The natural environment in Coney Woods is the largest factor in making Noisily so special, and whilst the crew, contributors and crowd are second to none, there’s no shame in conceding first place to the woods we’re privileged to call home.
For the past few years we’ve consolidated our environmental conservational efforts into our ‘Looking After the Woods’ initiative, and under that moniker have made great leaps to becoming a carbon neutral festival with a goal to send zero waste to landfill.
Our successes have included…
- A campaign to remove all single use plastics from site, including all traders, bars, artists and contributors, whilst during the build we had a water crew driving round site filling people’s canteens before the mains water was turned on.
- No Laminating pouches in the production office, as well as reusing signs printed in previous years which were carefully filed away at the end of 2018. Where possible all stationary was also plastic free.
- Donating proceeds to Stand for Trees which offset our annual carbon output for 2019, based upon estimated future absorption.
- Paraben and SLS free washing up liquids and shower gels in at all washing points.
- New and improved composting toilet supplier using zero water and chemicals.
- All crew brought their own plates, bowls, canteens and cutlery, providing a washing up space so they could clean their utensils themselves after mealtimes.
- More bins and recycling points were installed across site.
- Go Car Share encouraged festival guests to share their journeys with each other, making new friends, and reducing carbon emissions all in one.
- Crew ride sharing promoted through our festival operating system.
- Encouraged the use of trains and taxi sharing to get to the festival.
- 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 levy 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 for the Stand for Trees organisation.
We worked alongside Waste Cycle for the third year running, 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.
For the second year running we managed to reduce the amount of mixed recyclables relative to our increased footfall, having changed our licence to accommodate more festival guests. This change what not as dramatic as it was from 2017 to 2018, as 2018 was the first year we removed all single use plastics.
Of the 29.98 tonnes of waste collected, 96.88% was diverted away from landfill. This is 2.7% less than the 99.58% in 2018, which although it’s still a very high percentage taking into account the increased number of people on site (4,981 in 2018 to 5,732 in 2019), it is a drop we were a little disappointed with.
As such are working on plans to elevate this closer toward the 100% mark, and there you can read more about this in the section below.
2020 AND BEYOND
As ever we are committed to looking for new ways to not only reduce and offset the Noisily carbon footprint from a logistical perspective, but to contribute exponentially more to the world around us via the medium of the content presented at the festival and throughout the year.
It is our hope that by raising the awareness of the collective we can not just provide an illuminating and informative weekend in July, but to inspire those present to translate their experiences and effect positive change in day to day life.
As such we have created the Noise Makers network, a community dedicated to raising awareness around important issues affecting the planet and our society. We hope it will provide a forum for discussions and the exchange of knowledge both online, and at future events orchestrated by the collective. More news on this to come soon…
In the Mind Body Soul area this year, there will be a plethora of talks, discussions and workshops centred around the environment and inspired by our 2020 theme of ‘We Are Nature’.
Alongside the content and theme, our two key goals for 2020 are to reduce the % of waste going to landfill to above 99%, and to reduce the number of vehicles driving to the event and subsequently the overall carbon emissions of the festival.
The former we hope to achieve by building a number of sorting points throughout the arena and campsites, where guests can segregate their own refuse into the appropriate bins to reduce the window for contamination.
The latter we are encouraging with our biggest logistics change to date, wherein all cars driving to the festival will be charged to park irrespective of whether the number of people inside. Car parking will be charged at £20+bf if you purchase your pass ahead of the festival on our ticket page, or £40 if you turn up on the day.
This levy is designed with the sole intention of a) encouraging festival goers to ride share or use our all new nationwide bus service or train station shuttle bus, and b) raising more money to donate to Stand for Trees.
In 2015, The Show Must Go On report showed that UK festivals are collectively responsible for about 15 kilo tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year – with audience travel alone accounting for up to 60-80% of that footprint, so you can see why we are making the aforementioned changes.
THE OUTSIDE WORLD
We have joined festivals such as Shambala, Kendall Calling and Boomtown in the not-for-profit organisation Energy Revolution.
We also love woods, as you can imagine, and have called upon you, our network, Noise Makers & beyond, to join us in a collective pledge to plant 400 trees ahead of Noisily 2020.
We estimate this would offset our annual onsite diesel & deliveries within the next 8 years, setting us well on the road to becoming a carbon neutral festival. It’s a bit of an imperfect science currently, but we are working on some new, exciting partnerships for 2020 that will allow us to be much more accurate, and we look forward to sharing & updating you as we go.
We kicked things off with the Woodland Trust’s National Plant a Tree Day on 30th November, when we joined their Big Climate Fightback with a goal of planting 1 million trees to restore & regenerate the British countryside (pledge HERE), and are continuing to encourage all our wonderful festival family to do the same.
With a positive outlook and some communal encouragement, together we CAN make a difference!
All our love,
The Noisily Team xxx