All posts by Bethan Riach

Green Gathering

Green Gathering’s Green Traveller Challenge

In the face of climate emergency, The Green Gathering is inviting festival goers to take a leap and become ‘Green Travellers’. The festival’s onsite carbon emissions are almost zero, an achievement recognised by the European Green Operations Group and the International Greener Festival Awards. The last big hurdle for organisers aiming to create a carbon neutral event is travel; in 2018 this accounted for 98% of The Green Gathering’s emissions!

Launched this spring, the festival’s Green Traveller Guide aims to empower ticket buyers to choose low impact transport. The Guide has tips for finding the best public transport deals, packing light, cycling and liftsharing. Incentives include complementary festival programmes, express shuttle bus from Chepstow railway station, free guided cycle rides from Bath and Bristol, and special offers on camping accessories courtesy of upcycled tent pioneers Camplight.

Choosing public transport can reduce a festival-goer’s emissions by up to 87%. By teaming up with Energy Revolution, The Green Gathering offers travellers chance to use a carbon calculator to compare modes of transport. There’s also an option to balance travel emissions by donating to Energy Revolutions’ renewable energy projects. In 2018, 100% of donations went to Solar For Schools, putting panels on school roofs and renewable energy education on the curriculum.

“Our aim this year is to directly reduce the carbon emissions of our festival-goers travel by encouraging and incentivising behaviour change. Once we’ve gone as far as we can with that, in maybe a year or two, we’ll focus on balancing travel through donations to Energy Revolution projects.” 

– Em Weirdigan, Green Gathering director

SMC coach hire

SMC Coach Hire passengers balance over 15,500 vehicle miles in first 6 weeks

SMC Coach Hire are one of the leading providers of coach and minibus hire across the UK. They are part of the National Coach Network Ltd, along with Energy Revolution supplier member Tuned in Travel – a transport company offering travel to some of the UK’s favourite festivals.

In 2018 Tuned in Travel balanced the CO2 from 100% of their staff travel miles and passenger miles with investment in renewable energy projects, and in March this year SMC Coach Hire decided to roll out the option for passengers to balance their travel miles at point of booking too.  Since the initiative when live on March the 4thover 3,000 passengers have opted in to taking part – with the result that over 15,500 vehicle miles carbon have been balanced in the first 6 weeks. 100% of these donations will be invested in projects that create renewable energy. 

At the National Coach Network we see it as our duty to be a driving force for an environmental revolution within the coach and minibus hire industries in which we operate. So naturally reducing carbon emissions, where possible, and offsetting carbon emissions are key objectives of ours. It is also something that our customers believe strongly about and we’re over the moon that there has been such a positive response. We’re proud to be working with Energy Revolution – with 2019 set to be our greenest yet!” Doug Grant, Marketing Manager, National Coach Network Ltd. 

Meanwhile, Tuned in Travel (also part of National Coach Network Ltd) continues to set an eco-friendly precedent for festival travel by guaranteeing to balance 100% of the carbon emissions for every booking. Find out more about Tuned in Travel’s commitmenthere.

DGTL Festival win AFG International Festival & Greener Transport Award

The debut International A Greener Festival (AGF) Awards recognised festivals from eight countries across three continents for their environmental practices at the conference earlier this month. Amongst the winners was DGTL Festival who won both the International Greener Festival Award, for their boundary-pushing work in reducing the event’s overall environmental impacts, and the Greener Transport Award for targeting reductions in audience, artist and production travel emissions.  

DGTL Amsterdam doesn’t only seek to reduce their environmental impact, but pushes boundaries to innovate, using the event as a test bed to find better ways that we can organise ourselves as individuals and as a society – Waste problem becomes resource solution. They have put sustainability at the forefront of their ambitions as an organisation. 

DGTL Amsterdam takes place across the water behind Amsterdam Central Station and has its own ferry service for three days. Being the culture of the Netherlands most people travel by bike – zero emissions transport!
 
Only 10% of the audience arrive by car and car occupancy is high. The event makes provision so that public transport and cycling are the cheapest and easiest options for people attending the event. Bikes are provided for production staff and electric “Stint” vehicles for production transport. Off site DGTL use Segways for litter collection and transport, being next to a dock means the festival can take advantage of river freight for deliveries. DGTL also measure and aim to reduce the artist travel impacts, beginning with ground transport efficiencies and lift sharing. 

Find out more about DGTL’s sustainability initiatives: HERE

Find out about the other festival winners of the International Greener Festival Awards HERE.

Photo Credit: Hanna Norlin

Boomtown Fair Travel Case Study

Boomtown Fair Tackle Travel Emissions

Boomtown Fair is set over four days in August, at the Matterley Estate in Hampshire. The first Boomtown took place in 2009 and it now attracts over 64,000 festival-goers annually. 

The team at Boomtown have a strong commitment to running the event sustainably. In 2016 they took the Festival Vision:2025 pledge to act on climate change, alongside 75 other UK festivals, pledging to cut the CO2 footprint of the event by 50% by 2025 and targeting areas such as fuel use, waste, food and transport. With audience travel accounting for up to 80% of the average festival’s carbon footprint, it is clearly a key area to focus on. 

Boomtown’s recognition of the need to tackle audience travel lead them to collaborate with the teams behind Kendal Calling, Bluedot, Shambala and Secret Garden Festival to set up Energy Revolution in 2015.

Realising that reducing travel related emissions is the first step, Boomtown have a number of initiatives in place to engage their audience and artists in travelling sustainably. They work with dedicated coach companies and promote discounted ‘Public Transport Saver’ tickets to their audience which include coach and shuttle bus travel and the option to arrive at the event a day early at no extra cost. In fact, everyone who travelled by coach, train, bike or shared their car (3+) is invited to arrive a day early! In 2018 they worked with Red Fox cycling to offer a guided 2-day cycle experience from Bristol to Boomtown and in 2019 they are extending their ‘Boomtown Bike Ride’ by offering a London – Boomtown route.

By incentivising sustainable travel in 2018 they encouraged 35% of audience arrived by coach or train.In 2018 Boomtown gave £1 from every audience car-parking pass to Energy Revolution to invest in renewable energy to help balance CO2 emissions. So far they’ve supported their audience in donating over £10,000 to balance their travel emissions. 

This year they want to increase this positive impact by giving the artists and contractors travelling to the event the chance to balance their travel emissions too.  In 2019 Boomtown are introducing a “Green Ambassador” initiative as part of the artist sustainability campaign for 2019. Artists can pledge to balance all of their travel to and from site in return for being awarded a green leaf emoji next to their programme listing.   

To benchmark travel data, identify new areas to tackle and to help quantify the success of their car-sharing incentive, Boomtown worked with Face Your Elephant to carry out a car park survey. Over two thousand vehicles were surveyed, counting the number of people, the number of vehicles and the fuel type from Wednesday – Sunday.  The results showed that Boomtown effectively managed to gain above average car occupancy on the Wednesday proving the early day entry initiative was successful. 

Find out more about Boomtown’ environmental mission here

100% of 2018 donations into Solar for Schools

Energy Revolution festival, audience, supplier and artist members balanced over three million (average car) travel miles from festivals and tours in 2018 – with all donations going to Solar for Schools projects across the UK

In 2018, our 50+ members – including UK touring artists, a growing number of festivals and their audiences, and suppliers – worked with us to record their travel miles to events and the associated carbon emissions, and then balance or ‘offset’ these emissions with donations to projects that generate renewable energy. 

This year 100% of donations will go to Solar for Schools, an initiative that puts solar panels on the roofs of schools in the UK, allowing them to produce low-cost clean electricity, while also educating children about the importance of a low carbon future.

New Energy Revolution members in 2018 included: Download and Reading festivals, produced by Festival Republic, who have long championed festival sustainability initiatives. They donated £1 from every car-parking pass sold to Energy Revolution.  Artist, Novo Amor joined the charity in 2018 to balance the CO2 from his 2018 European and North American tour travel. Festival travel provider, Tuned in Travel joined last year balancing 100% of the CO2 from passenger travel to events. 

Since we began in 2015 Energy Revolution has helped its members balance over 8.4 million average car miles – that’s more that 2.6 million kg CO2e – with donations in previous years supporting; reforestation and wind turbines in India and community-owned solar and wind projects across the UK. 

Energy Revolution’s original aim was to help our members balance 10 million travel miles by 2020, but, with growing commitment from the industry and more festivals, suppliers and artists joining the movement, we’re on track to reach the goal ahead this this year.

Ultimately we aim to create a grant-making legacy fund, which can support on-going work to reduce carbon emissions created by the festival and touring sector. Find out more about becoming a member hello@energy-revolution.org.uk

Bluedot sustainability

BLUEDOT’S CHRISTMAS GIFT TO PLANET EARTH

This year Bluedot have pledged to donate £10 to Energy Revolution for every 2019 weekend ticket sold throughout December! Bluedot has been working with Energy Revolution since the very beginning, when festival director, Ben Robinson, helped to found the project in 2015. 

Here’s Ben’s message to Bluedot fans… 

“As we approach the festive season, we’re more aware than ever of the environmental impact of this time of year.

Unwanted gifts, miles of wrapping paper and millions driving home to see family, all leave a carbon imprint that is having a huge effect on the planet.

That’s why this festive season for every weekend ticket you order for bluedot 2019, we’ll be donating £10 to EnergyRevolution, which invests in sustainable energy projects… This is just one part of a wider sustainability programme that bluedot will be co-ordinating year round, and we’d love you to be part of it.” We’ll see you in July! – Ben Robinson, Festival Director

Read more about the brilliant sustainability initiatives Bluedot have in place to cut their environmental impacts HERE

Charity partner for the UK festival awards 2018

Energy Revolution charity partner for the UK Festival Awards

There are just two weeks left until the 15thannual UK Festival Awards, when 700 of the industry’s most renowned organisers and suppliers will gather to network and celebrate their collective accomplishments over the past year.

Energy Revolution are delighted to be charity partner for the Awards this year – giving travellers to the event the chance to balance their fossil fuel journey with investment in clean renewable energy projects.

Taking place on December 6that the Troxy in London, the ceremony will acknowledge the achievements of events, businesses and individuals across 21 categories. View the shortlists here. It’s  great to see so many Energy Revolution festival members shortlisted for awards!

Tickets can be purchased here. In case you’re wondering who’s going to be there, check out…

WHO’S IN THE ROOM

10,000 Hours, AFO, A Greener Festival, AIF, ArcTanGent, Arts Council England, Asahi, Barn on the Farm, Bearded Theory, BIMM, Black Deer Festival, Boardmasters, Bournemouth 7s, CanO Water, CGA, Cheltenham Science Festival, Community Festival, Country 2 Country Festival, Creative Events, CT London, d&b audiotechnik, Deer Shed Festival, Diabolical, DIY Magazine, Download Festival, Eastern Electrics, Elderflower Fields, Elrow Town London, Energy Revolution, Event Trees, The Fair, Festival Republic, Fly Open Air, FOCUS Wales, Foreverland, Freemans Event Partners, Funkin Cocktails, Gather and Gather, Global, Harman, Heineken, ID&C, Imaginators, Initials, Isle of Wight Festival, Jägermeister, Julie’s Bicycle, Just So Festival, Latitude Festival, Mixmag, MOM Consultancy, Music Bank, Music Insurance Brokers, NASS, National Express, National Festival of Making, NCASS, Neighbourhood Festival, Nordoff Robbins, Norlin Events, Off-Axis, Pernod Ricard, PlayPass, Pollstar, PR Week, Reading & Leeds Festival, Red Bull, Seaside Touring, Shambala Festival, SJM Concerts, Smirnoff, Sounds of the City, Southbeats Festival, Stonedeaf Festival, Thorns Group, Ticket Arena, Ticketmaster, Timber Festival, TPI, Tramlines Festival, Tuned In Travel, Twelve Agency, Vision Nine, Wacken Open Air, Wireless Festival, Woo Fest, Zeina Ltd

Energy Revolution at the AFO conference

Energy Revolution talks sustainable travel to events at The AFO Conference

Energy Revolution trustee Liz Warwick will join the ‘Blue Planet Wake Up Call’ panel session at the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) Conference on Saturday 11thNovember at 10.30am.

Liz, who is an Environmental Consultant with Lansdowne Warwick and Sustainability Consultant for Cambridge Folk Festival, will talk about the environmental impact of travel at events and what can be done to reduce harmful CO2 emissions associated with fossil fuel travel.

She presents research from her work with Cambridge Folk Festival and case studies from the latest edition of the Energy Revolution Guide to Sustainable Travel, which includes initiatives that have helped increase sustainable travel at Boomtown, Shambala and Glastonbury and of suppliers, such as festival coach provider Tuned in Travel and electric vehicle charging services from S2VS, who can help events reach their goals around travel emission reduction.

Every delegate attending the AFO Conference will receive a free copy of the updated, and first printed copy, of The Energy Revolution Guide to Sustainable Travel for Festivals and Events. If you aren’t attending and would like a copy you can download the new edition HERE.

Also on the panel talking about making events more environmentally sustainable are Chris Johnson from Shambala Festival, Teresa Moore from A Greener Festival, Tim Benson from Powerful Thinking, Zap Concepts and Smart Power, Mark Laurie from festival food salvage scheme 8thPlate and NCASS, Hannah Joliffe from the RAW Foundation, and Mary Corfield from Greenbelt Festival.

Find out more about the session HERE.

, 661,635 miles

The TicketSellers help festivals balance over 650,000 travel miles

The Ticketsellers worked with 13 festival clients to help festival-goers to balance 661,635 travel miles with an investment in clean renewable energy this year.

By integrating Energy Revolution’s travel carbon calculator into the ticket buying process The TicketSellers make it simple and accurate for festival audiences to balance or ‘offset’ the carbon emissions associated with travelling to and from events.

The Ticketsellers offer the calculator software to each event and festival the team work with as part of their core service, with no demands on the organiser, meaning the collection of carbon-balancing donations is hassle-free.

This year, the festivals who chose to use the feature as part of their 2018 ticket sales included: Boomtown, Shambala, Illusive, Just So Festival, Nozstock, Port Eliot, Starry Skies, Towersey Festival, Wonder Fields, Grinagog, GT Bicycles Malverns Classic and Sunflowerfest – and Noisily Festival are also on board for 2019.

The TicketSellers and Eventree are also Energy Revolution supplier members – meaning they record staff travel miles, calculate the associate CO2e emissions and balance these with investment in renewable energy projects.

Find out more at www.theticketsellers.co.uk 

Tuned in Travel Balance Passenger Miles

Tuned in Travel balance 100% of staff and passenger miles with renewable energy

Tuned in Travel offer safe, affordable and greener travel to some of the UK’s favourite festivals, including Bluedot, Kendal Calling, Belladrum, ArcTanGent, Gottwood, Houghton, Glitterbox, This is Tomorrow and Standon Calling.

By encouraging more festivalgoers out of cars they help festivals cut their overall carbon footprints by reducing audience travel
 CO2 emissions.

As an Energy Revolution supplier member Tuned in are committed to balancing their staff travel miles with investment in renewable energy projects and this year they also offered their passengers the choice to balance the carbon emissions generated by their festival travel with a small donation.

Tuned In Travel balanced 100% of their passenger and staff travel 
in 2018, over 36,000 vehicle miles, and the equivalent of 30,600 Kg CO2e, with 100% of donations going to renewable energy projects. This figure even included all ‘dead mileage’ – the mileage from the empty coach from depot to the collection point and back, and on the return to the festival to collect passengers.

Find out more at www.tunedintravel.com