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About the Green Events Code of Practice

The Green Events Code of Practice development has been led by the Vision: 2025 group, the UK festival and event industry’s green forum, to help answer the fundamental question; ‘What does good look like?’

It is intended to establish a common understanding of best practice between event organisers, local authorities and supply chain, and provide clear and robust minimum standards which can be assessed, to achieve national consistency in approach.

The first draft version, released October 2022, was the result of extensive consultation across the outdoor live events sector. It has been developed in alignment with existing frameworks and initiatives – global, national, and sector specific – see FAQ’s  below for the full list.

Development of the Code has been financially supported by; the Purple Guide Grant Fund (managed by the Events Industry Forum), the Association of Independent Festival’s (AIF), Festival Republic and Superstruct, and is supported by; LIVE, the trade body for the UK music industry, and the Local Authority Event Organisers Association (LAEOG).

The code is currently a working draft. A pilot project supported by Arts Council England, 10 participating local authorities, and 60+ events is currently testing the practical implementation of the code using the Donut Advisory Tool for Events (DATE) as the assessment method. Results of this test period and recommendations for national adoption will be published in a report December 2024.

Download the Green Events Code (PDF)

Why is it needed?

In the absence of legislation or recognised minimum standards for event sustainability, it is important that we, as an outdoor events sector, step forward together to create shared targets and minimum standards for best practice that meet the challenges of the climate crisis and are work-able for event organisers at different scales.

Local authorities are increasingly applying standards and requirements for events as part of licensing, funding, in-house policy and site permissions processes. A key aim of the Green Events Code is to create consistent expectations across the UK for event organisers, licensing authorities, Safety Advisory Groups, and local authorities.

Where did this come from? A brief history

The DCMS Select Committee on The Future of UK Music Festivals recommended in a report (May 2021), that “the Government, the Local Government Association and representatives from across the festival sector develop standardised environmental objectives that local authorities must adopt when licensing festivals”.

The Government response to the DCMS recommendations was published in August 2021:

The Government agrees with the Committee. The Minister for Digital and Culture made clear when giving evidence to the Select Committee that she believed it “is very important that local authorities make sure that they include strict environmental measures within their licensing framework”. 

Discussion at the Vision:2025 industry steering group, concluded broad agreement amongst industry stakeholders that:

  • including environmental standards in arrangements between local authorities and event organisers is in principle a good thing for the environment, because it could promote a shift in practices in the sector, however;
  • there is a risk of there being a ‘lottery’ of standards and enforcement if it were left to Local Authorities to create standards and enforce them, as many currently do not have the expertise to determine or monitor environmental standards.
  • the success of the Purple Guide offers a good precedent for how the events industry is capable of establishing best practice, with government endorsement. 
  • Irrespective of the current context, creating a Green Events Code of Practice is a practical and potentially effective step that the industry can take to improve standards across the value chain by establishing top-level shared principles that relate to and apply to all stakeholders and;
  • This work is symbiotic with the recent LIVE Green Vision and Declaration for the wider music industry, supporting the aim of every organisation taking responsibility for measuring and reporting emissions. 

A Draft Green Events Code of Practice was prepared in late 2021, and underwent 10 months of industry consultation, via online surveys, an industry roundtable meeting, and presentations to LIVE, the DCMS, UK Music, IoL, LAEOG.

The Green Events Code [Beta] officially launched as a ‘working standard in development’ at the Sustainable Events Summit, 19th October 2022. 

In 2023, the Vision:2025 group was commissioned by the Event Industry Forum to lead on writing a new chapter of the Purple Guide – Environmental Sustainability. Through an industry working group:

  • Chris Johnson – Vision:2025
  • Luke Howell –  Hope Solutions
  • Helen Thackery –  LAEOG
  • Richard Phillips –  Julie’s Bicycle
  • Vikki Chapman –  Festival Republic
  • Steve Heap –  AFO/EIF

In December 2023 a twelve month pilot project launched with local authorities to test the code in practice as a method of assessing and supporting events to take action through existing processes such as licensing, funding, site permissions, and on a voluntary basis. The project is supported by Arts Council England, 10 participating local authorities, and 60+ events, and is using the Donut Advisory Tool for Events (DATE) as the assessment method.

Next steps

Results of this pilot project and recommendations for national adoption will be published in a report December 2024. This will feed into the industry 2030 vision – expected to be launched early 2025, and associated policy requests of the new Government.

It is our intention to establish a pathway to national adoption of the Green Events Code.


  • The Green Events Code of Practice offers a set of standards and targets to work toward. We recognise that events vary in type, size, frequency, location and resources – every journey is different, and particularly, smaller and community events need support to make changes, and may not be able to adapt in the same way as others.
  • There are existing initiatives, frameworks and standards for event sustainability, such as ISO20121, the Race to Zero, and the Net Zero Events Pledge. The Green Events Code of Practice has been designed specifically by and for the UK outdoor festival and events sector, as a practical step toward establishing standards that are sector-specific and practically implementable. It does not replace these standards, generally accessible by larger organisations.
  • There are well-established assessment tools and services that can support events to improve their practices, such as TRACE, Creative Climate Tools and A Greener Festival. The Green Events Code of Practice is not a certification.

Get Involved, fund or find out more


Q. I’m already signed up as Vision: 2025 member and taken the pledge – what do I do?

A. All the 2025 targets remain valid and align with those in the Green Events Code. There is no need to ‘sign up’ to the Green Events Code. Carry on with the good work!

Q. We are a small organisation with limited resources – how will this affect us?

A. We are working with industry bodies who represent smaller and community events to understand what resources you need to support any changes. All our resources will be free to access

Q. Elements of the Code don’t relate to my business activity or event – what do I do?

A. That’s OK. The Green Events Code is a guide and it cannot apply in every detail to every event. Identify the elements that do apply to your event and work on those.

Q. Is this just another industry initiative based on voluntary actions that ultimately won’t change anything?

A. No, it isn’t an initiative to sign up to or make a pledge, primarily. It’s important to understand that there is no realistic prospect in the short term of legislation that pertains to event sustainability. In the absence of this, the Green Event Code is a concerted effort to establish standards that are environmentally credible, workable for events and widely adopted. 

Q. If this is adopted by local authorities as part of the licensing process, could it be yet another requirement in an already demanding process?

A. There are two key points here: (a) Local authorities across the UK are already putting in place requirements that relate to event sustainability. The Green Events Code intends to create consistency across the UK for what event will be required to provide, a significant benefit to event organisers and for those engaged in tenders, and (b) The Green Events Code will not be one of the four licensing objectives under the Licensing Act (2003) and as such a licence cannot be denied – it’s more a case of best practice. It’s more likely that site permissions will require proof of standards, which is where the Green Events Code can become a common language and recognised standard.


Do you have a question we have not answered? Great! Get in touch – this is a journey and we want your feedback email