Tag Archives: green

DGTL launches ‘Eco coin’ currency to reward sustainable behaviour

DGTL Amsterdam, the two-day electronic music festival held on April 15 and 16, is announcing new plans to become the world’s first circular festival. Since its conception in 2012, sustainability has been an integral part of the festival’s program to increase visitors’ awareness of climate change.

In 2016, the organization chose to substantially reduce its carbon footprint by “going veggie”, announcing it would no longer serve meat. Furthermore; the entire festival is powered by green energy; plastic is recycled on-site to create new products; and even visitors’ urine is reclaimed to be used as garden fertilizer. These are but a few examples of the sustainability projects launched from DGTL’s ‘Revolution’ program. This year however, DGTL’s goal is not to raise awareness, but to send out a call to action; urging visitors to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

To help set this in motion, DGTL has partnered up with Next Nature Network to introduce “The ECO Coin”. The world’s first ecological currency. With this new digital currency, we plan to reward all visitors for their sustainable actions. By participating in one of the many Revolution projects or workshops, DGTL’s festivalgoers will now earn ECOs. In turn, their ECOs will unlock special rewards like free sustainable food, music-downloads, unique products, discounts and even access to the ‘TBA-secret area’.

ECOs can be earned at various parts of the festival, for instance at DGTL DOWNTOWN; a new area where several sustainability projects and art come together. At DOWNTOWN, DGTL envisions our near future in which waste is non-existent, a fully circular economy has been implemented, clean energy is generated locally and our food system has received a sustainable upgrade.

ECOs can also be obtained at “The Future of Food”, where Dutch food pioneers will serve some of the ingredients that could soon become part of our staple diet. At the Future of Food, DGTL forwards to the year 2050, when, so it is claimed, there will be insufficient agricultural lands to feed the entire world’s population. Here, DGTL offers visitors a taste of the adjusted, alternative, and entirely new foods which could become the mainstays of tomorrow’s mealtimes.

Simultaneous with the ECO Coin launch, DGTL will begin the indexation of all of its in- and outgoing resources. In the “Material Flow Index”, all plastic, cardboard, glass, organics, wood and metal will be indexed in order to keep track of whether all materials used for and on the festival will be processed sustainably. At the festival, visitors will find that “Resource Collection Points” (RCP’s) have replaced the waste bins, signaling the transition to a circular economy.

With its new course of action and the many sustainable initiatives, DGTL hopes to set an example for the fast-growing international festival industry. With expansions to Barcelona (since 2015) and the first DGTL São Paulo edition planned for May this year, the organization has begun creating an international network of sustainable events. Altogether, DGTL’s sustainable call to action is set to reach hundreds of thousands of young people.


Cambridge Folk Festival Top of the Tree at the UK Festival Awards


Eddie Barcan and Cambridge’s Award

Cambridge Folk Festival have won the Greener Festival Award at the 2016 UK Festival Awards and Eddie Barcan, who was the Festival’s programmer and manager for 23 consecutive sold out events, picked up the Award at the London Roundhouse. On a glittering night, Creamfields picked up best major festival, Kendal Calling picked up best medium sized festival, Wildfire Adventure Camp the worthy winners of best small festival, The team from Coda got agency of the year, AEG Live were promoters of the year, Bearded Theory the best family friendly festival, Latitude got best toilets, Dick Tee got the outstanding contribution to festivals award and Liverpool Music Week the best metropolitan festival (you can see all of the winners here http://www.festivalawards.com/2016-winners/) all hosted by BBC Radio One /. 6 Music DJ Mary Anne Hobbs .

Ben Eddie, AGF’s Awards Co-ordinator for the UK and Europe said “We are delighted that Cambridge Folk Festival’s continued efforts to reduce their environmental impact has been recognised here at the UK Festival Awards 2017, and huge congratulations to Liz and the team on winning this years Best Greener Festival Award. The Festival champions a sustainable approach amongst its audience, traders, contractors, and staff, evidencing a real commitment to facilitating wider change within the industry and local community. It’s a holistic mindset that is key to success, with sustainability clearly at the core of planning and delivery. A well deserved winner!”


plastic-334546_960_720-300x200The number of single-use plastic bags used by shoppers in England has plummeted by more than 85% after the introduction of a 5p charge last October, early figures suggest. More than 7bn bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the charge, but this figure plummeted to slightly more than 500m in the first six months after the charge was introduced, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

The “carbon footprint” for the pollution caused by UK consumption has increased slightly, official figures show. The amount of greenhouse gases linked to goods and services consumed by UK households, including emissions from the foreign manufacture of imported products, rose by 3% between 2012 and 2013, the most recent data shows.

The Glastonbury Festival has  ditched plastic portable toilets after organisers decided they were causing too much anguish. The portable toilets – last year there were 3,000 on site – have been replaced almost entirely by organic compost toilets designed to minimise smells. These are supplemented by open-air “long drop” toilets. The festival management team felt the plastic “Tardis-like” toilet had passed its sell-by date. There was particular concern at how the toilets filled up too quickly and frequently overflowed. Jane Healy, Glastonbury’s sanitation manager, said: “The old plastic Tardis style is gone. Toilets have always been a massive talking point, and no one ever talks about toilets in everyone’s day-to-day life, but as soon as they get to a festival that’s all they want to talk about.

The European Commission has launched the world’s first system for classifying and banning endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), against a barrage of criticism from scientists, NGOs, industry and consumer groups. Endocrines are hormone-altering chemicals common in everyday substances from paint to pesticides that have been linked to an array of illnesses including cancer, infertility, obesity, diabetes, birth defects and reproductive problems. The Guardian reports that attempts to regulate them have been plagued by missed deadlines, buried official papers, censure from EU courts, and US pressure within the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations.

We’re one step away from a glyphosate-free EU. For the third time in a row, member states have refused to back the Commission’s proposed licence extension for weedkiller glyphosate. But the Commission won’t take no for an answer, and will try to force through a last-ditch appeal in Brussels June 24. Otherwise, a whole lot of Monsanto’s Roundup will be coming down from shelves across Europe this year. SumofUs.org tells us that instead of heeding the cancer warnings of the WHO, the European Commission has tried to do Monsanto’s dirty work by pushing through a licence extension despite experts agreeing that a ban of the pesticide is necessary to prevent contamination of our food, water, and soil. Make your voice heard and Tell EU member states to deal the final blow and reject any extension of the glyphosate licence on June 24.

greatapesForest wildfires rampaging across Russia are being significantly under-reported by authorities, according to analysis of satellite data. Climate change is making wildfires much more likely in Russia, but regional officials have been reluctant to report the true extent of the problem, and campaigners are warning that the harm to forests, property and human lives could rise. While the recent forest fires around Fort McMurray, Canada, destroyed more than 580,000 hectares, those in Russia have burned up to 3.5m hectares since the start of 2016, according to Greenpeace Russia. It said at least 1m hectares were in flames at the end of May in the country, which is home to the largest forests in the world.

The Guardian tells us that a UK shale gas company is considering dumping waste water from fracking in the sea, emails from the company show. Ineos, which owns the Grangemouth refinery and holds 21 shale licences, many in the north-west, North Yorkshire and the East Midlands, has said it wants to become the biggest player in the UK’s nascent shale gas industry. In an email sent in March to a resident in Ryedale district, North Yorkshire, where councillors gave the go-ahead to a fracking application by another company in May, a senior executive said that water produced during fracking could be discharged in the sea after being treated. It has not previously said where treated water would be released.

Norway’s parliament has approved a radical goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, two decades earlier than planned. MPs voted for an accelerated programme of CO2 cuts and carbon trading to offset emissions from sectors such as Norway’s oil and gas industries, which are unlikely to be phased out in the near future. The minority government’s ruling Progress and Conservative parties withdrew their support for the motion at the last minute. But their argument, that ambitious emissions reductions now could interfere with future climate negotiations, was roundly defeated.

Following a series of new heat and melting records in the Arctic, nearly 400 international scientists have called on Barack Obama to rule out further expansion of oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters under US control. The letter, signed by prominent Arctic, marine and climate specialists – including a former member of Obama’s administration, urges the president to rule out any future hunting for oil in the waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. “No new oil and gas leasing or exploration should be allowed in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in the foreseeable future, including in the next five-year leasing plan,” the scientists write in the letter.

coffee-mugs-1387830_960_720“I’ve got a megaphone and I’m not afraid to use it!” yelled Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on BBC One last night as the TV chef-turned eco warrior took his ‘War on Waste’ to the high street coffee shops. The problem: more than 5,000 coffee cups are now thrown away every minute across Britain, but less than 1% of those cups are actually recycled due to complex sorting and contamination issues. So, what’s the solution? More innovative cup designs? Better recycling infrastructure? Consumer behaviour change programmes? Or supply chain collaboration? Listen to edie’s latest podcast episode and read the stories that follow to find out how we can solve the great coffee cup conundrum.

badger-44202_960_720Badgers and cattle never came into close contact during a new field study examining how tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted between the animals. Most TB in cattle is contracted from other cattle but some infections come from badgers. The new research indicates that the disease is not passed on by direct contact, but through contaminated pasture and dung, with potentially significant implications for farm practices such as slurry spreading. It also suggests why TB in cattle is so hard to control even when cattle and badgers are culled, as the bacteria can survive in fields for months. Eradicating TB will require addressing this risk, the new research implies. TB is a serious problem for farmers, with 36,000 infected cattle slaughtered in Britain in 2015 at a cost to the taxpayer of about £100m. One key element of the government’s control programme, England’s controversial badger cull, is set to expand. Foremost experts say this “flies in the face of scientific evidence” and that the cull is a “monstrous” waste of time and money. The new research has not changed their conclusion.

amazon-indians-69589_960_720Plans to build a giant hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Amazon rainforest have been halted by Brazil’s environmental protection agency because of mounting concerns about the fate of indigenous communities and wildlife living in the area. The 8,000-megawatt São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) dam would have been the sixth-largest hydroelectric dam in the world, spanning the five-mile wide Tapajós river and drowning 376 sq km (145 sq miles) of rainforest that is home to some 12,000 Munduruku Indians.

Can a house where wood is burned for heat really be called green?  After writing “From the straw bale wrap to the lime plaster finishes, this cottage is as green as it gets” there was a huge amount of comment about the use of wood for heating. “…as green as it gets”? I would like to respectfully disagree. It’s unfortunate that “renewable” is now equated with “clean”, “green”, “healthy”, and “good-for-the-planet”.Yes, wood is renewable, but burning it as fuel has none of these positive attributes. Make up your own mind by reading the article on TreeHugger.

A Greener Festival Training – London SOLD OUT – Manchester last few spaces available now!

AGF_logo_transparent copyFollowing the launch of the A Greener Festival training, the first 1 day course to be held in London has now SOLD OUT. A handful of spaces are available for the course held in Manchester this month.

A Greener Festival has developed the course “Introduction to Environmental Assessment of Festivals and Events” drawing upon the last 10 years of experience in assessing festivals around the world, as well as associate expertise in the areas such as waste management, power, transport, land use, communication and behaviour.

Designed to train auditors to complete assessments at festivals and events on behalf of the Greener Festival Awards, the training course, launched at the Green Events & Innovations Conference in March is also relevant for those wishing to work in event sustainability, or those seeking to improve their own events environmental management.

There are still a limited number of places available on the 1 day course delivered in Manchester at the MMU, Friday 29th April. To find out more and to reserve a space on this course contact claire@agreenerfestival.com

DSC_6010Event details

Course fee:


Course topics covered:

Environmental Systems & the Big Picture
Legal Framework for Festivals and Environment
Local Impacts & Risks of Events
Sustainable Procurements
Transport and Travel
Event Power
Solid Waste & Recycling
Water Usage, Waste Water & Sewage
Assessment Form Familiarisation & Post Event Reports


Manchester Metropolitan University,
All Saints Campus,
Oxford Rd,
M15 6BH

BS 1.23 10am – 5pm

Arcadia goes spectacularly green for Bristol

arcadia biofuelThe world’s favourite spider men and women, Arcadia Spectacular, say they are “Locked and loaded” for Bristol city centre with a new biofuel flame system running on recycled vegetable oil from Bristol chip shops. The team behind Arcadia say this

“This is what it’s always been about – an experimental alchemy of ideas, creating magic from waste materials – a magic made real when shared with thousands.

The world has never seen a biofuel SFX system before and the R&D has gone on for years to get the technology up and running.
The new flame system has a different feel to it with a whole new spectrum of atmospherics… and all powered by reclaimed resources, something we’re immensely proud of
arcadia bristol

On Sunday – 10 am – 4pm – while we’re setting up and rehearsing – there will be a family and children’s day in Queen Square organised by AT BRISTOL – so if you fancied a day out with the kids – please do head down.

Huge thanks to Bristol 2015 – European Green Capital for all their help and support with the conversion”

Take a look at the video here

Arcadia host two massive shows on September 4th and 5th in Bristol. More here http://www.arcadiaspectacular.com/

The Season is almost over – why not plan ahead and get ready for the 2015 Season….

RT_EntIns_Hi-Res-StackThe Festival Season is almost over – which means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s line-up  – and we don’t just mean which acts are performing. There is no better time to plan ahead and get the vital (but far less exciting) components such as Insurance sorted, and off the list for the new season.

We are really pleased to have teamed up for another year with our friends at Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach (RT) to offer discounts on the cost of insurance for festivals that adopt green initiatives.

This is such an important issue and RT are very pleased that insurers recognise the efforts of festival organisers, to introduce green initiatives so that they can pass on the benefits to their clients.  RT have negotiated special discounts for any festival organisers who are striving to make their festivals greener that implement at least 5 of the 16 green initiatives that have been suggested by agreenerfestival.com.

For more information on this or any aspect of music and event insurance please do not hesitate to contact RT’s Bev Hewes on 0207 510 1234 or via Beverley.Hewes@wandp-longreach.com or visit www.rtworldwide.com

Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach are the key sponsor of the Greener Festival Awards scheme and a key supporter of the work of A Greener Festival.

To qualify for a ‘Green’ discount, you need confirm you have adopted at least five measures from the list below. 

  • eotr1We have an environmental policy which extends to waste and recycling, energy use, water, environmental protection and transport which extends to both on-site and offsite activities – and which all senior management are aware of and
  • We have compost toilets on-site.
  • We encourage festival goers to minimise water wastage by using taps which turn off automatically when not in use, e.g. pump powered taps or similar systems.
  • We minimise water use by providing toilets which re-use grey water to flush toilets.
  • We ensure traders use only eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • We promote recycling on-site and actively promote the recycling of paper, card, plastics, metals and glass   .
  • All caterers on site are required to use bio-degradable and / or reusable food utensils and containers?  This extends to traders, crew catering, hospitality & sponsors and non recyclable disposables are banned.
  • We provide a waste management facility that separates waste for recycling.
  • We give all organic waste to local farm(s) to convert to compost, or provide an on-site composting or anaerobic digestion area.
  • We measure greenhouse gas emissions from our event and seek to reduce our carbon footprint year on year.
  • We ensure that at least 25% of the power used at the festival is supplied by bio diesel and/or solar power.
  • We have adopted environmentally friendly practices for audience transport including the provision and/or promotion of public transport and car pooling.
  • We apply car park charges or a charge per vehicle brought to the festival.
  • We ensure that the use of electricity and power is minimised, and that energy saving equipment and lighting is used on site.
  • We use one or more sustainable power sources for 25% of our on-site needs (sun, wind, water, human and sustainable bio-fuels)             .
  • We actively campaign to promote good environmental practice (for example by banning plastic water bottles or sauce sachets, by supporting local wildlife or tree planting schemes, by eliminating no recyclable disposables, by inviting environmental groups to the festival, by promoting local foods, drinks and suppliers).


Newsweek 2014 top green companies list

Tnewsweek-coverhe Newsweek 2014 green rankings of the worlds 500 biggest companies have been announced and taking the top spot  is the French media and telecoms giant, Vivendi. The firm’s high ranking is partly due to tying the remuneration of its senior executives to corporate environmental performance targets. In close second is California-based pharma company, Allergen. The firm, best known as the world’s largest producer of Botox, has been tracking its sustainability performance since 1992.

“What we’re seeing more and more is a direct link between corporate sustainability, reputation, and financial success,” said Elijah Wolfson , senior editor at Newsweek. “Many of the world’s largest public companies have begun to recognize that in order to be successful moving forward, they need to openly account for their environmental impact. The goal of Newsweek’s Green Rankings is to add to and push for this type of accountability.”

It seems that accountability is on the rise, as the project found that a majority of the world’s largest companies are now disclosing environmental data to the market. In fact, over 75% of the Global 500 now disclose data on their carbon emissions to investors. This is impressive when you consider that there was almost no disclosure a decade ago.

Here’s the rankings:

Global 10

1. Vivendi (telecommunication services) – 85.3%

2. Allergan (healthcare) – 85.1%

3. Adobe Systems (IT) – 84.4%

4. Kering (consumer discretionary) – 83.6%

5. NTT Docomo (telecommunication services) – 83.1%

6. Ecolab (materials) – 82.6%

7. Atlas Copco (industrials) – 77.2%

8. Biogen Idec (healthcare) – 75.7%

9. Compass Group (consumer discretionary) – 75.3%

10. Schneider Electric (industrials) – 75.3%

Elsewhere in corporate news,  just two weeks after being given a dressing-down by Greenpeace for lagging behind in meeting its commitments to create a toxic-free supply chain, adidas has announced plans to get it back on course. Adidas says it will eliminate all polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) by 2020. As part of a new agreement, the sportswear giant says it will phase out 99% of all polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) – hormone-disrupting chemicals used to repel dirt and water in shoes and clothing – by the end of 2017, leading to full elimination by 2020. And it has agreed to publicly disclose discharge data from 99% of its Chinese suppliers by the end of this year, as well as 80% of its global suppliers by the middle of 2016. This is all building towards “full supply chain transparency” by 2020.

And the Coca-Cola Company says it is on track to meet its 2020 water replenishment goal by balancing an estimated 68% of the water used in its finished beverages, based on 2013 sales volume. Coca-Cola supports projects across India including providing safe water access. The soft drinks business has replenished an estimated 108.5 billion litres of water back to communities and nature through more than 500 community water projects in over 100 countries.