Many people associate summer evenings with music and festivals. But a magical event in the open air comes at a price – one that includes car travel, food waste, rubbish and pollution, often at the expense of nature. And this is precisely where the organising committee of OpenAir St.Gallen wanted to introduce change when they made climate protection a fixed component of the festival back in 2003. The organisers subsequently entered into a partnership with myclimate in 2016. The first action area they tackled was the most emissions-heavy – food. They came up with in-depth guidelines for the food stand operators and analysed the precise footprint of the whole event. The organisers take responsibility for their environmental footprint and finance effective myclimate climate protection projects to offset their unavoidable carbon emissions.
The Gadget abc Entertainment Group has now established a climate protection concept for all its festivals, and in spring 2023, it is introducing an integrated sustainability concept for the whole company in cooperation with myclimate. In addition to analysis of the festival’s carbon emissions, this will cover all of Gadget abc Entertainment’s events and activities and their associated environmental impact, with ensuing strategic planning of improvement measures and a concrete reduction pathway. These measures will greatly reduce the environmental footprint of the festival and other events.
Music in harmony with nature
Numerous measures are already underway; OpenAir St.Gallen, for example, is replacing disposable products with recyclable alternatives and promoting public transport and car pooling to fans travelling to the event. Partners and suppliers are also selected according to sustainability criteria. But the climate protection concept covers a lot of other points as well. For example, a surcharge of CHF 3 will go to climate protection projects like the soil fertility fund for land along Lake Constance and a reforestation project in Nicaragua. And all visitors will have to pay a deposit for the tents they bring to the festival to ensure that they take them home again. The festival also offers an outstanding platform for raising awareness of the issue of climate protection. Along with concerts, visitors can enjoy podium discussions on the topic of sustainability and climate change. myclimate and its experts will be there once again this year.
The Foundation myclimate is assisting Gadget abc Entertainment in implementing a comprehensive climate strategy. Cornelia Rutishauser, Head of the Corporate Partnerships team, says: “Through close cooperation, we were able to develop a concept that will lead to a more sustainable festival culture. With their broad climate protection concept, Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG and myclimate are taking the next important step, building on a close collaboration and rigorous strategic planning.”