Greenbelt by Stephen Radley

Greenbelt releases 2023 Sustainability Report

Greenbelt Festival has released its Sustainability Report for 2023.

The report highlights include:

  • An 85 per cent reduction in CO2 from Greenbelt generators by switching to HVO.
  • Ninety-eight per cent of the festival’s carbon footprint comes from people travelling to and from the festival whereas only two per cent is from the event itself.
  • Each person had a carbon footprint per day of 0.11kg (compared with the UK average carbon footprint of 32kg per person/per day)
  • Greenbelt reduced its waste from 32 tonnes to 23 tonnes despite having a larger audience.
  •  1.5 tonnes of food was donated to local food banks.
  • Out of the 39 food stalls, 92 per cent offered vegetarian options and 33 per cent offered no meat at all.
  • 3,943 reusable cups were purchased – this is 27 per cent fewer than 2022, meaning people are bringing their cups back.
  • The festival’s production buggies and onsite taxi-buggies are now electric, with the exception of one.
  • Greenbelt introduced new squatting toilets and women’s-only urinals, as well as providing more compostable loos.
  • £32,500 of the festival’s Sunday communion given to Citizens UK, Christian Aid, anti-poverty Movement Let’s End Poverty and Amos Trust’s work with Gazan artists.

Jess Jones, event manager at Greenbelt said: “Each year we journey with our audience who express their concern about the environment. They encourage and challenge us to become more sustainable each year. We’re proud to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to sustainability, embracing a harmonious blend of arts and environmental responsibility. With a dedication to reducing its ecological footprint, Greenbelt implements eco-friendly practices wherever possible, from waste reduction initiatives to promoting renewable energy sources, ensuring that the festival experience is not only memorable but also leaves a positive impact on the planet.”

Paul Northup, Greenbelt’s creative director, said:  “As a smaller, independent festival Greenbelt is perhaps able to manage its sustainability more effectively than, say, a larger, more corporate festival; mainly because it is more autonomous and not operating at the same scale. Each year we renew our commitment to do better. We take inspiration from fellow independent festival, Shambala; a trailblazer in both its ethos and transparency around sustainability. We look for best practice, we look to be bold and make important changes each year.”

For 2024, Greenbelt is looking at ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. It is actively working towards composting more of its food waste; reusing and recycling more of its general waste; and reducing its travel footprint by creating strategies around better audience engagement and communication on lift-sharing, increased use of public transport, and walking and cycling.

Greenbelt Festival returns from August 22-25, 2024.