This article looks into what makes an event a sustainable event. It is based on the analysis of Meegan Jones, who has a great book titled Sustainable Event Management. You can find a picture of the cover below.


Meegan picks out 5 themes that make an event a sustainable event and we will look into them in turn.

1.     Purchasing

Events like other activities consume resources. But the temporary nature of events means that sustainability is often sidelined in favour of other parameters. Lots of important decisions need to be taken in the run up to the event to make it as sustainable as possible.

Where possible all products should be purchased with responsible sourcing schemes. This provides third party assurance of their sustainability credentials.

If possible, all materials should be sourced locally so that the event contributes to the local economy and it cuts down on unnecessary miles being travelled.

2.   Waste Management

The waste generated by events is probably more visible because of large volumes of people in a small area without permanent waste management infrastructure. But those people would have also generated waste if thy were at home and not at any event. That being said, the propensity for people t0 eat out of takeaway packaging means that the per capita waste generation is probably higher for someone who is at an event, rather than in their daily life.

The key for waste management is really communication and making recycling as easy as possible for people at the event. Work also needs to be done to streamline the amount of different types of packaging that vendors bring to the event. As mixed messaging will confuse attendees.

I am a big fan of cup and bottle deposits and you can read more about my thoughts on this topic below. I think it is a good way of incentivising people to recycle and getting them involved in the process.


3.   Energy production

The nature of events means that they are large consumers of energy. However, if procured sustainably this doesn’t have to be bad for the environment.

Making sure that contracts with generator suppliers are structured so as to incentivise sustainability rather than excess would be a start. Also, making every effort to get temporary power supplies to every corner of the site to cut down on generator use to the greatest extent possible would be another bonus for sustainability.

There are also lots of opportunities to use solar powered technology for perimeter fence lighting and for other purposes.

The main energy intake should also be sources from a 100% renewable supply and if this was done it would make a really big difference.

4.   Water management

Depending on the location of the event this could either be an important or extremely important consideration. In arid regions water scarcity could threaten the viability of an event.

Water conservation is therefore key. This can be done through water saving devices and other measures. Capturing grey water is also very important.

As with everything else, communication is key. If people are unaware water is scares, they are more likely to use it wastefully.

5.    Transport

Transport is a very visible sign of unsustainability at events. Rows and rows of cars parked in enormous car parks demonstrate that the vast majority of people did not come by public transport. Research shows that transport is often the largest contributor to carbon emissions for live events.

The main options for making the events transport more sustainable are encouraging public transport, walking or cycling, or incentivising cars with high occupancy rates.

As with most aspects of sustainability, these won’t happen by default. Large events can put on specialist busses from destinations to the event. There may even be scope for chartering trains from large urban areas to the event. Where this is possible it should definitely be explored.

Overall, all events need to come up with initiatives to make the most sustainable transport options the easiest and cheapest.

What you need to know

This article looked into what makes an event a sustainable event. It was based on the analysis of Meegan Jones, who has a great book titled Sustainable Event Management.

Overall, the sustainability challenges at events are not so different from the sustainability challenges elsewhere.

The temporary nature of events means that people will likely only have one chance to prepare for it each year and it means that there are fewer learning opportunities for everyone.

I would say that the overall trend for sustainability at events is positive, but there is a lot more work still to be done.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes an event a sustainable event?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


Kevin Anderson – Cut the Crap

This article looks into Kevin Anderson’s perspective on climate change.

I was lucky enough to see Kevin’s cut the crap talk at Glastonbury 2019 and I found it to be truly eye opening.

I had seen videos of his before, but it is always better to watch speakers live.

The link below takes you to a Kevin Anderson video on climate change.

Watch it and let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think of Kevin’s perspective on climate change?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


This article looks into Glastonbury 2019 and what actions individuals can take to make it the most sustainable music festival in the world.

love the farm


At age 16 I went to Glastonbury 2007 and I instantly fell in love with the festival. It is a big festival, with an unrivalled quantity and quality of entertainment on offer.

But big events have big impacts on the environment and Glastonbury is no different in this regard. The sustainability agenda at Glastonbury is driven under the agenda of Love The Farm Leave No Trace. There is also the slogan that runs underneath of Reuse Reduce Respect.

I would say that whilst these slogans have been good in raising the profile of the festival’s impact on the environment, you still see frequent instances of behaviour that is detrimental to the environment.

green pledge

Linked to the love the farm leave no trace slogan is the green pledge that everyone who buys a ticket is made to agree to.  You can find an image of these below.

green pledges

If you are reading this and you are going this year, please try and adhere to the pledge that you made.

Taking your tent home saves you money and saves the organisers having to divert money away from entertainment and spending it on clean up costs.

Using bins is fairly common standard practice. If you had friends over for a BBQ, you wouldn’t like it if they littered all over your property.

Glastonbury probably has more recycling bins, with good quality labelling than any other festival, please use them.

Urinating on the land is probably not something that people think would be extremely problematic, but when you multiply that by 200,000 attendees, even if only a small percentage of them urinate on the land, this leads to serious problems. You wouldn’t like it if people did it in your house, so please do not do it on the farm.

Glastonbury has been doing loads on single use plastics, even going as far as banning plastic drinks bottles at this year’s edition. Please bring a re-usable one with you to help reduce the volume of waste that is generated.

These are fairly simple ambitions, but if they were implemented by everyone that is attending or working at Glastonbury it would make a real difference.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a festival a sustainable festival?

Let’s stay connected


I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


This article looks into events and three rules to follow to make sure that your event is a great event.

field day

Events can be wonderful things. They can be places to network with people you otherwise would not have met, see great speakers who change you mind about something or see a great band that leaves you with a memory that will stay with you forever.

But we have all been to events, which were poorly organised and which left you feeling underwhelmed. This is not a hate article against Field Day festival, which I attended yesterday, merely that it is an event which is fresh in my memory and it provided the inspiration for this piece.

1. Entrances and exits

First impressions matter. I have been to festivals before and spent hours standing in ques waiting to get in. This shows a lack of preparation in how an event organiser has planned to get ticketholders into and out of an event.

The first rule to follow therefore has to be make entering and exiting the event as easy as possible. No long ques on entry and no silly exit policies.

2. Sustainability

Gatherings of people are a great way to change the way large numbers of people think in one go. Unfortunately, lots of event organisers think that sustainability should be left at the door.  This shouldn’t be the case at all and is caused by the wrong mindset and thinking practices. The reason event organisers do this, is because they believe that sustainability is something that will make their event more complicated, when in fact it will make it simpler and save them money.

I will use one example from Field Day festival to highlight this. There was no labelling of the bins whatsoever, which meant that all of the waste from the festival was put in identical containers, which would have made this material very contaminated and difficult to recycle.


The second rule to follow is to embrace sustainability, use it to your advantage and use it to make your event memorable.

3. Safety  

Even though safety has come in at number 3, alongside sustainability these should be the main priorities of any event organiser.

Even though in the UK, this is normally pretty good, there is always room for improvement and especially when festivals are run in a venue for the first time, you spot things that should be put right.

My experience at Field Day highlighted this. The tent run by the Hydra, was one of the largest tents at the festival, but was set up in a way that you could only enter from the right. This of course meant that there was a large build up of people on one side and it caused problems at the beginning and end of artists sets, when viewers were arriving and leaving.

Predictably, when headliner Four Tet was playing, he drew a massive crowd and the problems were so big that his start time was delayed and he played for a much shorter time than advertised. You can read more about it here.

The third rule to follow is to drill down on safety and to make sure that you set things out in a way that will make large crowds of people flow naturally.

What you need to know

This article looked into events and proposed three rules to follow to make sure that your event is a great event.

The first rule revolved around making entry and exit as easy as possible.

The second rule revolved around prioritising sustainability. Too often events are sustainability free zones. Don’t fall into this trap. Prioritise sustainability for the opportunities to save money and because it is the right thing to do.

The third rule revolves around prioritising safety. Safety never takes a holiday and the responsibility of organising an event for large numbers of people shouldn’t be taken lightly. Think logically about how large numbers of people will behave at your event and if something needs changing, change it.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes an event great?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


This article is based upon an event that I attended in London on Thursday 05/04/18. This was the second Cheeky Panda event that I have attended and this one was equally as inspiring as the first.


The event was hosted in Sustainable Bankside which is a coworking space for sustainable startups located in Southbank. The location is really impressive as is what they have done with the place. The evening began with a few words from James Byrne who is a co-founder and director at Sustainable Workspaces who run the space.

This was followed by a few words from Adam Woodhall who was the MC for the evening. He had one of the best lines of the evening when he described the venue as a “story factory.”

The first speaker of the event was Syed Ahmed the founder and director of Savortex ltd, a multi-award winning, British Green Tech and IoT (Internet of things) company. I was really impressed with the figure that UK businesses could save £23 billion per year by improving the way they use resources and interact with their business premises, specifically how they manage their washrooms. Savortex make the EcoCurve™ range of low energy IoT hand dryers that come with statistics that blow their competition away. The brushless motor technology makes these especially efficient machines. But the most impressive feature for me was the IoT technology which feeds data back to the cloud so that the cleaner only needs to turn up when the washroom is dirty. The screens were also a really cool feature that can be used to promote internal messaging as well as being sold as advertising space. Overall, Syed was clearly an accomplished public speaker and his products have impressive features and benefits.

The next speaker was Nigel Bamford the founder of Waterblade. Nigel is clearly a very charismatic character in the mould of great British inventors. Waterblade takes a trickle of water and transforms it, making it many times more useful for washing your hands. This enables reductions in both water and energy consumption. As the video below shows, this is a quite a simple solution, but it’s impact is transformational.


Waterblade was another company presenting that evening with impressive statistics. If a normal everyday tap would use 20L/min, a typical water saving tap would allow 6L/min, Waterblade only releases an impressive 2.4L/min. It is also easy to retrofit and the savings are very impressive. For a unit that costs £10, a user would save £26/pa. I thought it was really instructive that out of that saving £10 is for the water and £16 is for the energy you save having to heat less water. Overall, Nigel came across as a really nice guy and his product is impressive.

The next speaker was Robert from Symphony Environmental. They offer a really impressive range of solutions for plastic packaging. I found the designed to trace solution that they offer really interesting as I had no idea you could do something like that with plastic packaging. The oxo biodegradable packaging that they offer is also very impressive and comes with the benefit that it could go a long way to solving the litter problem if more packaging like this was used.

The last speaker of the night was Chris Forbes of The Cheeky Panda who was also the organiser of the event. They were debuting a number of new products including pocket tissues, kitchen tissues and napkins. These all come with the usual high standards of environmental performance that you would expect from The Cheeky Panda. For attendees, there was also the benefit of armfuls of freebies that you can see in the picture below. I certainly helped myself to a great deal of these before I left.


The Cheeky Panda were also displaying the video that you can see via the link below. This was the first time that I had seen the video and it is certainly very inspirational.

The future is what we choose it to be

Bamboo has incredible properties for use in tissue products and these extend well beyond its fast rate of growth. Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic and its long fibres mean that it is naturally very soft.

Chris also demonstrated the flushable handtowels feature that the Cheeky Panda products come with. This is a really important benefit that saves lot of resources. Chris also talked about the 5,000 tonnes of CO2 that has been saved from clients switching from wood-based tissue products to The Cheeky Panda sustainable bamboo tissue products and this is certainly a great figure to have saved. Chris also talked about their partnership with the World Land Trust on projects that they run in Vietnam to carbon balance their organisation. All that can be said is that this is an organisation that operates to the highest standards on sustainability.

What you need to know

In concluding, then, it must be said that this was an event of very high quality. The breadth and depth of the speakers on offer was really impressive.

All four of the companies offer solutions that are easy to implement, offer great savings and are good for the planet. That is what sustainability is all about.

If you haven’t already attended a Cheeky Panda event, make sure you do the next time they host one.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below or reach out to me on social media. Did you attend the event, if so what was your highlight?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


This article looks into Climate Week 2017. What are the key takeaways from this year’s event and what can we learn for the future.

Climate Week pic

Climate Week took place from 18-24 September 2017. It has been one of the key dates in the international calendar for driving the climate agenda forward since it was launched in 2009. We have come a long way since then.

I would say that it has a good mix of government activity, business representation and NGO representation. Sometimes these events can get pulled too much in one direction but Climate Week manages to find a sweet spot between these three competing agendas.

This year it was centered on the slogan of innovation, jobs & prosperity. I can’t fault this whatsoever, it is very positive and optimistic, whilst also hammering home the idea that this is a business issue as much as it is any other type of issue.

climate slogan

For me, the key takeaways from this year’s event would be the incredible robustness of businesses commitment to tackling climate change. That was really good to see. I have linked some of the best words I came across on this year’s event below.

At Climate Week NYC, business leaders charge forward

The incredible excitement and passion shown by many state, municipal and city leaders was also heart-warming. Climate change is a global issue, but its solutions are profoundly local. These leaders in local areas have the power to change the world.

The third big takeaway for me was the incredible excitement that continues to surround electric vehicles. For more information on this, please visit the link below.

The Climate Group Launches Pioneering Global EV Campaign at Climate Week NYC

Lastly, on the political front, Nicaragua’s decision to join the Paris Climate Agreement was unexpected and momentous. For more on this, please see below.

Nicaragua to join Paris climate deal

In terms of what we can learn for the future, I definitely think there is scope for Climate Week to become more global in scope. Climate Week NYC is meant to be the collaborative space for climate-related events in support of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

But my experience of being denied affiliate status for my events as they were not held in New York was disappointing. Climate change is a global phenomenon that will shape every corner of the earth. I think that a more coordinated, global approach with people encouraged to host their own events under the Climate Week banner would go a long way to raising the profile of climate change at the UN General Assembly. The UN assembly was hijacked by geopolitical manoeuvring; this cannot continue to happen as climate change was conspicuous in its absence from the UN this year. A more global orientation for Climate Week 2018 would address this.

What you need to know

Climate Week 2017 was a success. There were lots of positive takeaways from this year’s event. But a more global focus would allow it to exact leverage from the UN General Assembly that it is designed to coincide with.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. What was your experience of Climate Week 2017?

Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby