Festival fever leaves its mark on the UK as festival goers increase their ecological footprint by 8.5 times: FoF Report - Festival Ecological Footprint (003)

03 Jul 2019

Festival fever leaves its mark on the UK as festival goers increase their ecological footprint by 8.5 times

As an estimated 175,000 festival goers travel home from Glastonbury and another 100,000 ready themselves for Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, it’s safe to say festival season has hit full swing in the UK. More than 10.4 million visitors spend an estimated £2.3 billion at festivals and music events in the UK, but our fondness for festivals is having a significant impact on the environment – specifically how we choose to travel.

Working with Cardiff University, Siemens has unveiled that travel is the biggest single contributor to an individual’s overall Ecological Footprint (49%) at festivals and events, with cars accounting for a staggering 55% of travel and 19% by air[1]. Based on a number of studies from Cardiff University looking at festivals and sporting events including Hay Festival, The FA Cup Final and Rugby 6 Nations, the average distance travelled per person is 528km and their Ecological Footprint is almost nine times higher (8.5) compared to if they stayed at home.

Off the back of this compelling environmental research, Siemens and Cardiff University have produced The Future of Festivals report – a report examining the impact of festivals and highlighting the innovations and initiatives needed to ensure greener, cleaner festivals of the future. Siemens showcases examples of ingenious technologies that will help power the future of festivals – helping organisers and festivalgoers alike become more eco-friendly and ultimately, carbon free.

As a Technology Partner at Goodwood 2019, Siemens is unveiling an alternative to traditional, often diesel-powered generators – the hydrogen fuel cell. Fuel cells combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air. This chemical reaction releases electrical energy, providing a clean energy source to service the energy needs of festivals – from EV charging points to decentralised power supplies, supporting the national grid for the extra energy required for everything from food trucks to charger points and even public toilets.

The hydrogen fuel cell on display at Goodwood can provide enough energy to drive a typical electric vehicle from Land’s End to John O’Groats 12 times or recharge over 200,000 mobile phones to 100% charge from flat[i] – with the only by-products being heat and water.  

Juergen Maier, CEO Siemens plc, said; “Future festivals and events should be supported by the right infrastructure and technology to minimise their Ecological Footprint. Siemens solutions such as the hydrogen fuel cell and our innovations in eMobility can help ensure our favourite festivals become more sustainable.”

Dr. Andrea Collins, Lecturer, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, commented; “We have a real passion for festivals here in the UK, they have become part and parcel of the Great British Summer. But the vast Ecological Footprint they make is becoming increasingly hard to ignore and organisers must act now if we are to continue to enjoy festivals in the future. Solutions from companies like Siemens will enable organisers and festivalgoers to take responsibility to limit the environmental impact of festivals and leave a positive legacy for future generations.”

Download a copy of the Future of Festivals Report below


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