Aware of the fact that life in modern society inevitably leaves a significant carbon footprint, Primavera Sound are firmly determined to evaluate its environmental impact and to take measures to reduce it and offset it. Some of the initiatives undertaken with this aim in mind at previous editions have confirmed that with willingness and resources it is possible to obtain good results.
In line with this, the organisation is ever more focused on actions of selective waste collection and recycling of materials, the use of more sustainable materials and the reduction and/or inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. These principles among others, are just another part of the festival’s logistic and of the philosophy of the organisation.
Primavera Sound took steps throughout the year to minimise the environmental impact generated by its activities, with the festival as the culminating point of all the campaign. It is worth highlighting the following results of the campaign:
Selective waste collection
The waste treatment is one of the most obvious and most poorly resolved challenges in all societies due to its impact both locally and globally, as 3-4% of the generation of green house gases are attributed to it.
For the festival it is one of the key points in its environmental campaign and it makes a great effort to ensure that selective collection is carried out and that recycling is efficient.
In this regard, the rate of selective collection is high: in 2015, a total of 21.5 tons of light packaging, 3.4 tons of paper and cardboard, 1.8 tons of organic material and 6 tons of glass, that represents 81% of all the waste generated by the festival, were selectively collected on the Parc del Fòrum site. These resources are used to manufacture new products at recycling plants.
Calculation and compensation of CO2 emissions
One of the key points of Primavera Sound’s environmental policies is the calculation and compensation of CO2 emissions, which since 2011 have been taken into account by the organisation.
As a measure to compensate 100% of the carbon footprint, specifically 180 tons, generated during the 2015 edition of the festival a collaboration with the Ay-Yildiz project of wind energy in Turkey has been set up. It is an initiative that consists in the installation of five wind turbines in order to generate renewable energy from the natural resource wind, whilst also contributing to the improvement of the national economy. Avoiding the use of fossil fuels for the production of electrical energy reduces the greenhouse gas emissions and minimises the generation of carbon dioxide.
Also, practically all the stages use LED lighting. These types of lights do not contain mercury, are recyclable and have a longer lifespan than incandescent light bulbs. All of this contributes to the reduction of energy consumption and of CO2 emissions in order contribute to the improving the quality of the air of the planet.
The use of sustainable materials
All the printed material, including the hand programme and the festival’s official book, are printed on recycled paper from sustainable forests, chlorine free and printed using inks without heavy metal or hazardous chemical substances (Blue Angel certified). Moreover, the official merchandise festival bags are made using 100% organic cotton and are printed with water-based inks.
Also the glasses used to serve drinks on the Parc del Fòrum site are recyclable as they are made from disposable polypropylene. To ensure that they will be recycled there are over 190 selective recycling points
And, the cleaning of the portable toilets is carried out with an innovative process that uses very little water in order to save natural resources and energy.
Primavera Sound promotes the use of public transport through initiatives such as agreements with the city’s public transport companies, the use of shuttles and the creation of a protected bike parking area. In fact over 80% of the people attending the festival use one of these options to get to and from the festival.
Also, during the festival, almost all staff transportation on the festival site is done sustainably using electric vehicles to avoid CO2 emissions. This measure is completed by using locality as criterion in the selection of suppliers thus reducing the use of fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases.
The main hotels contracted for the accommodation of the artists, guests and organisation, are located just a few metres away from the Parc del Fòrum in order to reduce any travelling distance and therefore the emission of CO2.
Moreover, some of these hotels have environmental management programmes implanted to reduce the impact on resources such as water, energy and waste generation and management.
As part of the Primavera Sound environmental policies, the festival contracts environmental monitors in order to give all the personnel of the bars and food stalls support and information on matters regarding selective collection of waste for recycling.
The commitment to the environment goes beyond the dates of the festival and continues all year round, in the Primavera Sound offices recycling is encouraged, latest generation computer material is used, LED screens and low-energy lighting to contribute to the saving of energy.
The office is also decorated with a selection of plants and vegetation that are specifically recommended for purifying the air. All the paper used has the European Ecolabel and is PEFC® certified indicating that it has been made with natural resources and sustainably.
The great majority of the workers come to the office on foot, by bicycle or on public transport with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions.
Primavera Sound collaborates with the environmental NGO Greenpeace that is present at the festival carrying out actions to raise social awareness, for causes such as “Save the Arctic”, an initiative that Greenpeace has been fighting for since the 90s as the climate change is causing the rapid melting of the Arctic, that in the last 30 years has lost three quarters of its surface area.
Certification A Greener Festival
Primavera Sound is working to obtain the certificate A Greener Festival Award (AGF Award) for its 2016. This award is given by the British organisation A Greener Festival that evaluates the efficiency of festivals in terms of sustainability and in terms of supplying information about its impact on the environment. Its objective is to reward those events that try to be more environmentally conscious and to raise awareness among audiences and therefore reduce its impact on the planet.
At its 2012 edition, Primavera Sound was given the A Greener Festival Award as a “Highly Commended” festival with 3 stars out of a maximum of 4 in terms of environmental commitment.
Primavera Sound is A Greener Festival Associate. This means that the festival adheres to the association’s Code of Conduct, which includes aspects such as actively seeking to reduce its environmental impact, collaborating with companies and suppliers that are involved in sustainable exploitation of resources, conducting business with integrity, honesty, due diligence and within the law, not making misleading or false claims, not dealing with companies or individuals involved in the production, sale or distribution of arms or ammunition and not discriminating based on gender, race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. Consult the Code of Conduct complete here
Primavera Sound is aware of the potential environmental impact of its activities for the promotion of events and is conscious of the key principles of sustainability:
1. Broadly speaking, development cannot exceed the limits of what can be provided by natural resources.
2. There is obvious interchange between the economy, society, health and the environment.
3. It is essential to share resources and opportunities in a fair and just manner across the whole of society.
For this reason, an environmental policy has been established and organised to:
- Ensure compliance with legal requirements, the applicable of environmental regulations and deal with other aspects that the organisation can implement.
- Prevent environmental costs of the festival’s operations and activities whilst studying and promoting all possible measures to minimise the impact generated by other agents which impinge on the music festival.
- Improve the experience and satisfaction of both the audience and the workers at all musical events that they organise.
- The environmental policy is developed through a documented technical monitoring before, during and after the festival. This facilitates the establishment of the areas of intervention, the planning and implementation of actions, the evaluation of the results obtained and the monitoring of the operative procedures in a process of continual improvement. This process is periodically revised in order to adapt to the new demands of the environment and is communicated to all of its personnel, to the suppliers, collaborators, sponsors and audience.