With diesel emissions becoming an increasing public health concern, World Environment Day today (5th June) is focused on air pollution. Environmental sustainability management company, Hope Solutions, and power management specialists, ZAP Concepts, have brought together key events industry experts to produce an action research report.
Thanks to the collaboration of hundreds of major UK festivals and events, the report marks the start of a major industry-backed initiative to reduce diesel emissions and move to sustainable energy sources to help fight toxic air quality.
With data from A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle, Powerful Thinking and over 20 million data points of electronic monitoring analysed by ZAP Concepts, the following bullet points offer a snapshot of the impact of diesel usage for power generation at UK events and how it contributes to a very real climate crisis and public health emergency.
This is a problem that can easily be solved, as reduced diesel usage is financially better for the events and venues and significantly better for the environment. The events industry is working to understand and reduce its diesel-dependence and call upon other industries to do the same.
Key points from factsheet:
● The UK event industry uses an estimated 380 million litres of diesel annually. That’s equivalent to over 150 Olympic swimming pools full of diesel.
● Diesel used in generators at events equates to nearly 1.5% of total UK diesel use and over 8% of all ‘red’ diesel use.
● 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e is released from diesel emissions in generators. Approximately the same level of emissions as Malta annually.
● Emissions from static diesel generators at events are equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the road every day.
● It would take a forest four times the size of the West Midlands planted every year to offset these emissions.
Luke Howell CEnv MIEMA founder and director at Hope Solutions said: “Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution.”
He stated that the events industry needed to do more to promote positive change without compromising audience experience. He stressed that every litre of diesel not used is both financially beneficial and economical friendly.
Rob Scully MSc, head of operations at ZAP Concepts UK, said:”On average the UK event industry could reduce diesel consumption by 40% without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events.”
Advising event organisers to seek professional advice, Rob asked them to ensure that available power is matched to actual demand. Introducing renewables and other alternatives can contribute to the fight against climate change.
“The show must go on,” Rob said, “but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”