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Guest Blog: Charlie Kingsley – Behind the Scenes with the Green Supplier Directory

Vision: 2025 team member Charlie Kingsley, has worked with us to begin building the Green Supplier Directory. Here he shares his views on why greening the supply chain is such a vital step in helping the Live Events Industry hit their environmental targets – and spotlights inspiring suppliers; Every Can Counts, Continest and Tuned in Travel, whose products and services help event organisers tackle the key issues of audience behaviour change around littering, and carbon emissions from transport.

“As a world leader on climate change practices, UK industries, including the Live Events Industry, are actively engaging with carbon reduction strategies. With COVID-19, the ‘green revolution’ has been put on hold and dropped down the priority list for some festivals as they struggle to stay financially afloat. Although this is undoubtedly an incredibly difficult and uncertain time, this COVID-induced hiatus does present a once in a lifetime opportunity to rethink our systems and #buildbackgreener. That means finding and placing business with suppliers that have invested in supporting festivals on a journey of carbon reduction.

The supply chain plays a significant role in reducing an event’s environmental impacts, and to achieve this shift, event organisers need to be aware of new solutions and connect with suppliers. In January Vision:2025 launched the Green Supplier Directory as a platform for sustainable suppliers and organisations that can be used as a resource for UK festivals to find innovative and sustainable services.

After finishing my MSc in Geographic Information and Climate Change, I joined the Vision: 2025 team to help create the Green Supplier Directory. In the process I’ve been fascinated to learn about each supplier’s journey to create their product and service, and inspired to see how a company or individual’s commitment to finding solutions that are less harmful to the environment can lead to a whole new, better way of working.

Three Vision: 2025 Green Supplier organisations really stood out for me. The first is Every Can Counts (ECC). They promote drinks can recycling in order to drive consumer behaviour change at events. Tackling one of the most challenging climate obstacles (behaviour change) is no easy feat, but ECC have adopted a simple, yet innovative approach, by creating engaging cage installations where the public can dispose of drink cans. This encourages positive behaviour change and significantly increases the rate of festival recycling.

The second green supplier that stands out for me is Continest, an award-winning manufacturer of portable containers. Utilising innovative foldable container technology, Continest container units enable quick and easy transportation, installation and relocation of event infrastructure. This reduces associated CO2e emissions by 80% through significantly increasing the overall efficiency of the logistics supply chain.

Third on my list is Tuned in Travel, an innovative and environmentally-conscious events travel company, offering travel to festivals and music events across the UK. With audience travel accounting for an enormous 60-80% of an event’s overall carbon footprint, Tuned in Travel’s service helps reduce carbon emissions by providing dedicated coaches to events from key pick up points across the UK, minimising the number of vehicles taken to an event. Furthermore, Tuned in Travel choose to go one step further; they record the carbon emissions produced by their coaches and offset them through accredited climate solutions projects with carbon balancing charity ecolibrium. With a huge potential to reduce an event’s overall carbon footprint, Tuned in Travel should be seen as a key tool for festivals to #buildbackgreener.

By tackling behaviour change and carbon emissions from transport, ECC, Continest and Tuned in Travel, are addressing two issues that are recognised as some of the most challenging obstacles to limiting the levels of CO2 in our atmosphere to 1.5° and reaching net zero by 2050 in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. They show us that each of us has a part to play, and that by choosing to work with companies who have stepped up to the challenge, we can create the systems we need to hit the targets that are so vital to our survival as an industry and as a human race.“

This guest blog originally appeared in our February 2021 Vision: 2025 newsletter. Sign up to receive monthly event sustainability news, case studies and guest blogs direct to your inbox using the form below.