T in the Park
T in the Park has grown massively since its launch in 1994 from 17,000 music fans to 85,000, making it Scotland’s largest music festival and one of the world’s most critically acclaimed music events on the international festival scene. Sprawling across the lush environs of Balado Park, Kinross, festival-goers indulge in some of the best international and home-grown musical talent amidst beautiful natural surroundings.
T in the Park was also one of the first festivals to undertake a carbon audit with Julie’s Bicycle in 2008, and the company behind the festival, DF Concerts, has played a key role in kick-starting the cultural response to the Scottish Parliament’s commitment to the most ambitious carbon emissions targets in the world: a 42% cut by 2020.
T in the Park contributed to the development of the industry standard assessment “Industry Green” by being prepared to share data early on and demonstrating demand for a robust and appropriate industry assessment framework. It now joins a growing community of UK festivals that are certified Industry Green – proof that DF Concerts and T in the Park are committed to scientific scrutiny and public accountability with regards to climate change and environmental damage. In its first year of assessment for Industry Green, T in the Park has been awarded 1 star, creating a baseline against which future progress will be measured.
T in the Park has also signed up to the 10:10 campaign and is the first festival in Europe to go carbon neutral through a combination of offsetting and reductions.
DF Concerts operate with a broad environmental policy, supplemented by an office environmental audit, T in the Park’s Environmental Management Plan and the in-house environmental information file which provides educative material for staff on how they can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They have adopted a staff “green” champion who promotes staff engagement.
Engagement with the festival’s supply chain has been initiated through negotiations with several contractors, primarily to reduce packaging and waste to landfill. The Green T message is carried on the event’s PO template and all contractors are required to forward a copy of their environmental management plan to the Health and Safety Officer.
Traders travelling up to the festival to trade at Healthy T, an area at the festival where fans can take time out to eat healthy local produce, rehydrate with water, get a massage and regain their energy, are put in touch with local suppliers who are already on site, thus reducing food miles. Local traders are given preference in securing a pitch within the area.
The 2010 event also implemented some highly innovative initiatives:
- Staff on site during the set up period and the event were provided with bicycles to reduce car use within the site boundaries;
- The Citizen T initiative aimed to increase audience awareness on environmental issues and gain festival goers support by asking campers to sign a manifesto pledging to look after their camping area, respect others, pick up litter and take their tent home;
- The Tent recycling/reuse initiative saw the best quality abandoned tents collected by the International Relief Trust;
- The Crew Catering Waste initiative where catering waste was taken to a composting/anaerobic digester facility;
- The cup recycling initiative rewarded customers with a 10p per cup refund on returned cups;
- Compacting waste and dewatering waste water on site reduced the heavy goods vehicles journeys from the site, and the new T-ruck T-rash waste collection which involved a team of 100 Green Team members engaging with the audience in the campsite, distributing artworked recycling bags and bin bags, and advising on bag segregation;
- Reduced unnecessary packaging by the waste water contractor – examples include sourcing larger toilet rolls to reduce polythene package; placing paper towels in larger cartons; making all toilet papers and non-flushable hand towel products from 100% recycled material; making all flushable hand towels from commercial forests and not conservation areas; and using reformulated toilet chemicals.
DF Concerts and T in the Park recognise the need for join-up between the festival specific initiatives, such as T’s “Eco Village,” and the establishment of year-round monitoring and reporting systems, which demonstrates that tackling climate change and environmental damage is an ethos that is increasingly embedded across the company throughout the year.
Public engagement with environmental initiatives has been driven through social networking platforms and the online 'Green T' information. Environmental issues are communicated via bulletins, and the Essentials Guide and info leaflet provided with ticket sales.
Further engagement during the event occurs through the Citizen T information, the Eco Village facility for charities/organisations with an environmental focus to communicate with the T in the Park audience, with their costs being subsidised by the event (i.e. Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Green Thing and St. Margaret’s Scotland Hospice), on site signage (i.e. tent removal, recycling, 10:10) and partnership with major environmental/social justice organisations.
A recent Green T survey of T in the Park audience members showed that over 80% recycle at home, reduce waste, use low energy light bulbs and turn electrics off when they’re not in use. When at the festival they try to behave the same - 95% of audience members felt that it’s fairly or very important that T in the Park is as green as possible and 55% said that Green T has affected their attitude towards green issues.
Towards the future
For 2011, T in the Park Festival aims to reduce waste to landfill by 50% (from 754 tonnes down to 350 tonnes), through a combination of both on site separation of materials and post event MRF separation. Furthermore, diesel usage will be reduced by 10% through increasing biodiesel use and improving energy efficiencies. Small reductions will be achieved in water and waste water, as they are already highly efficient; the aim is to reduce the waste water removed from site from 2.47 million litres down to 2.2 million litres.