Climate Action

The Edinburgh Festivals have been working together to share knowledge on reducing our environmental impacts since 2011, when we co-founded Creative Carbon Scotland and then the Green Arts Initiative which now has 280 members nationwide. 

Art - Palm HouseIn 2020 the festivals agreed a shared Carbon Reduction Route Map identifying key areas of responsible and leading practice. In 2021, we then announced plans for how we will respond to the climate emergency and help Edinburgh achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. The publication ‘Taking Action on Climate Change’ outlines how the festivals are accelerating their own response to climate change - in the year when the eyes of the world turned to Scotland’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 - playing their part in ensuring a world in which people, nature and culture can flourish sustainably for the benefit of future generations.

‘Taking Action on Climate Change’ notes that if the Festivals are to flourish in a net-zero carbon future, they need to find innovative, sustainable ways of operating and fulfilling the function of festivals: providing time and space for people to exchange ideas and celebrate our common humanity

Planned actions are intended to reduce not only the emissions within their direct control, but also emissions that can only be addressed through partnership working and influencing those who hold the levers of power in each area. Amongst the actions identified are:

  • Switch to fully renewable electricity suppliers, as verified by Energy Savings Trust
  • Shift from paper-based systems towards digital systems
  • Strengthen sustainable procurement policies
  • Build sustainability into production design and reduce emissions from production freight
  • Engage participants for longer periods so they can make fewer journeys
  • Encourage audiences to choose lower impact travel options and expand our digital offers
  • Motivate others to reduce their own carbon footprint through our creatives programmes

For further information on the environmental policies and activities of the individual festivals, please visit their websites using the following links: