Circular festivals call to take the initiative to contribute to international climate goals

Ted van Hooff February 11, 2022

Yesterday, Green Deal Circular Festivals held a special online session during the Dutch Week of the Circular Economy.

In this session participating festivals, experts and participants from organizations active in circularity and the live sector together explored how circular and climate neutral festivals are two sides of the same coin.

The urgency to take action is clear

In his presentation Maikel Kishna - from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, demonstrated that synergies go both ways: circular design can lead to a significant reduction of CO2 and setting climate targets can make secondary use of materials more attractive. And at the same time CO2 targets for the short term can conflict with long term circular ambitions. The urgency to take action is clear. All EU member states will need to follow-up the new Fitfor55 package of the European Union and reduce their emissions by at least 55% by 2030. 

PBL diagram

Wait or take action

The question is whether we, as a community of international frontrunners, wait until policy and standards for our sector are being set by the government, or whether we proactively take action in a joint effort to define these targets for our sector. Tijl Couzij - from Into the Great Wide Open/Lab Vlieland - showed how the GDCF member organizations are currently exploring what they can do. Couzij also urged to include a circular and climate neutral supply chain and to encourage sustainable behavior from visitors in our approach; this was widely supported by the participants of this meeting. 

Working together on a European level

In several countries sector charters and codes of conduct are already on the way. Marianne Hocquard explained how We Love Green Festival is getting involved in a sustainable development Charter for festivals by French government. And Chris Johnson from Shambala Festival spoke about the initiative for a Code of Conduct for festivals in the UK. We concluded the meeting with a call from several GDCF participants to take the initiative as community and work together on a European level, and together make concrete how circular festivals contribute to the international climate goals. This provides an opportunity for our community to help shape policy and standards by national and local governments upfront and in a coherent way, as well as create a circular and climate neutral future for our sector. In the coming weeks we will take steps to take this initiative further. Please reach out to us if you are interested in getting involved.


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