Leadership / 04.22.20
'It's a Real Opportunity': A Greener Festival's Claire O'Neill on How to Come Back Stronger and More Sustainable
Pollstar (04/20/20) Gottfried, Gideon
A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O'Neill says the COVID-19 pandemic may present "a real opportunity" for festivals to bounce back with an improved commitment to sustainability. She explains that sustainability is supported by economic, social and environmental pillars, and suggests that prior to the pandemic, the industry was not upholding environmental and perhaps health and mental well-being standards as well as it could have been. "We now look at ... returning to a place where the economics work alongside the environmental and alongside the mental well-being, health and equality," O'Neill says. The crisis also has brought issues of best practice solutions to the fore, such as the role of reusables that have been replacing single-use plastics on festival sites throughout Europe. Limits on reusables due to concerns of contagion could lead to a resurgence in single-use plastics. O'Neill describes things like expanding employment of industrial cleaning or management solutions as efforts "that take time and need infrastructure, and we could start working on them now." She also feels that the moratorium on tours could be a good time to consider obstacles and opportunities for venues, and to create a rider backed by all industry stakeholders that "would summarize what is the optimum solution for energy, transport, routing, materials, food supply, that we can all work towards collectively."
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Tags: News , Leadership , Sustainability , COVID-19 , Coronavirus