Sustainable events and festivals

Early consideration of sustainability in the planning phase of your event can save you money and protect natural resources. Early planning is essential to enable you to identify the main sustainability aspects of your event. 

Use our checklist below to assist you during your planning meetings:

  1. Choice of venue (is it accessible by public transport)?
  2. Energy consumption (lighting and ventilation within the venue).
  3. Delegate pack and giveaways (use biodegradable bags and packaging, can any materials be used for another event)?
  4. Catering (use fresh, seasonal produce, fairtrade products).
  5. Management of waste (waste disposal, provision of recycling bins and so on).
  6. Communication (carry out all marketing correspondence and registration electronically).
  7. Access (level or ramped entry, acoustics appropriate for hearing aid users and working loop systems in lecture theatres).

Good liaison with all parties involved is paramount, both those undertaking the work (venue organisations, suppliers, sponsors and so forth) and those potentially affected by the event (local communities) in order to identify the most important impacts and issues.  

For more practical advice on holding sustainable events visit the WRAP Cymru website or see their practical advice PDF.

In 2006 the Hay Festival started the Greenprint Project, and since then the organisers have been engaged in a programme of managing and mitigating its environmental impact through Hay on Earth.

Hay Festival Sustainable Management website