Green Deal Circular Festivals: the festival industry’s contribution to global climate goals

Debbie van Rijk December 09, 2021

This year important steps were made in reaching the global climate goals of zero emission and limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5’C. Last November during COP26 the Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed upon by almost 200 countries and in July, the EU published the Fit for 55 package.

Drastic reduction of emissions is one of the primary climate goals described in these agreements. The festival industry too, is taking its climate responsibility. In 2019 almost 20 European festivals signed the Green Deal Circular Festivals, agreeing on becoming circular as much as possible by 2025. Christa Licher, programme manager of the Green Deal Circular Festivals: ‘The ambition is to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use and regenerate natural systems. Reaching climate neutrality by cutting CO2 emissions is part of the Green Deal’s focus. To achieve this, the participating festivals are working together on solutions to urgent themes such as energy, travel and transport, material resources, plastics and food and water.’

ITGWO travel concept reduces CO2 footprint by 50-65%

One of the initiatives developed within the Green Deal, is the sustainable travel concept ‘The Good Journey’, created by Into the Great Wide Open festival (ITGWO). The festival’s objective is to cancel out all CO2 emissions produced by traveling festival visitors. In total, this comprises 50-65% of the total CO2 footprint of ITGWO. Also, the festival will be powered by solar and wind energy. Festival materials are fossil free, waste and pollution shall be reduced to a minimum and products and materials reused to the fullest extent.

Into the Great Wide Open: duurzaam reisconcept 'Goede Reis'
'The Good Journey', sustainable travel concept by Dutch ITGWO festival (


Circular festival model as a climate action catalyst

Together, the participating Green Deal festivals are shaping a model for a circular and climate neutral festival. Events can use the model to create a circular roadmap for their organisation. It also functions as a starting point for the conversation with stakeholders and visitors about their role in a circular future. It is meant to inspire the industry, visitors and other parties alike to join the green movement and take action in becoming circular and reaching the global climate goals.

Join the Green Deal community

The Green Deal Circular Festivals supports participating festivals in becoming circular and climate neutral. It facilitates a growing community of front-runners working on joint initiatives that can shape a sustainable future for the festival industry. The Green Deal also provides a platform where knowledge and best practices can be shared. Festivals and events that would like to know more and/or are interested in joining can visit the Green Deal Circular Festivals website or contact the organisation.


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