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Green Code of Conduct for UK Outdoor Events.

Andy Robertson

A new code of conduct is being coordinated by Vision: 2025 to provide clear minimum environmental standards for all UK outdoor events. The consultation period was completed at the end of January 2022 and a revised draft code of conduct has been released. What is the Green Code of Conduct and what will be the impact on the music festival sector?

The Green Code of Conduct came about as a result of the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Select Committee report on The Future of UK Music Festivals in May 2021 that recommended:  

”before the 2023 festival season the Government, the Local Government Association and representatives from across the festival sector develop standardised environmental objectives that local authorities must adopt, and that Local Authorities should report back to DCMS on those events’ progress at reducing emissions year-on-year.” 

The Government response to this was published in August 2021 and in October Vision: 2025 made a decision to produce a Green Code of Conduct for UK outdoor events. 

What is Vision: 2025.
Vision: 2025 was founded in 2015 and is primarily a steering group of live events industry associations representing over 600 event businesses and leaders in the field of sustainability and taking positive climate action. Vision: 2025 provide the industry’s roadmap for a shared journey toward net zero and the knowledge to help get there including tools, resources, guides, news, case studies and a green suppliers directory. They’re a not-for-profit organisation driven by a steering group of outdoor events industry associations and leaders. 

Key Proposed Changes. 
The draft Green Code of Conduct sets out these principles:  

  • To act urgently on the climate crisis.
  • To act based on scientific targets and industry research.
  • A commitment to knowledge sharing within the industry.
  • To be transparent on reporting emissions and impacts annually.
  • To be ambitious and realistic, accepting not all climate-positive decisions will be.
  • Provide cost benefit in the short term, and striving to improve year on year.

The guide states that broad overall aims to be achieved by 2030 will be a minimum of 50% reduction of GHG emissions and to be Net Zero.  The UK’s Local Authorities have differing standards and enforcement and the Green Code of Conduct can help address this by introducing common standards. The final Green Code of Conduct will be incorporated into the industry standard Purple Guide already used by most festival organisers as their guidance on operating standards but with government endorsement. Any agreed code of conduct will need to be deliverable and practical for outdoor event organisers.  

Next Steps. 
After the consultation period was closed at the end of January this year key concerns were logged and discussed by the Vision: 2025 steering committee. There have been few updates since the end of January. Key concerns raised in the consultation period included the availability of resources and knowledge to deliver on the overall aims of the Green Code of Conduct. Most event organisers are still currently focussed on survival after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and this needs to be taken into account.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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