Monthly Archives: October 2013

ANOTHER PLANET?

National trust logoI may have to re-think my membership of the National Trust. Why? Well they have always been a tad patronising (that oh So English ‘we know better than the members’ approach) but boss Dame Helen Ghosh has now said that whilst she is ‘open’ to consider fracking on the Trust’s lands, but wind farms have been ruled out. The Trust owns 600,000 acres of lands and 700 miles of coastline.

With ever rising fuel prices in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron is thinking of slashing green levies on domestic fuel bills – designed to promote a new sustainable energy and technologies – for greener – and cheaper – power, promote energy efficiency in homes, the feed-in tariff and roll out smart meters.

ash die backAsh dieback is a serious disease that has killed ash trees across northern Europe. It has now been found in the UK and could devastate the landscape in the same way as Dutch Elm Disease. Ash dieback is caused by a fungus, Chalara fraxinea. It causes leaf loss, lesions on the bark and dieback of the crown of the tree. The disease is spread by spores from the fruiting bodies of the fungus on dead leaves. Infected trees usually die. But scientists are now very interested in a Somerset plantation where ash trees have survived far longer than  had been thought possible. Only 10% of the 6,000 trees at the National Trust’s Honicote Estate (dang, they do good things too!) are showing signs of the disease, despite the site having first been infected 12 years ago – although the Trust has removed infected trees to slow the spread. The National Trust’s Simon Pryor said: “It’s important that the disease has not appeared to have spread very far at all” adding “Even the trees affected have not suffered as much as we’d have expected, and very few have died, despite apparently having had the disease for nearly a decade” and “Whilst we don’t want to be too optimistic on the basis of this one outbreak, this does confirm the view we’ve held from the outset that it is worthwhile removing infected trees in order to try to slow the spread – especially in places like this so far from the main area of the disease in the South East.” The Trust have passed on their findings to Defra.

Anna Friel has suffered a bit of flack recently after filming a WWF appeal for the Virunga National Park (in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) from nearby Uganda. Friel was apparently 25 miles from Africa’s oldest national park when she made her pleas – but whatever the kerfuffle – the fact remains that this natural treasure is under serious threat from planned oil exploration. So thank you Anna.

UK Universities and other institutional investors such as churches and charities are being urged to pull out of investing in fossil fuels after the success of a similar scheme in the USA. Fossil Free aims to focus attention on the £5 billion invested in oil, gas and coal by UK Universities’ endowment funds. The US campaign led to more than 40 institutions pulling out of fossil fuel investment.  Do Britain’s energy firms serve the public interest? An Observer columnist and the director at the free-market thinktank Institute of Economic Affairs, take opposing sides in a debate on the pros and cons.  Yes. The market is dysfunctional. We need to shape dynamic capitalism for the good of society, argues Will Hutton and No, far from a return to nationalisation, more liberalisation is what is required, argues Philip Booth.

And what about selling of the newly state owned and now very successful East Coast line in the UK – everyone LIKES state ownership now – and the profit goes back to the taxpayer. But the UK government seems set on selling off the franchise. More here in Up for sale: the public rail line passengers love in the Observer here.

You may well have spotted that the Co-operative Bank will be listed on the stock market next year, to raise money after its poorly timed purchase of the indebted Britannia Building Society – and now 70% of the bank is owned by bondholders and two US hedge funds after the Co-operative Society had to relinquish control. So – will the ethical investments and a social conscience be de-prioritised? The hedge funds say no – but many don’t believe them, and it is expected they will move their accounts away to greener pastures.

Dinner parties at risk! The drought in California and the Greek heatwave have affected, amongst many other things, the almond crop and supplies of olives. The Greek temperatures reduced the Halkidiki olive crop substantially. And to add to suburbia’s woes,  a major cull of fever infected goats has also reduced goats cheese supplies, with prices jumping 50%.  The cost of cocoa butter is also on the rise. What next ….. humus rationed? Quails eggs in peril?

Black_Rhinos_KenyaThe Dallas Safari Club, a really horrible sounding US hunting consortium, hopes to raise $1 million by auctioning off the prize of a permit allowing the moron who bids the highest the ‘right’ to kill a Black Rhino in Namibia.  Only about 4,800 Black rhinos remain in the world, and according to the WWF is probably extinct in many African countries now. The $1 million would go to conserve the rhino ………

In Breton in France 1,000 protesters blocked roads with burning hay bales and heaps of cauliflowers to protest against President Hollande’s carbon taxes. A carbon tax will be levied on lorries weighing more than 3.5 tonnes and a separate “climate energy” tax will push up home energy bills by 7%. Petrol will also face additional taxes.  In the UK, with prime Minister David Cameron saying he is ready to scrap green taxes to push down domestic energy bills, Labour have also said that they would support an over haul of green taxes,with energy spokesperson Caroline Flint  saying they are expensive, bureaucratic and poorly targeted.

In the UK, ministers have said that upgrading existing rail lines to meet increased demand – and that’s  if the new  HS2 project doesn’t move ahead – will mean disruption, major delays and weekend closures on all three South to North rail lines for the next 14 years.

American_bison_Plans by a group of benevolent billionaire investors to create a massive sanctuary for bison in Montana have come under fire from ranchers who say that they do a good job protecting the environment having safeguarded and nursed the prairie back to health since the ‘dust bowl’ years of the Great Depression in the 1930s. The American Prairie Reserve are hoping to assemble 3.5 million acres of private and public land to provide a home for 10,000 pure bred bison – and have 274,000 acres already – saying that buying 500,000 acres would then glue together almost 3 million more acres into a reserve.

GreenEvents Europe – Nov 24 to 26 – UPDATE – REGISTER NOW!

geeThe 4th GreenEvents Europe Conference in Bonn on Nov 25th and 26th 2013 is coming up. The program is almost fixed completely, the speakers’ list is extraordinary and we are looking very much forward to meeting you all there.

We are glad to present an outstanding line-up at Europe’s leading conference for sustainability in the live music and event industry. Like in the previous years the conference will offer high-level input by speakers of international reputation without neglecting practical relevance and direct applicability. Please meet speakers from spearhead institutions such as Green Music Initiative, A Greener Festival, Powerful Thingking, Slow Food network, Fareshare and Energieagentur NRW, experts and scientists fromBucks New University, Cologne University, Ökoinstitut e.V., University Ulm and Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen as well as top panellists from major events like Roskilde Festival, Rock Am Ring, Shambala Festival, Way Out West, We Love Art/We Love Green Festival, Rock For People , Cabaret Vert Festival, Exit Festival, Open Air St. Gallen and Evangelischer Kirchentag.

GreenEvents Europe offers top level input – without losing touch of the practical implementation. But besides this very hands-on approach we are trying to integrate the thought in our panels how actions can reach out to the audience and stimulate more sustainable lifestyles as well.  Come and connect with experts and professionals involved in event organisation, listen to other’s opinion, start or intensify networking, exchange knowledge and best practise ideas. There will be plenty of opportunities to network and interact at the conference and events like the famous GreenEvents Dinner (kindly hosted by Yourope) or the sunday evening warm-up.

We offer a Beginner Workshop on green event management for participants with no or little knowledge prior to the regular conference on Sunday Nov 24th, afternoon.

Register here now! We have special offers for Yourope members, SfN-festivals and companies sending more than one delegate. As the variety of urging topics requires sessions and workshops to be organized in parallel, form a team or bring a colleague. 

ANOTHER PLANET?

tescoUK retailer Tesco has seen 28,500 tonnes of food thrown away in the first six months of this year, the supermarket giant has revealed for the first time. The company said it would be dropping some food promotions, such as some ‘buy one get one free’ offers, after it was shown two-thirds of produce grown for bagged salad is thrown out. It also revealed families are wasting around £700 of food a year.  As a result of the findings, it is to end multi-buys on large bags of salad and is developing mix-and-match promotions for smaller bags in a bid to help customers reduce the amount they are wasting. The retailer found that 40% of apples are wasted, as are just under half of bakery items. A quarter of grapes are wasted between the vine and the fruit bowl and a fifth of all bananas are unused – with customers throwing one in 10 in the bin. More here http://www.channel4.com/news/food-waste-tesco-bagged-salad-28500-tonnes-bin

David Cameron has defended plans to build the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation. The Prime Minister said that the new Hinkley C facility in Somerset will generate enough electricity to power nearly 6 million homes once operational, bring 900 permanent jobs to the area and create around 25,000 jobs during construction. French firm EDF will be guaranteed TWICE the current market price for electricity it generates from the new plant. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that Chinese companies will be allowed to take a stake – including potential future majority stakes – in the development of the next generation of British nuclear power.

Virgin_atlanticVirgin Atlantic has claimed that travelling by air is greener than travelling by car. In its 2013 sustainability programme update, published this week, the airline states that last year its CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre (PK) fell to 119.3g. This is “interesting”, the company states, given that in the UK the average new car emissions were “133.1gCO2/km in 2012”. The airline said the fall in UK emissions is due to carrying “more passengers at higher load factors” and Virgin Atlantic claimed that its $2bn (£1.2bn) fleet upgrade has resulted in up to 30% less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on some of its flights.

skySky has reduced its ‘carbon intensity’ by 33% since 2008-9 as the broadcaster begins to “realise the gains” made from its long-term investment in renewable and low-carbon sources of energy. Absolute carbon emissions remained stable at 100,045 tonnes. Six per cent of Sky’s energy now comes from renewables, with a target of 20% by 2020. Fleet efficiency has also been increased by 5%, with 15% the turn of the decade target. Business travel is an area where significant progress has been made: CO2 emissions per full-time employee have been cut by 18%, with the aim to hit 20% by 2020.

Captured cow burbs could be transformed into a new natural gas. Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology has developed a system to channel digestive gases from cattle into storage for onward use.

Bushfires raging across a 200 mile front in New South Wales plus could merge to form a ‘mega blaze’ fears the the state’s Fire Service Commissioner. Over 60 active fires are still out of control, fuelled by dry hot weather and strong winds. http://www.aol.co.uk/video/australia-firefighters-prepare-for-worst/517982819/

Hundreds of homes in London have been left without recycling facilities according to the London Standard, A botched outsourcing scheme to  ‘manage’ Barnet Council’s refuse and recycling has meant new contractor SIS Schaeffer has failed to provide proper bins for 500 households  – who shpuld now have refuse, recycling, food and compost bins. Rubbish remains uncollected after workers refused to collect refuse and recycling in ‘old’ bins despite the fact no replacements had been provided by SIS.

Terra Firma, the investment house behind the failed EMI takeover headed up by Guy Hands,, is floating it’s Infinis renewable energy business which is expected to be valued at £1.5 billion. The company has moved from generating electricity from waste to a new drive into wind power from onshore wind farms.

UK Live Music Business Awards, Q Awards and MOBOs – the winners!

lukma-logo-2013-214Glastonbury walked away with the ‘Best Large Festival’ prize at the UK Live Music Business Awards in London at a fun packed (and fast paced!) ceremony at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel. Other winners on the night included Alex Hardee who won Agent of the Year, Kwame Kwaten who was named Artist Manager of the Year, DHP Family who won Promoter of The Year, Orchard Events (wales) were worthy winners of Regional Promoter of the Year and Jamie Finn, of No-Wave (Folkestone) was Indie Promoter Of The Year. Best Record Label Partner went to Claire Haffenden from Universal Music

Latitude picked up the best mid-sized festival gong (15,000 – 39,000 capacity) and Bloodstock picked up best smaller festival (capacity under 15,000). Ben Howard won the “Breakthrough Artist award” and Graham Lambert, a Tour Rep, SJM Concerts, won the “Unsung Hero” Award. Tour Manager Of The Year was Glen Rowe (Muse), Spectacle Of The Year (Best Production) was Muse at Emirates Stadium, London and Best Festival Performance was Biffy Clyro at Reading.

Roger Daltry picked up the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ Award in recognition of his enduring global success as frontman of The Who, and for being a driving force in the Teenage Cancer Trust and organiser of the charity’s high profile concert series.

pee1_Untitled2copy_3And the 18th Annual MOBO Awards took place at the newly opened SSE Hydro arena, as the hottest names in RnB, soul, gospel, hip hop, reggae and many more descended on the venue for its first televised, multi-artist event.  The evening saw gongs handed out in 13 diverse MOBO categories featuring nominees such as Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Rudimental, Jessie J, Jessie Ware and Wretch 32 amongst others who were all in the running for one of the coveted awards with success stories; Laura Mvula and Wiley in the lead with four nominations each. Each winner was given an 18ct gold leaf MOBO trophy carefully redesigned for this year’s 18th anniversary celebrations. And the winners are:

MOBO_6_TM-6

Best African Act – Fuse ODG
Best Album – ‘Home’, Rudimental
Best Female in association with Tresor Paris – Laura Mvula
Best Gospel – Lurine Cato
Best International Act – Kendrick Lamar
Best Jazz – Sons of Kemet
Best Male – Wiley
Best Newcomer in association with HTC – Krept & Konan
Best Reggae Act – Sean Paul
Best RnB/Soul Act – Laura Mvula
Best Song in association with PRSforMusic – ‘La La La’, Naughty Boy
Best UK Hip Hop/Grime – Tinie Tempah
Best Video in association with SBTV – ‘La La La’, Naughty Boy
Be MOBO – Stephen Lawrence Trust

And the Q Awards have also been announced. Jake Bug won Best New Act, Foals Were best Live Act, Glastonbury was a winner again with Best Live Event, Ellie Goulding won Best Solo Act, Vampire Weekend won Best Act In The World Today, Chrissie Hynde was awarded Classic Songwriter and The Pet Shop Boys picked up the Outstanding Contribution Award. Suede were Q Icons and Robbie Williams Q Idol.

FESTIVAL WOOD REACHES IT’S FIRST 1,000 TREES

Festival_Wood_FullLogoClaire O’Neill and Helen Innes from A Greener Festival paid a visit to the Scottish Highlands last weekend, where we are planting the “Festival Wood” in partnership with Trees for Life. This is a reforestation project and is for the festival industry and festival goers alike to give something back to the great outdoors that we love to enjoy. The project is to reforest the Caledonian highlands to provide desperately needed bilateral habitat to support biodiversity and healthy ecological systems. Trees will not be felled for timber. 100% of the £5 per tree donations go to the project  – with no admin fees charged to A Greener Festival – or you!

Helen sets off to plant some trees

Helen sets off to plant some trees

Claire  and Helen  undertook the long journey north to plant some of the trees kindly donated this season. The most considerable donation this summer came from Electric Hotel, who donated £1 per phone charge at Shambala Festival this summer – and with over a thousand pounds raised, Sebastian and his team at Electric Hotel were able to contribute 212 new trees  – which is fantastic! And with more donations from festivals, fans and suppliers, we are proud that FESTIVAL WOOD HAS REACHED IT’S FIRST ONE THOUSAND TREES.

Donations to the wood have been made so far include Et Voila Events,  PsyBeatm, Bestival, End of the Road Festival, Belladrum (Tartan Heart 2012) Festival, ID&C, Barley Arts, Italy, The Electric Hotel, Stack Cup, Peppermint Bars, Al Green Productions, www.festivalmag.com, Glastonbury Festival, Rockstar Services, Live Experience, Kendal Calling, Hadra trace festival and Deer Shed Festival. We also planted trees to celebrate Team Green stalwarts Helen and Sam’s weddings – to Alan and Helen.

Claire gets muddy

Claire gets muddy

A Greener Festival also donates one tree per festival that applies to its Greener Festival annual Awards scheme internationally. And whilst we have hit this milestone – its not enough! There is still a month left of planting and all festivals, suppliers, organisers and individuals are invited to donate what they can to this brilliant project!

To donate and for more information Please use this url  – scroll down and include your festival / company name. THANK YOU!

ANOTHER PLANET?

A rather worrying reform to the UK’s planning law would mean that fracking companies could drill under your house – and you wouldn’t know anything about it – as the frackers wouldn’t have to tell you – let alone be able to take action. A Government spokesperson said the planned reforms would ‘add clarity’. Greenpeace says ministers are helping fracking firms ‘side step’ homeowner’s property rights.

gm crop 2Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has been having a go at the anti-GM food lobby – saying that the sabotage of a crop of ‘golden rice’ – enhanced to fight blindness – means that “little children” will be allowed to “go blind and die because of a hang up of a small number of people about this technology”. Paterson points to the wide spread use of GM crops now – opponents point to the use of GM crops in intensive farming and that GM only benefits large agricultural business that sell the technology and GM seeds.

London restaurant Grain Store has been named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year 2013, by our friends at the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The restaurant in Kings Cross, which opened in July, achieved the highest score and beat 100 restaurants after the SRA rated its sourcing, water, waste and energy saving initiatives, as well as its commitment to treat and engage responsibly with its staff, customers and community. Grain Store gives vegetables equal billing with meat and fish and the SRA found all the food to be “impeccably sourced”. Where possible, the meat served is organic or free range and it adheres to a strict sustainability policy when it comes to fish.

Edie.net reports that Global progress on energy efficiency has slowed down despite more countries implementing policies to drive improvements, according to a new report by the World Energy Council. The report, World Energy Perspective: Energy Efficiency Policies, shows that more and more countries are now involved in energy efficiency policies, but highlights factors that have affected energy efficiency progress across 85 countries, representing more than 90% of global consumption. Produced in collaboration with France’s energy and environment agency, ADEME, the report finds that Europe’s progression is being offset by the high energy intensity of countries such as China, Africa and the Middle East.

Credible and consistent carbon pricing must be the cornerstone of government actions to tackle climate change, according to a new OECD report. Releasing the report, Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies, OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, said that a transformation of the global energy system is needed if countries hope to limit climate change to a 2ºC temperature increase, as agreed by the global community.

EU1The European Union reduced emissions by approximately 18% between 1990 and 2012 and is on track to meeting its 20% emissions reduction target by 2020, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report. Considering EU progress in meeting greenhouse gas emission reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, the report, Trends and projections in Europe 2013, shows that the EU is also on track towards its common target for renewable energy consumption. Renewables contributed 13% of final energy consumption in 2011, which should increase to 20% by 2020.

Local authorities will have to collect some recyclables “by way of separate collection” under new EU waste laws, the government has confirmed. In a letter to local authorities, parliamentary under secretary Lord DeMauley attempts to clarify the amended waste regulations that will come into force in 2015 and what it means for recycling collections. The letter reminds local authorities of the amended Waste Frame Workwork Directive, which will mean that comingled collections of dry recyclables will not be permissible in all circumstances.

The smart cities industry has been valued at more than $400bn (£250bn) globally by 2020, with the UK expected to gain a 10% share, according to a new report. The report, The Smart City Market: Opportunities for the UK, looks at how ‘smart technologies’ could help address some of the challenges of urbanisation by helping to optimise resource consumption and improve services through better management of demand and supply.

Emperor_Penguin_Manchot_empereurThe Southern Ocean is home to more than 10,000 species including most of the world’s penguins. A new attempt to protect it hangs in the balance – fishing and drilling for oil could be banned across more than two million square miles off Antarctica in a historic attempt to preserve the pristine seas. Now a coalition of more than 30 environmental groups including Greenpeace and WWF are backing negotiations for a 1.25 millon km ‘no take’ zone that covers much of the Ross Sea, plans put forward by Germany and backed by Britain to bar fishing in the Weddell Sea and plans for a new  collection of small zones of the Eastern Antarctic totalling 1.9 sq km. 24 countries have political or financial interests in Antarctica and the seas around the icy continent  .

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is investing £58.6m in the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the London Array.

With domestic energy prices ever rising in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that green levies necessary to fund wind and nuclear power. With British Gas saying prices will rise 10.6%, green levies have come under fire – SSE partly blames 8.2% price hike on state-imposed subsidies but David Cameron has defended ‘necessary’ green subsidies on energy prices.

The Environment Agency (EA) has claimed that its two-year crusade to identify and shut down legal waste sites is paying off, saying that that 1,279 sites were closed in 2012-13. In 2011-12 the agency closed 670 such operations. Construction and demolition waste was found at 25% of the sites, with a similar number carrying old vehicles. The courts also confiscated over £1.3m last year from waste criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act, while the Agency has spent £17m in the past year tackling waste crime.

Farmers have been given access to a £3m pot of funding to help them build anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. The government-funded loan scheme, which opens today, will allow farmers to apply for up to £400,000 from the ‘AD Loan Fund’ to help them finance on-site AD technology.

Nouvelle Prague festival and conference – panels and performers announced

FESTIVAL_AJ-940x415The Nouvelle Prague festival  and conference  is a new showcase event in Prague – the first ever in the Czech Republic.

Nouvelle Prague is held on November 1st and 2nd in the Staropramen Brewery in the heart of Prague.
With its central European location, terrific flight connections and amazing  history, Prague is an ideal location for a boutique, exclusive and targeted showcase event!  More at http://nouvelleprague.com/

FRIDAY 1/11 2013

13:00-14:00
Crossing borders, fundraising, branding, sponsorship and other forms of music event support
Until recently the entire music industry was based primarily on record sales. The bands used to tour in order to promote their albums. Today, the classic record market is gone. Bands record albums to make sure they have something to tour with. From the point of view of the promoters, it seems the bands are greedier and greedier every day. What other sources of income are there for a venue apart from ticket sales? How can the artists or promoters use them? What funds are there to support live music in the government, regions, town halls…? What is the role of music export agencies in different countries? When can you expect a support from the corporate sphere? How can bands get access to home and international markets?
Panelists:
Shain Shapiro (Sound Diplomacy, Canada – UK)
Adam Lewis (Planetary Group, USA)
Jonas Vebner (Norway Export Office)
Marta Smolíková (Pro Culture, CZ)
Josef Havelka (Česká spořitelna, CZ)
Vojta Kalina (Pipes and Pints, CZ)

And playing live will be

Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose (UK)
Dorine Levy (ISR)
Little Suns (CAN)
City of Glass (CAN)
Jeremy Loops (RSA)

SATURDAY 2/11 2013
10:00 – 11:00
Booking ring
Is booking a band only a question of money? Or does booking involve any secrets invisible to naked eye? Is Eastern and Central Europe still considered an emerging market? What is the current state of booking business in Europe?
Panelists:
Christof Huber (asociace Yourope, Open Air St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Martin Elbourne (Glastonbury Festival, UK)
Angus Baskerville (13 Artists, UK)
Julia Gudzent (Melt! Festival)
Michal Kaščák (Pohoda Festival, SK)

11:30-12:30
Sustainable music events
Running a sustainable event is another current requirement. There is a rapid growth of expenses festivals have to invest in cleaning up their sites. If you care about green riders, using energy from renewable sources to power your event, waste management plans or other green issues, you should not miss this panel.
Panelists:
Fruzsina Szep (Sziget, Hungary)
Claire O’Neill (Greener Festival, UK)
Ben Challis (Glastonbury, UK)
Štěpán Suchochleb (Rock for People, CZ)

13:00-14:00
Current music media, streaming – and going digital?
Should you stream your festival live? Do the fans actually want go to concerts or do they just want to sit in front of a computer? What is a fair-for-all price for an album download? Do printed music media have any future or are we just going to stare into our computer screens to get the latest music news? A panel dedicated to new technologies and trends in the music world. What is (or may be) the future of music media? Which of the footpaths are soon to become the new highways and which shall be dead end streets?
Panelists:
Jana Grygarová (Full Moon, CZ)
Chris Cooke (CMU, UK)
Michal Novák (bandzone.cz, CZ)
Luděk Motyčka (Google, CZ)

and playing live will be

Dilated Peoples

Dilated Peoples

Dilated Peoples (USA)
Technical Kidman (CAN)
Local Foreigners (NZ/SAE/UK)
Neon Windbreaker (CAN)
Money for Rope (AUS)