European Festivals Make Strides in Sustainability Efforts, Survey Finds

In a promising development for the sustainability movement, European festivals have made significant strides in their environmental initiatives, according to a recent survey conducted by non-profit organization A Greener Future (AGF).

The survey, which analyzed data from over 40 European festivals in 2023, focused on various sustainability metrics, including mobility, food and drink, water and sanitation, power and fuel use, waste and recycling, and carbon emissions. The findings revealed notable improvements in several key areas.

One highlight was the increase in the implementation of bans on single-use plastic serveware, rising from 54% in 2022 to an impressive 75% in 2023. Additionally, there was a reduction in the average waste generated per person per day, dropping from 0.75 kg to 0.5 kg. Many festivals have also embraced fully vegan or vegetarian menus, contributing to a decrease in food-related emissions by over 60% on average among events that adopted a meat-free approach.

However, the survey also noted an uptick in water consumption, particularly at rural camping festivals, where water usage increased from 19 liters per person per day in 2022 to 26 liters per person per day in 2023. This increase may be attributed to factors such as record-high temperatures experienced during the summer of 2023.

While an increasing number of festivals are transitioning to renewable fuels like Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), the survey cautioned that these fuels still generate emissions and air pollution. To further decarbonize the sector, reducing overall fuel consumption and promoting the adoption of hybrid, battery, and grid systems are crucial steps.

Claire O’Neill, CEO of AGF, expressed satisfaction with the progress observed but emphasized the need for continued action, particularly in light of evolving climate challenges. O’Neill highlighted the potential for collaboration across various sectors, including transport, energy, water, and food, to work towards shared goals of achieving net-zero emissions and preserving ecosystems.

As festivals continue to evolve their sustainability practices, the survey underscores the importance of ongoing innovation and collaboration to address the pressing environmental issues facing society. With concerted efforts, the path to a more sustainable future can be forged, ensuring the preservation of our planet for generations to come.


A content creator who is passionate about the intersection of culture and creativity, seeking to create content that sparks meaningful conversations and inspires positive change.

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