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Guest Blog: Team Love on the release of their first sustainability impact report

Pauline Bourdon, Social Cohesion and Sustainability Manager at Team Love, spent the last year gathering data across all of the Team Love festivals, and compiling their 2022 sustainability impact report. The report aims to provide an insight into the environmental, social and economic impact of Team Love’s three inner-city UK festivals: Love Saves The Day, Forwards Bristol, and Waterworks. In this blog Pauline explains the scope of the report, gives us the headlines on the total impacts across all events, reveals the three issues that Team Love audiences cares the most about and shares a case study on the environmental impacts of Love Saves the Day 2022 at Ashton Court, Bristol:

“Exactly two years on from publishing a report for our socially distanced outdoor venue, Breaking Bread, we’re extremely excited to publish Team Love’s first sustainability impact report. As part of our ethos to promote fairer and greener events, transparency and clear communication with our stakeholders is essential. With this report, we hope to add our voice to the ongoing discussion surrounding the cultural, social & economic value of the Event Industry. Demonstrating that, although festivals can have a negative impact on the planet, they have the particularity to create spaces for connection, community, creativity, behaviour change, local economies, cohesiveness and joy to flourish as humans. 

This report is in no way a perfect answer to all the issues our industry has been facing for the last  three years, its goal is to provide an insight into the environmental, social and economic impact of festivals at a particularly challenging time. It mainly focuses on our three inner-city UK festivals: Love Saves The Day, Forwards Bristol, and Waterworks.

We hope to provide clarity on what worked and what didn’t, exploring what barriers and opportunities we faced in deepening our commitment to a more environmentally minded and equitable industry. 

We invite you to take a look at the full report on our Team Love website, but in the meantime here’s a little taster of the data we collected:

Team Love overall impact for our UK events:

  • 48.9 tonnes of CO2e emissions
  • 107,969 Attendees 
  • 384 roles created (not incl. security, stewards, bar staff)
  • 417 Artists programmed
  • 57.8% identify as Male
  • 39.3% identify as Female or from Gender Minorities
  • 2.9%  were led by mixed gender artists e.g Khruangbin

Top three issues our audience cares the most about:

  • Protecting local ecosystems
  • Diversity & Inclusivity
  • Supporting local charities & organisations

Love Saves the Day 2022 environmental impact at Ashton Court, Bristol

Love Saves the Day is, for many, the very first festival of the season. In the weeks running up to the event we made a strategic effort to raise the awareness of sustainability to our followers, we hosted Sustainability Takeover Week on our instagram, where we changed our logo and altered our usual branding to green for a week, published dedicated content to raise awareness, and hosted interactive information and quizzes. 

We also launched our sustainable fashion campaign in a bid to influence festival-goers to make conscious decisions when it came to their outfit choices for the event. More than 12,735 people engaged directly with our content.

We have calculated that during the festival (across 2 days with 30,000 cap each day): 

  • We emitted 25.6 tonnes of CO2e across our energy, waste, water, crew & contractor travels and public shuttles impact. 
  • We had 9000 attendees that chose to travel sustainably with our Love Bus & Big Green Coach.
  • 53% of our waste was recycled
  • We said goodbye to the artist’s stage plastic water bottle by swapping them for a Frank Water reusable bottle. (This helped us to save a minimum of 4.5kg of plastic!)
  • We increased compost loos across the public arena and saved an estimated 66,250L of water thanks to this introduction. 
  • All emissions were balanced with ecolibrium. 

Read the complete report, covering all Team Love events across the summer of 2022

This blog originally appeared in the March 2023 Vision: 2025 newsletter. Sign up to receive monthly event sustainability news, case studies and guest blogs direct to your inbox.