4th annual industry green survey results

Industry Green Survey 2018 – The Results

Powerful Thinking’s 4th annual Festival Industry Green Survey for 2018 asked festivals organisers what sustainability practices they were using last year in key areas such as waste, travel, energy and about and about plans for next season and barriers to implementing initiatives. 70 events were represented – and the winner of the free delegate pass to the upcoming Greener Events and Innovations (GEI) conference was Tandem Festival.

The results show that more organisers are committing resources and becoming increasingly savvy about energy efficiencies onsite and reducing environmental impacts across the board. More festivals than ever have appointed a dedicated sustainability role, are checking what happens to their waste when it leaves site, are working with suppliers to increase fuel efficiency, and working with audiences and suppliers on travel. In a year when 65 AIF festivals committed to becoming plastic disposable-free as part of the Drastic on Plastic campaign, we have seen sustainability start to become embedded into the way the sector is delivering events.

Key results

  • 3 out of 4 organisers have checked where their waste is going in 2018, a dramatic increase from previous years 
  • In the 2017 survey 58% of event organisers stated that they were monitoring energy. This has risen to 80% in 2018, demonstrating that the trend toward organisers taking fuel efficiency seriously is now firmly established.
  • Grid connection has emerged for greenfield events an area to explore with more greenfield event organisers stating they are using a grid connection than in 2017.
  • For those events using biofuel, organisers are choosing to use almost exclusively waste-derived fuels
  • 58% of organisers state that they offer or intend to offer carbon balancing on travel, compared to 25% in 2017


  • 80% monitor fuel use 
  • 20% have Grid connection on green tariff  
  • 40% engaged with supplier to increase efficiency  
  • Of those using biofuel most are using waste-derived fuels


  • 50% offering dedicated coaches and promoting car share
  • 88% communicate about sustainable travel to audiences but fewer to artists (61%) or suppliers (42%)
  • 58% offer carbon balancing to audiences or intend to 


73% checked and verified where their waste is going

Top 5 NEW things festivals have implemented in 2018:

  • Worked with our suppliers to look at how they can help us improve sustainability 
  • Made public our environmental policy 
  • Promoted sustainable travel options
  • Have a plan in place to manage energy more efficiently
  • Joined a project or used a consultant 


  • 70% of the festivals now have a sustainability coordinator role was part of their team top help them deliver.
  • 80% now have minimum food standards in place across the site. 

Event organiser priorities

  1. Waste
  2. Energy Use
  3. Travel

Barriers to implementing initiatives

  1. Cost of implementation 
  2. Lack of time as a resource within organisation 
  3. Inability of contractors to deliver