Over the years, many events have adopted sustainable practices, in this discussion, an examination of some of these practices will help in gaining an understanding of what sustainable events consist of on an international and national scale.
The 2008 ‘Green Olympics’
Environmental concerns and issues of sustainability require increasing attention and resonance amongst governments and societies worldwide. Sporting events such as the Olympic games have been a part of this trend and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing captured headlines for their greening Initiatives (Mol, 2010). During the planning and preparation of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, there was awareness of poor air quality in the region of the event, afforestation was focused on to properly host the event. Beijing built a 60-kilometer road route out to the rowing and canoeing venues, lined with newly planted trees to improve the air quality within the region (Masterman, 2014). As a result, the Beijing Olympics became known as the ‘Green Olympics’.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
Mega events were originated during times of nation and empire building. Mega events such as the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup, have pre and post event economic, social and environmental impacts and effects (Roche, 2003). For the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the majority of event attendees arrived by air, to a country with poor internal public transport infrastructure and a carbon intensive and coal reliant economy (Death, 2011). The challenge for South Africa was to turn the event ‘green’. However, the country managed to develop a greening program.
According to the table above, the Green Goal programmes varied between host cities due to specific requirements, some noteworthy and innovative projects were applied during the process however. Waste management and recycling, biodiversity protection, urban regeneration, public transport upgrades and energy efficiency measure at the stadiums were implemented. As a result of South Africa’s efforts to implement sustainable practices, the economy and society was rewarded when event attendees changed their perception of the country. For example, the country as a leisure destination increased by 9% after the event (Humphreys, 2010).
Is the UK’s largest music festival with more than 200,000 people attending each year. Glastonbury Festival offers its local community free tickets to the festival as a sign of goodwill for their tolerance to the disruptions caused during the Festival Operations (Digital, 2019). Below are some of the practices Glastonbury Festival take on to keep their event more sustainable.
- At Glastonbury Festival, Green Peace, WaterAid and Oxfam are the main charitable causes for the event. These NGOs unite with the common goal of keeping the planet safe, fair and more sustainable for future generations.
- Traders are awarded the ‘Green Trader Award’ during the event, by judging vendors on a variety of topics such as, waste management through product sourcing. The award varies in levels such as, Bronze, Silver and Gold awards (Gearon, 2018).
- The ‘Old Railway Track’ divides the festival in two. Its purpose is to act as a natural barrier. Along this road, signage is created by artists promoting an environmental theme.
- In 2010, the farm where the festival is held invested in privately owned solar arrays that provides power for the festival during its operational period.
- Kinetic energy is used to provide electricity for charging phones. The concept was first introduced by a phone sponsor where kinetic energy phone chargers are strapped onto people arms, when dancing for example, their movements created energy that charged their mobile phones (Newsroom, 2016).
- To reduce congestion, Glastonbury Festival commit a significant amount of their tickets bundled with coach and train travel. Also, bicycle parking spots are made available on site.
- The ‘Green Clean’ product range was developed for an environmentally friendly cleaning product that meets the UK government’s requirements for public hygiene and cleaning standards.
- Glastonbury Festival use areca palm leaf plate products manufactured by Aspana using fallen palm leaves.
- The ‘Don’t Take The Piss’ campaign is aimed at the event attendees with the purpose of discouraging people from urinating on the ground bushes and in the streams. Also, the streams are tested up to three times a day to ensure that no damage has been done. Due to the incompliance of some festival attendees, key spots have been identified for renegade urinating and have been lit up, placed with installations and assigned with signage to prevent trespassing. Additionally, the ‘Green Police’ patrol the area to arrest anyone found to be not complying with the festival policies.
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