For our June Green Leaders Q&A we spoke to Pauline Bourdon, Sustainability & Social Cohesion Coordinator at Team Love, Bristol. Pauline lectures in Events Sustainability at BIMM University, and recently launched a new green touring & sustainability consultancy to the live music industry, Soliphilia. In 2020, Pauline worked on Team Love’s Breaking Bread, an outdoor dinning experience, which enabled local business to work throughout the pandemic and provided a safe social space for Bristol. Pauline authored a social, economic and environmental impact report on the impact of Breaking Bread, highlighting the value of a sustainable event industry. Read her answers below:
1. What is the proudest sustainability achievement or moment of your career?
Taking the leap to make a long-time idea a reality and launch my own business Soliphilia, in the middle of a pandemic (Sustainability and Green touring consultancy)!
2. What was your worst ever sustainability-related decision, project or initiative and why?
Not organising a training for my team straight after sharing the new sustainability policy with them.
3. What are you (or were you) excited about implementing this year?
For Team Love it was releasing the Social and Environmental impact report I wrote about our only event in 2020, Breaking Bread. For Soliphilia it’s been starting working on a case study with the artist Hollie Cook and pilot my ideas for the company.
4. Which environmental issue do you most care about?
Social, economic and environmental justice.
5. What sustainable change have you made in your personal life that you are most proud of?
Opened an account with an ethical bank and changed my energy provider.
6. What do you read to stay in touch with green issues?
Podcasts and Instagram – latest podcast obsession: “Crystals, Clits and Climate.”
7. What is the most memorable live performance in your life?
Being 21, working as an artist administrator for Silver Hayes at Glastonbury for the first time and watching Stromae (very famous Belgium artist in France) with my Mum and Dad.
8. Was there a moment you committed to taking action on climate change?
Watching the documentary “Demain” in 2015, seeing all the solutions inspired me to commit more deeply.
9. What are the most important issues to tackle at your event?
Diversity & Inclusivity.
10. What do you think is the most significant challenge for the events industry becoming more sustainable?
Relying on a capitalist economic system.
11. Can you share something sustainable about/from another artists or event or company that inspired you to make a change?
Discovering Shambala’s work while working on my first sustainability coordinator role in France in 2013.
12. What is the secret to your sustainable success?
Relentless optimism and political solidarity.
13. Tell us something you feel positive about right now that relates to the environment
The new generation and their intersectional approach to sustainability.
14. Tell us a book, film or recent article you feel others should watch/read and why about positive change?
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (the title says it all, to enjoy with a nice cup of tea by a window).
15. Can you give people new to sustainability in events a top tip?
Use your company’s ethos, missions/values as a moral compass to create initiatives and partnerships that feel right.
16. What is the favourite festival moment of your career?
The first time I went to Secret Garden Party in 2013 and discovered the mad and beautiful creativity of UK festivals.
17. What habit or practice has helped you most in your personal journey in life?
Empathy and political engagement.
18. Is there anything new or exciting you are planning or changing for the future that you can tell us about? Even a hint!
Working towards a circular economy for all Team Love events and activities.
19. Will we save the world?
Yes, with more community spirit and empathy.
20. What would your sustainable super-power be?
The UN Sustainable Development Goals fairy!
Learn more about Soliphila at www.soliphilia.co.uk
This Q&A originally appeared in our June 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.