe then the fee will be a minimum of E300 and in the USA US $300 and you will need to liaise with the Awards Administrator on this (see contacts below). We have NO government or European funding of any sort whatsoever and we are a ’not for profit’ organisation.
The process is this
The festival will submit its Self Assessment / documentation and pay the application fee
The independent assessor is appointed
The independent assessor visits the event and then prepares the Independent Report
The assessor submits their Report and all supporting documentation they have received
The Awards Committee meets three times each year to confirm Awards
Additional supporting documentation: This might include and Environmental Policy, And Environmental Impact Rep/ort, a travel and transport policy, an office policy and a ‘Carbon Footprint’ or other report measuring greenhouse gas emissions. We support the Julies Bicycle tools for measuring and reporting Greenhouse gas emissions (www.juliesbicycle.com). We have also been looking at the tools developed by the sustainable Events Alliance as evidece of good practice Nationally supported schemes such as BS8901 and international ISO standards – initially ISO 9000 and now ISO 14000 and ISO 14001 are also useful and can be useful evidence, as of course would be equivalent schemes in other countries. Support for schemes such as 10:10 or Climate Week (UK) may be of interest.
The Australian Awards are the first to be announced each year, usually in March or April. We then try and have two further Committee meetings, one to look at UK, European and North American applications from the first half of the year (May, June, July) and then a final meeting in late September for the final festivals from the UK, North America and Europe which take place in August and September.
There are four categories of the Greener Festival Award:
Outstanding – for truly outstanding and inspirational events. These need to be exceptional events who have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, have excellent travel, transport and waste management programmes, protect the environment and minimise water use and communicate this to the public.
Highly Commended – for well managed environmentally aware festivals which have taken significant steps to reduce waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and engage with the audience.
Commended – for well-managed, environmentally aware festivals.
Improving – for festivals at the beginning of the green “journey” that can exhibit at least a significant engagement with the process of reducing the event’s environmental impact.
If you win the Award you will be entitled to use the Award Winners Logo.
The Awards attract a significant level of press interest. This can be generated by festivals themselves. We also receive press on a national level, in music industry trade press and even on an international level through organisations such as the BBC and the Discovery Channel. Out own blog www.agreenerfestival.com now has a large readership as does the sister site www.musicgreen.wordpress.com . We also blog at www.virtualfestivals.com. The first Awards announcements are made on our website and then press released. We usually have an Awards ceremony for all UK winners in November in London. In Europe we are on the panel that judges the overall ‘Green n Clean’ Award’ winner from a Yourope’s Green ‘n’ Clean Award scheme winners.