A Greener Festival Takes Hiatus to Plan for a Sustainable Future

UK: The team behind A Greener Festival have re-launched their website and announced that their annual AGF Awards scheme will be put on hold as the group ‘takes a year out to restructure’.

Claire O’Neill, one of the campaign group’s co-founders explained: “After 8 consecutive years of delivering the Greener Festival Awards globally, we have really noticed how event sustainability has matured and moved into the mainstream. The fact that audiences want environmentally conscious events – and that sustainable practices are often money saving – means that the sustainable events industry has really grown up. AGF are using 2015 to reconfigure the Awards format and assessment processes to reflect this maturity. 2015 seemed a apt time to take a breather as Yourope (the 80 event strong European festivals association) have re-launched their Green n Clean Award for their member events, and the industry now has a number of other certification routes for sustainable events.”

Helen Innes, the Awards co-ordinator added: “What I love about the A Greener Festival awards is that they are independent and accessible to everyone. The process is simple with a combination of self-certification, an onsite audit and post-event evidence. With the complexity and maturity of the industry and the growth of the Awards, this has become a mammoth global operation that relies entirely on volunteer hours. We recognise that there is a demand for more feedback through this process so that events get value and quality from their participation. Our hope is that by taking a year off to look at our offer in this area, we can return with a more bespoke proposition that provides our supporters and participants with the opportunity to grow, improve and tackle sustainability issues in a practical way and become more effective in assisting the festival industry’€™s quest to become greener.”

Pioneers in the green events sector since it’s launch in 2006, the AGF team is made up entirely of volunteers who work in the music, events and environmental science industries. AGF have assessed over 300 festivals spanning 5 continents as part of their Awards scheme which have been supported by Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach worldwide entertainment insurance since 2007.

Co-founder Ben Challis added: “Our exciting new website is planned to be a comprehensive knowledge hub for green events and individuals, and this year with the help of our network and supporting organisations we will focus on providing a free, accessible resource for anyone wanting to do the right thing environmentally”

AGF will continue their activities including; the Festival Wood initiative in Scotland which now has over 2,200 trees planted, their annual Green Events & Innovations Conference run with the International Live Music Conference and Bucks New University, a new project in partnership with Fareshare South West and the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) to create healthy catering from food that would otherwise be wasted at festivals, ongoing support for the Love Your Tent campaign to reduce left behind campsite waste, ongoing support for sustainable energy initiative Powerful Thinking, and will also maintain alliances with the GO (Green Operations) Group in Europe, The Green Music Initiative in Germany and Green Events Nederland, The Event Greening Forum in South Africa, and will continue to support the work of Julies Bicycle, the leading global charity bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and the creative industries.