2018 Sustainability Review

For the past two years we’ve been working on our ‘Looking After the Woods’ initiative, not only to care for the land we are privileged to call home, but to present ways in which we can all change our lifestyles in order to help slow and potentially reverse climate change in the immediate future.

It’s an unprecedented task, and so often as humans we can resign ourselves to the ‘drop in the ocean’ mentality and fear of failure. Yet there is hope, and even though we’re a humble festival tucked away in a small nook at the heart of the English countryside, we hope we can play our part in the system change that is so sorely needed.


“Large streams from little fountains flow, tall trees from little acorns grow.”  – English Proverb


The 2018 Noisily Festival Sustainability Review


Drastically Reduced Single Use Plastic

  • All crew had to bring their own refillable water bottles, cups, plates and cutlery.
  • We stopped selling plastic bottles behind the bars, sold refillable ones and had reusable cups on the bar if needed.
  • Bars were not allowed to serve anything that came from plastic bottles, resulting in 400KG increase in glass use, which is infinitely recyclable.  
  • Bars swapped plastic bottles for glass almost entirely, a much more environmentally conscious option, however wine was sold in plastic as we couldn’t give glass to public. We are looking into boxed alternatives for 2018. All mixers were post mix.
  • Only the security team & artists had plastic. It was felt that logistically it wasn’t possible for them to have to refill and remain on the points they needed to. This will change next year, and we are aiming to create a system which will make it possible, which may possibly include a water team moving around site refilling their canteens for them.
  • Traders all used Vegware or comparable biodegradable products.
  • Market stall traders were not allowed to use plastic bags.
  • The site team experimented with reusable cable ties.
  • The production office used 95% less laminating pouches with a strong emphasis on reuse of signs, cataloging all we had and reusing them.
  • The production offices avoided buying plastic stationery, opting for wooden items like clipboards, both sustainable and recyclable.

Environmentally Unfriendly / Harmful Chemicals

The festival team used only 100% Paraben and SLS free washing up liquid, kitchen cleaner and personal care products such as shampoo and soap in all areas of site including the showers. Traders were asked to do the same, and were inspected on site before opening the arena.

  • Compost toilets were chemical free.
  • Art Department made sure their paints were environmentally friendly.


Improve Single Use Mentality

  • We asked all crew to bring their own plates, bowls, canteens and cutlery, providing a washing up space so they could clean their utensils themselves after mealtimes.
  • We took away the compostable cups in crew catering as last year we noticed many people take a small drink and then bin the cup.


Recycle, Reuse

  • The Production team ordered recycled paper and items where available and are looking at how to avoid using items that aren’t, finding suitable replacements.
  • Human Waste was composed by our new eco toilet provider for 2018, Natural Event. Saving 100% of water use, using no chemicals or energy in the treatment process, the end product being used as compost for improving soil conditions.
  • A litter bond was enforced on food traders, encouraging them to leave post event with their pitch spotless.
  • Traders were only allowed to use Vegware or equal standard compostable serviceware, and where possible order it through our supplier GreenMan Packaging. https://www.greenmanpackaging.com)

Reduce Travel Related Carbon

We partnered with Go Car Share again to encourage festival guests to share their journeys with each other, making new friends, and reducing carbon emissions all in one.

  • Crew ride sharing.
  • Encouraged the use of trains and taxi sharing to get to the festival.
  • Booked fewer international artists and reduced air travel as a result.
  • Tracked crew mileage on our crew system, Eventree, with the intention of using this data to compare to future years and reduce / rideshare where possible, setting realistic goals in the process.
  • Enforced a mandatory £10 carbon tax at the festival gate for the third year running, for any cars arriving with 2 or fewer people inside. Designed to encourage car sharing, and to raise funds to maintain the site and natural environment of Coney Woods and Noseley Estate.


Waste Management

This year was the second Noisily where we worked with Waste Cycle, the East Midlands leading resource management and recycling company, who have a “zero waste to landfill” commitment which they are working towards with extreme efficiency. Below are the results from Noisily 2018, with comparisons explained against our results from Noisily 2017.


Results Broken Down:

2017 2018 Increase
Public        2,100         3,300        1,200
Crew/Artists/Guests        1,552         1,681        129
Total People on Site        3,652         4,981        1,329
Mixed Recyclables        6.98        1.64       -5.34
Cardboard        N/A        0.70        0.70
Glass        0.70        1.10        0.40
Food Waste Segregated        1.78        1.92        0.14
Total Recyclables Segregated On Site         7.68        5.36       -2.32
Industrial Waste (Not Sorted)        6.30        10.92        4.62
Recovered        8.02        10.83        2.81
Recycled        7.68        5.36       -2.32
Contaminated Food to Landfill        0.06        0.09        0.03


Of the 16.28 tonnes total amount of waste collected, 99.58% was diverted away from landfill, amounting to 16.19 tonnes. This is 0.01% less than the 99.59% in 2017, but with an increase of 1,329 people on site (36.4%), so an effort we were extremely pleased with on the whole.

There was a total of 5.36 (T) of mixed recyclables segregated at site, of that 100% were sent for recycling to be turned into other items – e.g. new glass bottles, road aggregates etc. The amount of glass recycled rose by 400kgs, however it is infinitely recyclable, and in using it we reduced the use of plastic considerably.

Of all our waste just 88kgs couldn’t be recycled as it was contaminated, most likely after some food waste was mixed with other rubbish, and as a result could not be processed. This is something we will be working on next year, as we streamline our operations and waste management to get Noisily ever closer to the 100% recycling marker, including energy capture wherein waste is burned in a biomass power station to create electricity.  


Rob Hunt, our representative from Waste Cycle said to Sarah, our Operations Manager and Noisily’s contact to Waste Cycle…

Hi Sarah,

We’ve taken out more waste this year (over 16 tonnes) and diverted over 99.6% of this away from landfill. The 88 kg will mostly likely be food waste / contaminated food etc that was in the main skip by accident and little we can do with it.”

Overall another amazing effort from yourselves and your team and you should be very proud with the way it works!

Many thanks,


Rob Hunt”



Beyond ensuring we hit the 100% target, we realise how important it is to reduce the amount of waste we are having to recycle in the first place, and most importantly change people’s behavioural patterns and the way we live and exist in our day to day lives. We hope to include programming in our Mind Body Soul area in 2019 in the form of talks and workshops to foster this intention.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing our plans for 2019 and beyond. There’s a lot we hope to implement, and certainly too much to tag onto the end of this review. So please stay tuned to our Latest Noise channel, subscribe to our mailing list, and join us at Noisily in Looking After the Woods, and the world beyond.

The Noisily Team xxx