Green Chief would encourage an event to take part in a scheme based around energy efficiency and ensure that all energy saving activities are communicated to crew, artists and audience alike. We applaud the use of carbon offsetting through legitimate charitable offsetting schemes but it should only be used as a last resort once all possible efficiency measures have been put in place.
Something all technical crew can be responsible for is making sure the use of electricity and power is minimised and energy saving equipment is used onsite. This may mean installing energy saving lightbulbs in the festoon lighting or putting the lights on timers, using LED lighting for stage displays where possible, insulating roof spaces (where applicable) and selecting the correct size generators and turning them off when they are not in use. All energy efficiency measures result in cost savings (sometimes after an initial monetary outlay) and a reduction of carbon equivalent emissions.
Depending on the type of event (urban, semi-rural or greenfield) a variety of renewable energy sources will be available. Usually events in urban areas can simply draw power from the grid and ensure that it is 100% accredited green power.A semi-rural event may be able to mix green power with some solar and a bio-fuel such as bio-diesel. Unless carefully planning it put into the design of the site and the programming then sourcing green power at a greenfield or rural event is currently very difficult. Instead the majority of the power tends to be produced by generators. Providing the generators are specifically able to function on bio-fuels (premiaire) and the bio-fuel is sustainably sourced (ideally from waste or locally grown, renewable products) and ideally stored on site to minimise transport emissions, then this is often the greenest way to go.
When promoting the use of sustainable energy sources on site, Green Chief works hard to maintain their ethos of education and interaction with the audience. The invitation of a range of innovative side shows, such as bicycle powered mobile phone charging and the Big Red Bus (solar powered stage) can heighten the audiences awareness of energy usage.
The event or festival utopia is finding or purchasing a site that they have sole use of (For example Woodfords’ Woodfordia) and then permanent energy sources such as wind turbines, hydroelectricity facilities and permanent solar can be installed.
Carbon Footprint & Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The title is slightly misleading as they are both one and the same thing. There are plenty of companies out there who will charge you an exorberant fee for carbon footprinting. Without getting too in depth there are two companies who Green Chief recommends who have specific programmes dedicated to events and festivals. These are carbon neutral, who will also deal with your offsetting and Julies Bicycle. Julies Bicycle are a not-for-profit group based in the UK who provide a free emissions auditing service and use the data collection to formulate event industry benchmarks. By taking part in the audit you commit to reducing your footprint year on year providing all other details are equal. Green Chief are happy to take charge of the data collection process needed for both of these footprinting schemes and from there DIY tree planting can be undertaken on your site or other investments that more directly benefit your site (hydropower, turbine installation, re-vegitation) can be embarked upon.