Festivals join pilot scheme to be greener

Reading festival
Reading Festival is among the events taking part in the environmental pilot [BBC]

Festival organisers in Berkshire are working together to make their events as sustainable as possible.

Reading Festival and Reading Pride are among those taking part in a pilot scheme this year, which will see organisers following a Green Events Code of Practice.

The code has been developed by Vision 25 group, representing members of the outdoor live events industry.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) was one of 10 local authorities invited to take part.

Funded by the Arts Council and participating local authorities, the pilot is intended to help outdoor event organisers be more environmentally friendly by establishing clear standards throughout the country.

The code of practice focuses on seven key areas: Governance, energy, travel and transport, food and drink, waste, water and influence.

During the pilot, event organisers will be asked to log their sustainability work, which will then provide data to highlight good practice and potential improvement areas so that festivals can learn from each other.

Louisa Dean, RBC's head of communications, events and marketing, said the pilot supported Reading’s ambition to be net zero.

“It will help tackle many of the issues associated with festivals, such as use of single-use plastics, energy use, management of waste and how visitors travel to the site," she added.

Matt Foster, from East Reading Festival which is also taking part in the pilot, said: "This is an important and timely initiative for us, and the wider festival sector.

“We have been talking about how best to play our part in cutting carbon emissions and addressing environmental impact for a while. But as a small, volunteer-led festival we have struggled to know how.

"Already we can see we are on the right path. More importantly we are not alone."

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