Monthly Archives: November 2012


A Greener Festival, Bucks New University and the Association of Independent Festivals will be presenting the fourth edition of GREEN EVENTS & INNOVATIONS at The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Thursday 7th March 2013. The Conference is being hosted at the International Live Music Conference, the world leading gathering of live music business professionals from around the globe. Green Events & innovations remains the UK’s leading conference looking at sustainability at events.

Tickets for the Conference (which include lunch, and a day of panels, keynotes and workshops) are £75, with a discount rate of £50 available for AIF Members, Yourope Members,  ILMC delegates and students. You can REGISTER HERE

Topics which will be covered will include a panel on power at events, including an update of the ‘Powerful Thinking’ campaign, the effect of climate change and extreme weather on events, an update on new technology and innovations, advice on managing waste at events including practical problems and new solutions, and a look at how artists can get involved in sustainability. As ever, Green Events & Innovations will have speakers and panellists who are experts in their field and in event sustainability.

More on the ILMC (8th – 10th March 2013) at




The UK’s ‘Green Deal’ – a scheme to provide loans to improve energy efficiency in homes – seems like a great idea. But Greg Barker, the Climate Change minister, has had to admit that since the scheme was introduced last month on October 1st, not one single assessment has taken place.  Its a shame – as improvements such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, boiler upgrades, draught proofing and double and triple glazing can give householders substantial savings on their ever rising energy bills. Assessments are meant to help householders understand how much they can save and how much they could borrow – its a ‘Golden Rule’ that borrowings should not exceed planned savings.

After an extraordinary cloudburst in London last week, it came as no surprise when we saw a study saying that rain in the UK has been falling  more heavily over the last 100 years, and since the 1960s the intense downpours have more than doubled and as climate change takes hold.With warmer wetter summers, it’s expected that the deluges will get worse with increased flooding in the UK. The Warmer North Atlantic will also push Southern Europe towards drought with hot dry Mediterranean summers. Another wet week and windy week was expected in the UK, with flash flooding, bridge failures  and landslides predicted. A motorist died in Somerset last week trying to cross a flooded ford in a  4×4.

Green campaigners have reacted furiously to news that the Government have delayed a decision whether or not to set a decarbonisation target range for 2030. The World Wildlife Fund called the postponement of a decision until 2016 “seriously disappointing” describing it as “a failure of leadership”.  The Government will also exempt energy intensive industries from costs arising from new long-term ‘contracts for difference’ (CFD), which are designed to increase investment in low carbon technologies. The announcement will be made alongside the introduction of the Energy Bill today by Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey. But in better news, The first zero-energy cost business park, which will see tenants free of energy bills, was launched, Located in Wigan. The £2.7m development Armstrong Point, was opened by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities Baroness Hanham who described the project as “exciting and innovative” and The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has been officially launched by the Business Secretary Vince Cable. Speaking in Edinburgh at its new headquarters, Cable said the bank, which will make £3bn of government money available for investment in the green economy, would “position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy.” And finally Gas and electricity regulator Ofgem has released £45.5m of funding for five low carbon electricity distribution projects.

Water must be managed within sustainable limits in order to stop the damage to ecosystems, says the European Environment Agency (EEA). According to a report published today, pollution and excessive water use are harming ecosystems across Europe which are indispensable to Europe’s food, energy, and water supplies.  Entitled ‘European waters – current status and future challenges’, the report brings together findings from nine other EEA reports published during the course of 2012 and early 2013.  More at

One-fifth of the world’s natural resources that are extracted for use end up as waste according to new research which examines the hidden environmental costs of raw materials use. A study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) has found that 62 billion tonnes of resources such as minerals, wood, metals, fossil and biomass fuels are extracted from the earth each year.

Almost one fifth of Irish electricity usage now comes from renewable sources, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), reducing Ireland’s fossil fuel imports by an estimated €300m (£242m) last year.

Europe must adapt to the effects of climate change or risk devastating damage costs caused by extreme weather events, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Samsung and Apple must face obligatory reporting rules for their supply chains and material use, says Friends of the Earth (FoE). FoE recently carried out a six-month investigation which found that tin used in popular brands of smartphones is linked to the devastation of the environment in Indonesia.  According to FOE, electrical giants Samsung and Apple deal with companies that use tin mined on Bangka Island in Indonesia, but refuse to confirm or deny the allegations.  More at

Green that screen! The Odeon Cinema Group has embarked on a drive to double recycling rates by the end of 2014 across all of its theatre sites in the UK.

Nike has unveiled its latest environmental low impact product – the GS2 football boot, constructed using a range of renewable plant-based and recycled materials. Claimed to be the “most environmentally friendly boot available” on the pitch, every component of the GS2 boot has been optimised to reduce weight and waste, creating Nike’s lightest football boot ever at 160 grams, based on a size 9.

Call for films launch for the 2013 edition of the Deauville Green Awards

The second edition of the Deauville Green Awards will be held from April 16 to 18, 2013. This international festival, dedicated to corporate and TV films about ecology and sustainable development, aims at promoting good practices through audio-visual communication from companies, institutions and local authorities that have made a commitment toward the environment.

In 2012, the festival’s jury awarded the grand prize for best audio-visual environmental corporate policy to Light Close to Everyone, a German film sponsored by SIEMENS AG and produced by LavaFilms, and the grand prize for best audio-visual environmental institutional policy was awarded to the Belgian film Pour une région en mouvement, sponsored by the city of Brussels and produced by DoubleDouble. The event took place in some of the most prestigious locations in the city of Deauville (Salon des Ambassadeurs, Villa Le Cerle, Villa Strassburger). Leaders in the audio-visual communication industry benefited from these great venues to meet and exchange ideas on their respective projects.

Building on the success of this first edition, the organisers are already announcing the call for films for the 2013 edition of the Deauville Green Awards. Producers and sponsors can submit their programs (institutional films, advertising campaigns and TV documentaries) to compete in one of 12 categories:

–       Climate Change & Society

–       Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technologies

–       Transportation & Eco-Mobility

–       Health & Lifestyles

–       Agriculture & Green Economics

–       Housing & Eco-Innovation

–       Eco-Tourism & Sustainable Nature

–       Sustainable Producing and Consuming

–       Corporate Social Responsibility

–       Economics & Ecology

–       Innovation & Post-Industrial Ecosystems

–       Corporate Patronage & Humanitarian Help

Registrations can be completed on the website through the online registration form as well as the FTP upload system for the transmission of video files.

UN Climate Change Conference In Qatar tackles Global Warming – hopefully

Countries are gathering for the latest round of United Nations climate talks this week as warnings mount over the dangers of failing to tackle global warming and European officials and campaigners are leading the push for a new globally binding treaty by 2015, which the EU and a coalition of developing countries managed to get the world to agree to negotiate last year – as the unlikely alliance of organisations including likes of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the insurers industry and the CIA warned about the dangers of climate change. The World Bank has warned the world is on track for temperatures rises of 4C by the end of the century, while the International Energy Agency has said only a third of proven fossil fuel reserves can be exploited if the 2C target is to be met.

The talks come against a backdrop of extreme weather events such as superstorm Sandy and this summer’s drought in the US, and heavy record breaking rains in the UK, which are predicted to get more frequent as the climate changes.  The talks have previously seen countries agree to take action to limit temperature rises to 2C and last year in Durban nations signed up to negotiate a new legally binding global deal to cut emissions by 2015, that would come into force for 2020 as the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the original climate deal to cut emissions which the US never ratified, comes to an end. Part of the agreement to negotiate a new treaty is that Kyoto will continue into a second period, but only the European Union, Australia and a handful of other countries have agreed to sign up to the second phase of the protocol. The talks aim to secure a continuation of Kyoto and the rules on cutting emissions that it provides, and campaigners also hope negotiators will address loopholes which allow too much pollution.

Rich countries are also under pressure to provide finance to help poor nations develop cleanly and cope with the impacts of climate change as the first tranche of promised money comes to end this year.

More on the Huffington Post here


_MG_8629 FlagsThe final winners of the 2012 Greener Festival Award have been announced with thirteen more UK, European and North American winners picking up the Award along with the first ever winner from Brazil. They join the previously announced winners list which included seven festivals in Australia and other sustainable events in Europe, the UK and the USA, a total of forty one winners in all. The new winning festivals, some of the greenest in the world, are:

Lightening in a Bottle (USA) – Outstanding
Latitude (UK) – Highly Commended
Rock The Green (USA) – Highly Commended
Symbiosis Gathering: Pyramid Eclipse (USA) – Highly Commended
Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada) Commended
Leeds Festival (UK) – Commended
Reading Festival (UK) – Commended
Hadra Trance (France) – Commended
Sled Island (Canada) – Commended
Barclaycard Wireless (UK) – Improving
Hard Rock Calling (UK) – Improving
Milton Keynes Festival Fringe (UK) – Improving
T in The Park (UK) – Improving
A Greener Festival have also announced four new GREEN INSPIRATION AWARDS for projects that promote sustainability and captured the imagination of AGF’s team of volunteer environmental assessors. The four worthy winners are:
Boom Festival for their STAR waste water recycling scheme (Portugal)
Shambala Festival for their ‘Surplus Supper Club‘ food recycling scheme (UK)
Food and farming alliance Sustain for their ‘Good Food For Festivals Guide’ (UK)
Open Air Festival for their on-site biodigesters (Czech Republic)
The final list of winners of the Greener Festival Award 2012 comprises :
Boom (Portugal) – Outstanding
Croissant Neuf Summer Party (UK) – Outstanding
Ilosaarirock (Finland) – Outstanding
Lightening in a Bottle (USA) – Outstanding
Oya Festival (Norway) – Outstanding
Shambala (UK) – Outstanding
Sunrise Celebration (UK) – Outstanding
We Love Green (France) – Outstanding
Bonnaroo (USA) – Highly Commended
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK) – Highly Commended
Día de la Música (Spain) – Highly Commended
Island Vibe Festival (Australia) – Highly Commended
Latitude (UK) – Highly Commended
Malmöfestivalen (Sweden) – Highly Commended
Primavera Sound (Spain) – Highly Commended
Rock The Green (USA) – Highly Commended
SOS 4:8 (Spain) – Highly Commended
Splendour In The Grass (Australia) – Highly Commended
Symbiosis Gathering: Pyramid Eclipse (USA) – Highly Commended,
The Falls Music & Arts Festival (Australia) – Highly Commended
Welcome To The Future (Netherlands) – Highly Commended
Bluesfest (Australia) – Commended
Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada) – Commended
Deici Giorni Suonati (Italy) – Commended
Hadra (France) – Commended
Open Air Festival (Czech Republic) – Commended
Leeds Festival (UK) – Commended
Manchester Christmas Markets (UK) – Commended
Planet Madrid (Spain) – Commended
Reading Festival (UK) – Commended
Sled Island (Canada) – Commended
Universo Parallelo (Brazil) – Commended
WOMADelaide (Australia) – Commended
Woodford Folk Festival (Australia) – Commended
Barclaycard Wireless (UK) – Improving
Fairbridge Folk Festival (Australia) – Improving
Hard Rock Calling (UK) – Improving
Larmer Tree Festival (UK) – Improving
Milton Keynes Festival Fringe (UK) – Improving
Radio 1 Hackney Weekend (UK) – Improving
T in The Park (UK) – Improving
The Greener Festival Awards are supported by Robertson Taylor, insurance brokers. Robertson Taylor are specialists in the music industry and offer a discount  insurance scheme for green events which AGF endorse.
The overall winner of Australia’s Greener Festival Award 2012 was announced at the ‘Are festivals getting greener, or meaner?’ forum at the Eclipse 2012 Festival on Tuesday 13th November 2012 – and the winner was confirmed as The Falls Festival.
 The overall winner of the UK’s Greener Festival Award will be made at the UK Festival Awards on Monday December 3rd at the London Roundhouse.  The GO Europe ‘Green Operations’ Award will be handed over to the greenest European festival at the European Festival  Awards at Eurosonic in Groningen, Netherlands,  on Wednesday the 9th January 2013.
More on the UK and European Festival Awards here and here

Leaflet rules ‘catastrophic’ for small venues and comedy

A letter in the Daily Telegraph  from over 100 signatories including comedian Al Murray, Radiohead manager Brian Message, Live Nation boss Paul Latham and promoter Harvey Goldsmith says that comedy nights, arts festivals and local music venues are being driven out of business by councils demanding hefty fees for the right to hand out leaflets with campaigners saying that the cost of licensing is having “catastrophic” effect on the arts. Around one in three councils restrict leafleting, with charges running to hundreds of pounds per day. The letter points out that a licence to hand out flyers in Basildon on a Saturday costs £350 – although many find the practice itself annoying with one commentator saying “comedy nights, arts festivals and local music venues are probably the biggest producers of litter and detritus in our communities” which councils then have to clear up, and others pointing out that digital solutions such as e-flyers and social networking are a much cleaner solution.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 allows local authorities to designate areas “where it is satisfied that the land is being defaced by the discarding of free printed matter” (or litter!) where a licence is required, but campaigners argue that local authorities are using the provisions as a source of revenue. Lord Clement-Jones, the Lib Dem peer, is planning to bring a private member’s bill requesting an exemption from leafleting restrictions for small-scale cultural and community events pointing out that “The Act already provides exemption for political and religious leafleting, or leafleting on behalf of a charity” and saying “A wider exemption would avoid the unnecessary penalisation of small-scale events that are so valuable to community life.”

The issue was raised at the recent BRITISH ARTS FESTIVAL ASSOCIATION  ‘Capacity to Endure‘ conference at the Barbican (8th and 9th November) which focussed on sustainability on its final day. A number of comments were made about both the need for flyers – even in the digital age – matched by comments about waste and recycling issues. It’s an interesting conundrum – many venues and artistes still rely on paper and card flyers  to promote shows, and they can now be printed in recycled paper with friendly inks – and recycled –  and as yet no one really knows the true environmental ‘cost’ in terms of greenhouse gas emissions from digital communications. But we can all see the result of thousands of discarded flyers littering streets …..

New qualification for sustainable caterers

The Nationwide Caterers Association have introduced the first ever online ‘sustainability in catering’ training course. The training has been created by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in partnership with the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS), and accredited by City & Guilds.  As major sports venues and music festivals are increasingly taking the sustainability of their food seriously and expecting caterers to respond to this, it makes business sense for all UK venues and festivals to make it a pre-requisite for their caterers to undertake sustainability training. This training scheme “provides the necessary reassurances for venues and festivals to match their values with those of customers”.  Event organisers are being increasingly asked to consider the environmental impact of their events, from waste going to landfill to energy and water usage. The industry is being asked to take responsibility for the overall impact their businesses have, including that caused by traders at events.

In September 2012 the SRA and NCASS jointly launched the first ever online training course for sustainability in catering. They believe this is the most convenient and effective way of providing help and advice to the entire industry, at the lowest cost possible to the end user.  The training course is designed to raise awareness of the three core areas of sustainability:

(1) Environmental practices

(2) Sourcing food

(3) Social responsibility

And here’s the good bit – all UK festivals who decide to ask caterers to provide evidence of the sustainability training will be awarded the SRA Festivals Partner status and receive free national PR.  Sunrise Celebration are the first UK festival to agree to support the SRA/NCASS sustainability training and recommend the training to potential caterers at their event. While it is not compulsory for caterers to complete the course, it will be recommended and should help them to succeed in the tender process.  Sunrise Festival are therefore well on their way to receiving SRA festival partner status, awarded by the SRA to festivals that make completion of sustainability training compulsory for all food vendors.

It only costs £50 for SRA or NCASS mobile caterer members to be accredited. For non-members the  accreditation costs £95 and takes two hours to complete. There are reductions for bulk bought courses.

Once completed, participants must successfully complete a test before receiving a sustainability certificate that can be displayed in their unit.       If you would like to trial the training or find out more  please contact  the number or email address below to  sign up for sustainability training today.  

For more information please call +44(0) 0121 603 2524 or email Mark Laurie at .