Monthly Archives: October 2014


burning questionThe five UK conservative MPs who rebelled against the UK’s Climate Change Act and the requirement for the UK to cut is greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 say the 2008 law should be revoked. Noting that there has been no binding global agreements on reducing Carbon dioxide emissions,  in a statement Christopher Chop, Ann Widdecombe, Philip Davies, Andrew Tyrie and Peter Lilley call the Act a ‘profound mistake’ and says the Act needs to be revoked to protect British households.

The 28 leaders of the European Union have committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, despite deep divisions among some Member States over how to produce energy. As well as carbon emissions, two 27% targets were agreed – forrenewable energy market share and increase in energy efficiency improvement. The former will be binding for the EU as a whole (not for individual Member States), while the latter will be optional but could be raised to 30% after a review in 2020. All three targets are compared to 1990 levels. the energy minister Ed Davey has told the Guardian it was a  “historic moment” on the road to a global climate deal adding  “It is probably the most significant environmental agreement that a British government has ever been involved in.”

The National Trust has switched on a 100kW capacity hydro turbine in Snowdonia as part of the £3.5m pilot phase of its Renewable Energy Investment project. The £550,000 turbine, situated at Hafod y Porth, will generate electricity which will be sold to Good Energy through the National Trust’s trading company – National Trust Renewable Energy Ltd. reports that Global biopower installed capacity is set to increase from 87.6 Gigawatts (GW) in 2013 to 165.1GW by 2025 thanks to government support and environmental concerns. New statistics by consulting firm GlobalData reveal that the 165GW target could be enough to supply around 17% of the world’s electricity.  The predicted growth is representative of a boom period for renewable energy; wind power is expected to hit 200GW by 2030, while hydropower could reach 1700GW in the next twenty years. An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, with 3,700 major dams expected. The figures come from a University of Copenhagen study which found that renewables account for 20% of the global electricity production today, with hydropower contributing 80% of the total share.

UK businesses and universities will receive £5m funding to help them solve some of the world’s greatest agricultural challenges such as food security and sustainability. By 2050, the world’s population is estimated to grow to 10 billion. To feed everyone, food production will have to double, resulting in more food being produced over the next 40 years than in the last 6,000 years combined. This £5m subsidy is part of the government-sponsored £70m Agri-Tech Catalyst programme, which aims to make the UK a world leader in agricultural technology, innovation and sustainability.

FrackOffThere has been much attention to water pollution risks from fracking, but there has been less research into air quality around fracking sites. Now a new study, co-authored by CEH’s Research Director Caroline Cox and published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health shines light on fracking air pollution risks. Along with the study, a report, Warning Signs: Toxic Air Pollution Identified at Oil and Gas Development Sites details the results from the sampling.

Oxford and Cambridge are among 10 of the world’s top universities to have published the ‘Green Guide for Universities’, helping universities worldwide become more sustainable. The Guide, by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), identifies the challenges and opportunities of campus sustainability in terms of energy, waste, and water consumption.

In the UK, the National Grid has said that a series of fires and technical faults at power stations has reduced its spare capacity to the lowest for seven years at Christmas. Planned maintainance means that tere will be a real risk of ‘brown outs’ with reduced power output . Spare capacity (the difference between planned maximum use ad supply) of just 4.1% may not be enough if freezing weather comes to the UK – or two nuclear power stations which were closed for safety reasons fail to re-open on time.Some large industrial energy users ave agreed to shut down at critical times to reduce demand, in return for financial incentives. Gas supplies are also considered to be adequate, but may not meet demand if the winter is especially cold – or Russia shuts off gas supplies.

power station3The Jevons Paradox, which got its name from the economist William Stanley Jevons, predicts that “as technology progresses, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource”. The canonical example of this is coal consumption in the early industrial era: As the machinery became more efficient at using coal, more coal was used because these efficiency gains made the whole process more economic and so it encouraged more use of the machines and more of those machines to be built. So – are we fighting a losing battle to reduce greehouse gas emissions by promoting energy efficiency ? More on Treehugger here

The world’s 10 greenest economies of 2014 may surprise you. Dual Citizen, a U.S. consulting group, has been ranking the environmental sustainability of national economies with its Global Green Economy Index since 2010. This year’s report includes data from 60 countries. They also measured the perception of green economies, or in other words, how green people think different countries are. Sweden, Norway and Costa Rica received the highest performance rankings for their economies – whereas Germany, Denmark and Sweden are perceived to have the greenest economies. More here.

pumpkinIn the run-up to Halloween, Sainsbury’s has launched a scheme to encourage customers to recycle their unwanted pumpkins locally through WRAP’s Recycle Now campaign. As part of the recycling initiative, customers will be able to bring their unwanted pumpkins back to 10 trial stores, to be turned into energy via anaerobic digestion through Sainsbury’s waste partner Biffa. The energy generated will, in some cases, be used to power Sainsbury’s stores.





green eventsthe 5th GreenEvents Europe Conference is edging closer day by day. The fifth edition will be held on November 3rd and 4th, 2014, at Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn, Germany. The programme is shaping up and almost complete – and it looks amazing. A huge variety of sustainability related topics and the 2014 focus issue is “sustainable food & beverage at events” will make this event worthwhile and combined with the planned networking opportunities form a conference to remember. As always GreenEvents Europe offers high-level input by speakers from international major events such as  Roskilde Festival, Extrema, Sziget Festival, Velomax, Shambala Festival, We Love Art/We Love Green Festival, Berlin Festival, Tollwood, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag with expert help from the likes of  Julie’s Bicycle, WWF, Green Music Initiative, A Greener Festival, Foodshare, Green Events Nederland, Powerful Thinking, The Round Table / Stop Wasting Food, 10.000 hours, Yourope and Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg. You can find the whole programme here

And the International  Music Festival Conference (IMF CON) has added an exciting new ‘ State of the Industry’ panel  – It’s been a hard dayys night‘  providing the picks & pans of the year’s top trends and  forecasts for 2015 as you begin to plan your event, andfeaturing Kevin Lyman, Producer & Creator, Van’s Warped Tour; Stuart Ross, Red Light Management; Maureen Ford, President of LiveNation venues; and Robert Richards, Commercial Director, the Glastonbury Festival. It’s December 7th-9th in Austin Texas – More here on IMFCON.

The launch of the 16th annual Environment and Energy Awards is now well underway with 2 weeks to go until the early bird entry rate of £65 expires. Supported by the Energy Institute; Business in the Community; wrap; eef; Global Action Plan and part of Sustainability Live, these prestigious awards will once again recognise excellence in business sustainability through a variety of categories including water and energy management; environmental leadership; renewables innovation; sustainability communications; behaviour change and energy and environmental technology innovation. reports that the German Bundesliga football league’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant has been installed next to the Wirsol-Rhein-Neckar arena in Sinsheim.  Wind and solar company Wircon was commissioned by the Turn-und Sportgemeinschaft (TSG) 1899 Hoffenheim football club to build the 10,000sq m 1MW carport PV system which consists of 4,025 solar panels. The plant provides about two thirds of the power needed by the arena.

solarGenerating electricity from onshore wind is cheaper than using gas, coal and nuclear according to an Ecofys study approved by the European Commission. Analysis of the report by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) suggests that onshore wind has an approximate cost of £80 per MWh which is cheaper than gas (£130), nuclear (£105) and coal (between £128-184).  Offshore wind has a cost of nearly £147 and solar PV comes in at around £171 per MWh.  DuPont and Kingspan have joined a chorus of big businesses, energy firms and trade associations calling on EU heads of state to deliver a binding renewable energy target of at least 30% by 2030. The two companies, along with the European Photovoltaic Industry (EPIA) and 13 other firms and bodies, have authored an open letter to national leaders ahead of the European Council meeting this week (23-24 October).

Bird populations that make the great journey between northern Europe and Africa – including the nightingale and turtle dove – are drastically declining, conservationists have warned.Nearly half of the 29 summer migrants, who appear in the UK in spring to breed before returning in the autumn, show long-term population declines. The nightingale, famed for its song and for inspiring English poets, is one of a group of birds that spend winter in the African humid zone of Sierra Leone, Senegal, the Gambia and Burkina Faso that are suffering particularly badly. Of this group of 11 humid zone species, eight are declining in number. More on the Guardian website here.

Ideal weather has heralded a bumper English apple harvest. Sunshine and rain has resulted in one of the best crops in living memory – but growers still face losses due to glut of apples and supermarket price wars

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012Almost 500 wind turbines spread across four offshore wind farms have received development consent from the Scottish Government, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today (10 October). The 485 farms, in the Forth and Tay region, could generate up to 2.3 GW of electricity, enough to power 1.4 million homes and save 135 million tonnes of C02 over their lifetime.  Ewing said: “Granting consent for these developments will enable them to bid for an offshore wind Contract for Difference (CfD) under the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform process.” More on wind power below!

Extreme weather conditions are forcing European Governments to reassess their climate change policies, but most countries have identified barriers to taking action, a report has found. A total of 30 countries responded to a survey from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), with 24 claiming that climate change adaptation is now on the national agenda. An overwhelming majority (28 of 30) said extreme weather was driving this change, while 19 countries also identified climate change adaptation policies being enforced by the EU as an important influence.

Fracking could be a financial boon to poor and remote parts of the UK, according to former environment secretary and climate change sceptic Owen Paterson. The Conservative MP, sacked by David Cameron in July, also said the government was losing the battle to develop shale gas to a very powerful “green blob” of environmental campaigners. Paterson also said the UK’s legally binding target to cut climate-warming carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 was impossible to meet and should be scrapped. He dismissed most renewable energy as unable to keep the lights on and instead advocated shale gas, though he said fracking faced intense opposition. But an unrestrained global fracking boom that unleashes plentiful and cheap gas will not tackle global warming by replacing coal and cutting carbon emissions, according to a comprehensive analysis that takes into account the impact on the rest of the energy supply. Burning natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide released by coal, and shale gas proponents argue that gas can therefore be a “bridge” fuel, curbing emissions while very low carbon sources such as renewable and nuclear energy are ramped up. The new analysis published in the journal Nature shows that a gas boom would cut energy prices, squeezing out renewable energy, and is likely to actually increase overall carbon emissions.

FrackOffMore on how mad the Tories are now on our (lack of) energy security. The UK’s latest Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, has removed the £100 per acre subsidy for solar farms for farmland, saying she did not want to see farmland ‘blighted by solar farms’.  So no solar farms – but fracking is OK??!!! It’s a funny old world. Even Labour is having problems: with more Labour MPs opposing fracking (36%)  than supporting it (32%) according to a new survey from Dods Monitoring you would have though that might be Labour’s policy – but no Labour seems keen to mess with the environment and water supply as well – with shadow environment secretary Caroline Flint seen as generally pro fracking. 26% of Labour MPs are undecided. In the blue corner, 9 out of 10 Tory MPs support fracking. Solar subsidies, funded by a levy on consumer bills, remain for larger solar farms and the government is keen for these to be built on ‘brownfield’ sites. The risks and benefits of fracking for the UK are to be examined by a “independent” task force, led by the former head of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, and funded by shale gas companies.  “We will assess the existing evidence, ask for new contributions and lead a national conversation around this vitally important issue,” said Smith, who as chair of the Environment Agency oversaw key fracking regulation. “The Task Force on Shale Gas will provide impartial opinions on the impacts, good and bad, that the exploitation of shale gas will have on the UK.”

The UK’s recent surge in wind power output appears to be reflective of a global trend, with new analysis estimating that global wind-generated energy could supply up to 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. The analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International, indicates that wind power capacity will hit 2,000GW; creating over two million green jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than three billion tonnes a year. Recently a blustery Sunday saw 24% of the UK’s electricity supplied by wind which meant a number of coal plants were taken offline as they were surplus to requirements. It follows a record-breaking summer for the renewables industry, as wind overtook coal-fired plants for generation on five separate occasions in August – the first time this has ever happened.

Booooooooo! Retail giant Sainsbury’s has announced that it will stop rewarding shoppers with Nectar points for every bag they reuse from April next year, as part of wider changes to its loyalty programme. Hooray – last Monday (20 October), Scotland introduced its levy on single-use carrier bags (SUCB), meaning they can no longer be given away free of charge. reports that Wales is leading the green agenda and is on track to secure a resource efficient future, according to WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin. Goodwin announced her views during her keynote speech at the WRAP Cymru conference in Cardiff. She said that Wales had secured many resource-efficient ‘firsts’. Goodwin told delegates: “On UK recycling rates, Wales is in first place at 54%, and with no signs of slowing. Wales is the first and only nation in the UK where every local authority offers a separate food, or food and green waste collection.

Ahead of the European Council meetings which start today (23-24 October), 49 companies and business associations, including Philips and Unilever, have sent a letter to EU President Herman Van Rompuy calling for a binding energy savings target of 40% by 2030.The report adds to growing pressure on EU policymakers, as last week 15 energy firms and trade associations demanded a binding renewable energy target of at least 30% by 2030.


Greener Festival Award winners – you can pick up your Award!

We have already had seven festivals pick up their Greener Festival Awards. At the Festival Congress in Cardiff this weekend three UK festivals, Wood, Shambala Festival and Nozstock picked up their winners certificates from our Assessors Livvy Drake and Penny Mellor, Bev Hewes from our sponsor Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach and our very own Helen Innes, whilst over at ADE Green at the Amsterdam Dance Event our Assessor Isja Dominicus and Paul Schurink from Green Events Nederlands were on hand to pass on our congratulations and certificates to four Dutch festivals,  Extrema Outdoor, DGTL Festival, Mysterland and Welcome to the Future. As part of the Awards scheme fifty trees were planted in the Festival Wood in Dundreggan, Scotland, a lasting testimonial to all of our entries’ green efforts in 2014 and which now has more than 1,000 trees planted. End of the Road‘s fantastic 2014 audience scheme which has resulted in the planting of another 719 trees won its own award at the Festival Congress Awards.

We have more presentations planned:

At Green Events Europe in Bonn (3-4 November)

At the UK Festival Conference and Awards in London (1 Dec)

At the International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas, USA (7-9 Dec)

At the European Festival Awards at EuroSonic in Groningen, Netherlands (January 14 2015)

Shambala collect their 'outstanding' Award

Shambala collect their ‘outstanding’ Award

Robin from Wood collects their Award

Robin from Wood collects their Award

Well done Nozstock!

Well done Nozstock!


The presentations at ADE Green

The presentations at ADE Green

Those certificates in a nifty recycled frame!

Those certificates in a nifty recycled frame!


AGF_Award_GENERIC_outlines-ver336 festivals from around the World have been awarded the Greener Festival Award by the environmental campaign and advice group A Greener Festival. The Award scheme, supported by Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach Insurance Brokers, acknowledges that festivals do have an impact simply by taking place, but aims to encourage festival organisers to make the best decisions to minimise their event’s environmental impact, to monitor, identify and correct negative effects, and to share the message of caring for the environment with their audiences so that festivals can have a positive impact beyond the event itself. The Awards asks festival organisers to respond to the challenges that staging temporary events can have on the environment and local inhabitants including humans. This year A Greener Festival say they have witnessed incredible initiatives, designs, developments and commitment to reducing the impact of live events – demonstrating that festivals can be sustainable, save money, be responsible, and still have fun by becoming a ‘Greener Festival’

agf BonaNit_19julio_-1At the highly commended Bonnaroo (US), A Greener Festival’s independent environmental assessor commented that the festival’s “investment in long term energy from their solar panels is second to none”. At the commended DGTL festival in Amsterdam, organisers used significant efforts to raise environmental awareness and brought in a design-focussed environmental coordinator, undertaking a pre-festival study to understand their own, and their neighbours’ priorities. This led to a key design feature of an on-site “recycling factory” which turned waste plastic bottles and containers into recycled plastic bins during the festival in front of the audience’s eyes. At another commended festival, Planeta Madrid in Spain, the City Council has instigated a plan called Madrid Compensa which allows trees to be planted to offset the CO2 emissions from the festival – and PlanetaMadrid also has a free bicycle workshop not just to learn about cycling – festival goers can take their bikes to be fixed as well!  At the Shambala Festival in the UK, rated ‘outstanding by A Greener Festival,  organisers achieved 100% renewable power and a ‘zero to landfill’ unrecycled waste target – as waste streams were diverted from landfill to a MBT (mechanical biological treatment) plant whilst a plastic water bottle ban was a continued success – as were the  ever popular Thunderbox compost toilets.

agf Oya cycle standAt the commended Body and Soul Festival in Ireland, the environmental assessors were very impressed by imaginative use of the spaces, including woodland groves, saying that the site and stages were beautifully decorated with recycled materials. The highly commended Northside Festival in Denmark encourages people to travel to the event using low carbon methods of transport – Northside offers bike stands for more than 10,000 bikes and organises festival buses – as well as the “Camino” – a decorative pathway through a park from the town of Aarhus to the festival site, encouraging visitors to walk or cycle from the town centre to the festival. The highly commended Malmo Festivalen in Sweden was praised for its efforts to demonstrate social inclusion, well being, environmental consideration and wider sustainability, whilst the commended Calgary Folk Music festival has emerged as a leader and model for public events in Calgary in terms of its waste management and recycling, with a water bottle ban and the encouragement of reusable/recyclable materials in vending.

So far 15 festivals have received the ‘commended’ award, 12 have received ‘highly commended’ and 9 have been rated ‘outstanding’ by A Greener Festival. More winners of the awards will be announced in November with a total of nearly 50 awards expected, a new record for the Awards scheme, with the first ever recipients in Denmark, Austria and New Zealand.  Winners of the Awards can pick up their certificates  at the Green Events Europe conference in Bonn, Germany (3rd November), at the UK FestivalAwards in London (1st December 1), at the International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas (6-7 December) and at the European Festival Awards in Groningen (14th January 14).


Beloved (US)

Body and Soul (Ireland)

Bluesfest  (Australia)

Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada)

Canmore Folk Festival (Canada)

DGTL Festival (Netherlands)

Extrema Outdoor (Netherlands)

Maifeld Derby (Germany)

Northern Nights Music Festival (USA)

Nozstock The Hidden Valley (UK)

Planeta Madrid  (Spain)

Plissken (Greece)

Sled Island   (Canada)

SOS 4:8  (Spain)

T in the Park  (SCO)



Bonnaroo (USA)

Bona Nit  (Spain)

DAS FEST  (Germany)

The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Lorne (Australia)

Freifeld Festivalt(Germany)

Global 2000 Tomorrow Festival (Austria)

Malmo Festivalen (Sweden)

Mysteryland (Netherlands)

Northside  (Denmark)

Splendour in the Grass (Australia)

Splore  (New Zealand)

Wood (UK)



Cambridge Folk  Festival (UK)

The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Marion Bay (Australia)

Ilosaarirock Festival  (Finland)

Island Vibe 2013  (Australia)

Lightning In A Bottle (USA)

Oyafestivalen (Norway)

Shambala Festival (UK)

We Love Green (France)

Welcome to the Future (Netherlands)

Shambala pick up their 'outstanding' award

Shambala pick up their ‘outstanding’ award

Wood, Shambala and Nozstock collected their awards at the AIF Festival Congress in Cardiff and DGTL, Welcome to the Future, Extrema Outdoors and Mysteryland collected their awards in Amsterdam at ADE Dance.

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said

This year has been an encouraging year for environmentally aware events and a record year for our Awards scheme, with more festivals than ever before taking part. Rising fuel costs prove the good sense in reducing power use, and the ever increasing costs in disposing of waste prove the importance of managing waste and having sensible recycling policies. Problems remain of course – from England to Australia, one of the biggest problems is the appalling sight of acres of left behind tents and camping gear at festivals, and we will be prioritising this again in 2015. On a positive front, many of our participating events have raised the bar yet again –  and we are seeing some amazing initiatives, incredible commitment and  festivals reaching out to spread the green message in a friendly, practical and effective way”


Live Music Business Awards Winners 2014

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Best Venue Teamwork – Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Best Venue Teamwork – Arena The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Best Venue Teamwork – Theatre/ Concert Troxy, London

Best Venue Teamwork – Art Centre Band on the Wall, Manchester

Best Venue Teamwork – Art Centre Norwich Arts Centre

Best Venue Teamwork – Campus The Forum Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Best Venue Teamwork – Major Club (cap 800+) Rock City, Nottingham

Best Venue Teamwork – Club (cap under 800) Thekla, Bristol

Agent of the Year – James Rubin, The Agency Group (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, ASAP Rocky)

Artiste Manager of the Year – Stuart Camp, Rocket Music (Ed Sheeran)

National Promoter of the Year –  SJM Concerts

Regional Promoter of the Year – Cuffe & Taylor, North West

Indie Promoter of the Year (Local impact)  – Kai Harris, Advance Promotions (South East)

Tour Manager of the Year – Tre Stead (Frank Turner)

Best Record Label Partner – Callum Caulfield, Atlantic (Ed Sheeran, Frightened Rabbit)

Spectacle of the Year (Best Production) – Kate Bush at Eventim Apollo

Best Festival (cap 40,000+) – Bestival

Best Festival (cap 15,000-39,999) – Secret Garden Party

Best Festival (cap under 15,000) – Festival No 6

Breakthrough Artiste – Royal Blood

Greatest Brand Impact Tuborg

Best Festival Performance – Royal Blood at Glastonbury

Unsung Hero – Prue Almond, ITB

Outstanding Contribution – Barry Dickins, ITB


AIF announces winners of the first ever Festival Congress Awards

The Bestival team

The Bestival team

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has  announced the winners of the first ever Festival Congress Awards at a sold-out ceremony in Cardiff’s Portland House. The ceremony recognised and celebrated the great variety of work that took place in the festival industry this year. Winners included Catfish & the Bottlemen for ‘Live Act of the Year’,  Showsec for ‘Friendliest Security Staff’,  Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip for ‘Artist for the Audience’ and The Arcadia Spider in the ‘Mind-Blowing Spectacle Award’ category. Dan Le Sac, said: “We are honoured to win this award. We’ve spent the last 8 years together planning shows because we love gigging, so to be recognised for that is truly wondrous! The cherry on the cake is that the award comes from the AIF – the independent festival scene is hugely vibrant in the UK and plays a massive part in keeping the music industry alive.”

Dan le Sac

Dan le Sac

AIF vice chair, John Rostron, said: “What a way to kick off the first ever Festival Congress Awards, with some terrific winners and plenty of good fun in the mix. The fact there are winners here who aren’t even a part of the AIF, yet have been nominated and voted for by our membership, demonstrates the great spirit of support for the sector, which runs throughout the AIF. Our festivals LOVE festivals, and there’s a lot of love for these worthy winners.” The awards were hosted by Ben Challis and featured an introduction by Huw Stephens (BBC Radio One) and Bethan Elfyn (BBC Radio Wales). There were also showcase performances from talented emerging Welsh music acts Baby Queens and Gabrielle Murphy, in connection with the AIF’s exciting partnership with the BBC’s Horizons scheme.

And those winners were:

The Outstanding Contribution Award – Rob da Bank

Supporter of Emerging Talent Award – 2000 Trees

New Festival on the Block – Fire in the Mountain

Silver Service Award – Goan Seafood Company

Unique Festival Site – Festival No.6

Live Act of the Year – Catfish & the Bottlemen

Artist for the Audience – Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

Mind-Blowing Spectacle Award – The Arcadia Spider

Smart Marketing Campaign of the Year – Bestival Mirror Ball

Random Act of Kindness Award – End of the Road audience: Festival Wood

Culture & Tourism Award: Forward Thinking Local Authority – Dorset County Council

Friendliest Security Staff – Showsec

Festival Blogger of the Year – Shell Zenner

Emmet Brown Award – Shambala Festival: Fuel Efficient Technology

Festival Venue of the Year – End of the Road: The Garden Stage

Unsung Hero – James Goodall

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

A Greener Fesival also handed out its Greener Festival  awards to Shambala (Outstanding), Wood (Outstanding) and Nozstock (Commended) with our very own Helen Innes in charge of proceedings at a drinks reception sponsored by our good friends at Robertson Taylor WP Longreach.

An after party at Cardiff’s Glee Club followed the ceremony and was soundtracked by icons of the DJ world including Huw Stephens, Madame Electrifie, DJ Chris Tofu and Count Skylarkin. The awards ceremony took place on the first night of the AIF Festival Congress, a two-day gathering of those behind the success of festivals around the world as they met to network, learn and celebrate. The congress featured keynote speaker Jude Kelly and speeches from high-profile figures of the industry such as Martin Elbourne, Stuart Galbraith and Alison Wenham. For further details go to


eco-techBrighton Centre , Thursday 11th and Friday 12th June 2015.

The European Commission  has given Britain the green light for a huge government subsidy that will open the way for the first atomic power stations to be built for nearly 20 years. A majority of commissioners agreed Britain was not breaking state aid rules, overcoming the last regulatory hurdle for EDF Energy and its plan to construct Hinkley Point C in Somerset, south-west England. EDF believes the project will cost £16bn but the EC claimed construction costs alone by the time the plant is built in 2023 will be more than £24bn with a further possible £10bn of contingency payments.

Vodafone and Telefónica O2 have teamed up with UK sustainable development organisation Forum for the Future to create the Eco Rating 2.0 – an industry-wide ratings system that compares the green credentials of different mobile devices. 

LEGOSHELLLego has ended it’s partnership with shell following a Greenpeace campaign. The Toymaker will not renew current multimillion pound deal, that sees Shell-branded Lego sets sold at petrol stations. The split follows a viral video against Arctic drilling by the green group. Initially Lego had resisted Greenpeace, arguing that it ought to deal directly with Shell.  Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, the toy maker’s chief -executive, said Lego would honour its existing deal with Shell, which began in 2011, but “as things currently stand we will not renew the contract with Shell when the present contract ends”.

sunken new yorkDozens of America’s east coast cities face routine tidal flooding under climate change researchers have said. Miami will deploy new pumps this week to hold back the waters of the King Tides, the highest annual high tides, which are projected to crest at 3.5 feet (1.07m). Other cities are going to have to undertake similar measures if they want to avoid soggy streets in the future, the researchers said The report, Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years, from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), found most of the towns on America’s east coast will see triple the number of flooding events by 2030. More on the Guardian website here.

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has published its six-year strategy for achieving a circular economy throughout Europe.  Driving the Circular Economy, launched in Brussels, outlines a variety of sustainability and waste-management improvements for European policy makers. The Strategy was welcomed by the EU’s outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, who said: “The role of the waste management sector is crucial in the transition towards a circular economy.”

Rising carbon dioxide levels in oceans adversely change the behaviour of fish through generations, raising the possibility that marine species may never fully adapt to their changed environment a new study, published in Nature Climate Change, has found.

powerstation3Glasgow University has become the first academic institution in Europe to divest from the fossil fuel industry. After 12 months of campaigning, led by the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and involving over 1,300 students, the university court  voted to begin divesting £18m from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128m.

FrackOffUK Ministers’ rewriting of the law to allow fracking to happen beneath people’s homes without their permission flouts basic democratic rights, according to the author and activist Naomi Klein. Klien argues that the UK government’s changes to trespass laws, to speed up the ability for shale gas companies to frack beneath landowners’ property, was energising resistance to fracking in Britain. she told audience at a Guardian event in London:  “What is animating the anti-fracking movement? Yes, it’s water. It’s also a defence of democracy. The fact the government is colluding with energy companies to force the right to frack underneath people’s homes without their permission flies in the face of the most common-sense definition of democracy and self-definition” .  Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has brought the UK political party’s conference season to a close by insisting that a sustainable environment “will remain at the heart of the Liberal Democrats’ vision for Britain’s future”.  In what proved to be the greenest speech compared with his Conservative and Labour counterparts, Clegg also told Lib Dem activists in Glasgow that his party would be launching a new commitment to ‘five green laws’ in its next manifesto, in an effort to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint.  Liz Hutchins, senior political campaigner at Friends of the Earth said “Nick Clegg is right to pillory the PM over his environmental commitment. For people who’ve been flooded or choking on polluted air, for those threatened by fracking or shivering in heat-leaking homes, green is most definitely not crap.” adding “But the Liberal Democrats have themselves failed to hold the green line in the Coalition, capitulating on landmark issues such as a legally-binding target for cleaning up UK power generation. Liberal Democrat green credibility will ultimately be judged by what they do in office – not the promises they make for the future.”

The Government has sparked a furious backlash from renewable energy campaigners and trade groups by confirming controversial changes to solar farm subsidies.  The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced it would be removing large-scale solar farms from the existing Renewables Obligation (RO) initiative. It did, however, sweeten the deal somewhat by also announcing it would be adding almost £100m to the Contracts for Difference (CfD) budget.  The move to bar solar farms of more than 5MW from the RO process has prompted a sharp response from the industry, with edie hearing from the Solar Trade Association (STA), Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Friends of the Earth among others. reports that four out of five business leaders say energy affordability is important to their company, nearly twice the amount that prioritised a low-carbon economy.  The findings come from a YouGov survey of 600 senior business decision-makers, commissioned by npower. In a similar vein, 58% of respondents said their firms would be ‘unwilling’ or ‘unlikely to be willing’ to increase their energy bills to fund low-carbon government schemes.

mapco2An interactive map from the World Resources Institute tracks how carbon dioxide emissions are distributed globally and how they’ve changed over the past two centuries.

Yorkshire Water has opened its first self-powered sewage works. The plant will use advanced BioThelys technology to generate renewable biogas from 30,000 tonnes per year of sludge, producing enough heat and power for its entire 750 acre site. The project, which took two years to finish, is expected to reduce Yorkshire Water’s carbon footprint by 9000 tonnes per year, saving the company £1.3m per year in energy costs.

The Welsh Government has introduced the Food Manufacture, Service and Retail Sector Plan with a view to preventing waste, reducing waste production and increasing recycling across supply chains.  The new scheme supports Wales’ ongoing ‘Towards Zero Waste’ strategy and underlines the importance of:

– waste prevention, and more sustainable ways of consuming and producing
– very high levels of reuse and recycling of the waste that is produced, and make sure that it is the right type of recycling (i.e. closed loop); in particular, for reuse, food waste from the food manufacturing sector to be used as animal feed
– sending food waste to anaerobic digestion plants to generate valuable renewable energy and fertiliser. You can download the Report here.

They Took A Camera To A Remote Area In Greenland, And What They Recorded Is Simply Terrifying. Climate change not happening? Have a look yourself.

Students at the University of East Anglia are being encouraged to urinate in the shower – to save water. The initiative has been developed by students Debs Torr and Chris Dobson and they have called their campaign ‘getwiththeflow’.

A new satellite system will be able to track illegal fishing around the globe. Tony Long, a formal Royal Navy commander and a campaigner against illegal fishing said the system can even identify boats through their sailing patterns.

Owen Paterson, the UK’s former environment secretary, has called on the UK government to scrap the Climate Change Act, passed in 2008, saying that sticking to green targets will mean the light will go out in the UK and a reduction of 80% of CO2 emissions by 2050 risks the UK’s energy security. Paterson, giving a speech to the Global Warming Policy Forum was criticised by Energy Secretary Ed Davey who said that tearing up the Climate Change Act would be “one of the most stupid economic decisions imaginable” and that the majority  of EU member states were now prepared to adopt similar targets as the UK.  The Act makes it the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for all six Kyoto greenhouse gases for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline, toward avoiding dangerous climate change. The Act aims to enable the United Kingdom to become a low-carbon economy and gives ministers powers to introduce the measures necessary to achieve a range of greenhouse gas reduction targets. An independent Committee on Climate Change has been created under the Act to provide advice to UK Government on these targets and related policies.