How to run a Royally Sustainable Event  

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Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant (PJP) took place on Sunday 5th June 2022, telling the story of The Queen’s 70-year reign and our transforming society. 

The PJP was determined to leave a positive legacy and influence within communities, home and away, as well as events industry. PJP committed to minimise carbon emissions and waste throughout all operations. To help achieve these ambitions, PJP consulted sustainable events specialists A Greener Festival Ltd (AGF). 

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant set out to achieve excellence in inclusivity, accessibility, diversity, environmental sustainability, creativity and celebration. The ambition to leave a positive legacy supporting these values has been the defining purpose behind all Pageant activities. The full sustaiability report (on request) demonstrates how these ambitions have been achieved, and where learnings can be shared for further improvements within the events industry going forwards. 

Sustainability Action Summary 

  • Creative teams briefed and contracted for sustainable sourcing and reuse for all sets, props and costumes used on the pageant. 
  • Maximum mains power usage and 100% renewable diesel (HVO – Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) used in all event generators 
  • 2600 meals collected and donated via City Harvest 
  • 100% Plant Based food for performers and crew. 
  • Independent Food Producers supported through “Mighty Small” 
  • 12,500 water bottles avoided through reusable bottles and water refill usage. 
  • Free cycling provided Nationally with Brompton Cycles 
  • Soft plastics collected and turned into furniture with ReFactory 
  • 100% compostable serveware and food waste segregated and composted with enVar 
  • 0 waste to landfill with Kwik Sweep and NuKleen. 
  • Public engagement with our values and sustainability objectives supporting Wheels for Wellbeing, The Queens Green Canopy, and Brian May’s Save Me Trist via pinwheel. 
  • 100% carbon emissions removed from the atmosphere using durable afforestation, soil carbon storage, cross-laminated timber for construction, high grade biochar, enhanced weathering and direct air capture, with carbon removals specialists Cur8. 
  • 25% reduction in event production CO2 emissions through mitigation actions. 
  • The Platinum Jubilee Pageant’s surplus funds were donated to projects which had a strong affinity with the Pageant aims. These included River of Hope, Ideas Foundation, Industrial Cadets and the three Pinwheel projects: Queen’s Green Canopy, Wheels for Wellbeing and Save Me Trust. 
     

24.15 Tonnes CO2e avoided thanks to sustainability actions 
= Event Production Emissions Reduction of 25.9% 

  • 24.15  t CO2e were saved thanks to: 
    • Diesel Replacement with HVO through the use of Green D+ HVO in lieu of diesel for generators and transport. 
    • Food Salvage. Meals were salvaged and donated to City Harvest.  
    • Vegan Meals (Meat Reduction). Food provided by the Global Infusion Group was vegan, which yields lower carbon emissions due to the avoidance of meat, fish and dairy. 
  • Dairy Milk Replacement with Oat Milk. Global Infusion Group served oat milk instead of dairy milk. This decision saved .675 t CO2e.  
  • Avoided Plastic Water Bottles. A single use plastic bottle ban avoided the use of 12,500 500ml water bottles.  
  • Food Composting. 0.28 tonnes of food and compostable serveware waste were sent for composting and diverted from landfill.  

Saving based upon an event production emissions calculation of 69.1 tCO2e after 24.51 tCO2e avoidance. 

Social Outreach Summary 

  • 19 Schools from 15 locations and 615 children engaged in creative projects across photography and poetry with professional creative teams at Ideas Foundation 
  • Ideas Foundation challenged School children across the country to create digital posters to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee under the theme of “A Commonwealth of Kindness”. A total of 10 children’s artwork were selected and displayed on billboards in 14 locations 
  • 44 Schools and 516 children took part in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) challenge to create an environmentally friendly sustainable street party celebration for EDT Industrial Cadets 
  • 100 young volunteers via the National Citizen Service  joining 100 Lloyds volunteer staff. Lloyds mentorship scheme offered to the young volunteers going forwards. 
  • Our partnership with Creative Access ensured we focused on inclusive recruitment to support a more representative, accessible and inclusive creative economy. We provided 6 internships within key pageant departments. 

PJP Legacy – social Impacts 

The Pageant strategy wanted to ensure the pageant touched not just those participating in it directly, but also the wider community. This was achieved through community partnerships and projects that were chosen to have a sustainable social impact and would form an important part of the legacy of the pageant. 

How we wanted to be impactful: 

  • By providing work experience opportunities to underrepresented young people. 
  • Encouraging engagement with school children from all around the UK (not just London). 
  • Ensuring the pageant was accessible, even to those who couldn’t attend in person, with a variety of community andlocalised activities. 
     

To achieve this, we worked with some key partners including: 

Creative Access: 

Creative Access enables people from communities under-represented in the creative industries, to access careers, progress and reach leadership. Creating more equity and inclusion within the creative industries. The Pageant specifically worked with 6 interns in key departments on the pageant team including sustainability, partnerships, logistics, operations, communications and creative. 

Ideas foundation: 

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant chose the Ideas Foundation to launch a creative brief for schools and colleges nationwide, to honour the Jubilee celebrations, teaching creative skills and giving students a voice during the celebrations.  Kindness was a prominent theme throughout the pageant and ran through the policy and code of conduct. 

Ideas Foundation reached out to schools and launched a creative photography campaign that celebrated communities, diversity & creativity. Under the theme of ‘Commonwealth of Kindness’, students took part in digital storytelling workshops, hosted by leading photographers, graphic designers and poets. 

Various legacy assets were created and will live on, such as the posters, the online brief and templates. Ideas Foundation (IF) have been invited back into the schools they worked with. The Foundation is looking to expand this project into the commonwealth.  

The National Citizen Service (NCS): 

NCS is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 15–17 year olds established to shape, support, champion and lead a thriving National Citizen Service through a variety of activities and initiatives to grow, learn new skills and have a positive impact in their communities. This fed into the PJP mission to ensure community engagement that would leave a legacy. 

Engineering Development Trust (EDT) Industrial Cadets: 

The Pageant worked closely with the EDT Industrial Cadets on a STEM activity developed in partnership. This was aimed at students between 11 and 16, tasked with planning a sustainable street party to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. The project’s aim was to educate, engage and excite students about the aims of The Platinum Jubilee Pageant and provide active learning experience in STEM related careers, giving them the opportunity to gain knowledge and exposure that will help them make decisions about their future.  

With all students completing the activity receiving their Industrial Cadets Challenger Award they have now completed the first step on the Industrial Cadets Pathway. EDT offers all students to continue on the pathway, and other Industrial Cadets programmes next academic year.  

EDT have been approached by a Pupil Referral Unit to support students with a sustainability activity, so have kept the activity open. EDT will take the objective of designing a sustainable event and re-purposing to use in project briefs for their Industrial Cadets Bronze and Gold Projects next year due to student interest in the topic due to the creative and in-depth entries received.  

Top Sustainable Event Tips from the PJP team: 

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant Ltd will no longer exist following the conclusion of all event activities. Therefore, learnings and recommendations are intended for the benefit of the event industry at large, relating to experienced obstacles and opportunities to achieving a sustainable event. 

The overriding recommendation is for events to consider sustainability at the earliest opportunity and to embed it into everything that the event does, from the design phase all the way through to production and post-production.  

Transportation:  

  • Ensure data collection is built into existing registration and communication systems for audience, contractors, performers and staff’ transport showing a breakdown of vehicle type and distance travelled or fuel type and consumption, and the purpose of travel.  
  • Encourage low carbon modes of transportation for audience travel, through incentives for public transportation, biking, or walking.  
  • Discuss with the contractors responsible for the largest transport emissions options regarding routing, loading, local supply opportunities, and alternative vehicle types / fuels.  
  • Identify challenges that may deter attendees from using low carbon modes of transportation and opportunities to address them.  
  • Build partnerships with transport networks and local city councils for example who have a shared ambition for low carbon mobility.  

Energy Reporting – Venue Hire 

  • Where venues are hired, energy consumption should be monitored and shared with the hirer. The more that energy consumption is understood by both providers and users, the more smart we can be about its conservation and value. 

Energy Specifications and consumption 

  • Profiling of energy needs and demands should be closely monitored in advance of events in order to select the correct type and size of energy generation.  
  • Ensure clear and detailed energy specifications are produced to reduce risk of over-specification and wasted energy production. 
  • Cost and transport of additional equipment for hybrid and battery technology should be taken into account when deciding energy grids. 
  • Events must gather more energy usage data in advance of the shows from power users to accurately specify the power need.  
  • Always monitor fuel used if applicable for power generation. Detailed telemetry that further breaks down the peak and average consumption and load profiles allows greater understanding and more efficient systems to be built going forwards. 
  • Continue to use low carbon fuels such as sustainably sourced HVO where combustion is necessary, and seek use of battery storage, hybrid systems and localised renewable energy production where applicable on site as a part of a smart power plan.  
  • Ensure all energy data is monitored and gathered for continual improvements and share this with the power users so they can better understand their energy demands. 
  • Improve and provide mains power connections on regular event sites. For example, a huge number of events come through London for example every year and they are all trucking in generators and burning expensive fuel which contributes to air pollution. 

Food & Beverage 

Food, Beverage and Serveware 

  • Continue to push for plant based wholefood, seasonal, healthy, ethically sourced ingredients and match the quantity to the need as much as possible to avoid wastage.  
  • Continue partnerships with food salvage organisations for any surplus. 
  • Inform caterers that submission of all provenance documentation is required before they have purchased ingredients.  
Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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