Manchester International Festival (MIF)
Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, and takes place biennially in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.
As well as being one of the UK’s most innovative cultural events, MIF has made a significant commitment to reducing the environmental impacts of both office operations and was the first festival to be independently certified as meeting BS8901, as well as a recipient of A Greener Festival award.
MIF is committed to developing a festival which benefits the local economy, is engaging for local communities and which tries to minimize its environmental impact. These principles guide all of their sustainable development activities, from ensuring offices are welcoming and resource efficient; to sourcing and creating productions responsibly and working with partner venues and suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of MIF events.
Some of the sustainable actions during MIF 2011 included:
- Continuing with their compostable cutlery and tableware at Festival Square and expanding recycling facilities which saved 79% of festival waste from landfill. With over 90,000 visitors across the 18 days – that’s a lot of waste…
- Working with Manchester City Council to supply Festival Square with electricity negating the use of external generators; this not only benefited MIF but will continue to benefit all other temporary activities held in Albert Square in the future
- Re-using, hiring, or recycling all of the Production sets
- Introducing three Festival bikes for staff to get round the City
- Turning Festival banners into bags – stylish, practical and ‘green’
Environmentally sound office space
In the MIF office old desktop machines have been replaced with more power efficient laptops and peripherals, directly reflected in a 17.75% reduction in electricity consumption. The green team is working with the office landlord to explore further energy saving opportunities.
Paper, card and plastic bottles are recycled and MIF uses specialist reuse and recycling agencies for old IT equipment. All printers are set to black and white and double sided, and the old paper-based Purchase Order system has been replaced with an electronic system.
Staff use Skype and video/audio conference calling to limit travel and walk/cycle to meetings where possible, using the three shared bikes available for use by MIF staff. Permanent staff can also benefit from the Cycle to work scheme.
The festival marketing team use PDF emails for both the MIF brochures and use email for most mailings, press releases and images. Marketing materials are all printed on FSC accredited paper stock, and recycled pop-up banners are used.
Sustainability objectives are promoted via media coverage where appropriate and on the MIF website.
The festival team are talking to suppliers to try and achieve the most environmentally friendly production and recycling systems.
During 2012 in the lead up to the next festival in 2013, MIF will investigate and try to improve air cooling in the pavilion theatre space, install smart metres and look at further ways of reducing waste to landfill (21% in 2011) There will also be a commitment to recycling or reusing 75% of sets and donating props not needed to other local/amateur theatres for the 2013 Festival.
MIF is a member of the Manchester Cultural Leaders’ Environmental Forum (MCLEF), a partnership facilitaed by Julie's Bicycle.
MCLEF grew out of a desire to promote and share good environmental practice, and the recognition that good practice can be significantly enabled by working collaboratively. Read more >