Leading industry report reveals extent of UK festival and events diesel emissions and impact on public health

05 Jun 2019

With diesel emissions becoming an increasing public health concern, World Environment Day on June 5th is focused on air pollution. Award winning environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts have brought together key events industry experts to produce an action research report. Thanks to the collaboration of hundreds of major UK festivals and events, the report marks the start of a major industry backed initiative to reduce diesel emissions and move to sustainable energy sources to help fight toxic air quality.

With data from A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle, Powerful Thinking and over 20 million data points of electronic monitoring analysed by ZAP Concepts, the accompanying factsheet is a snapshot of the impact of diesel use for power generation at UK events and how it contributes to a very real climate crisis and public health emergency.

This is a problem that can easily be solved, as reduced diesel use is financially better for the events and venues and significantly better for the environment. The events industry are working to understand and reduce their diesel dependence and call upon other industries to do the same. #beatairpollution

Key points from factsheet:

  • The UK event industry uses an estimated 380 million litres of diesel annually
  •  That’s equivalent to over 150 Olympic swimming pools full of diesel
  • Diesel use in generators at events equates to nearly 1.5% of total UK diesel use and over 8% of all ‘red’ diesel use
  • 1.2 million tonnes of CO2e is released from diesel emissions in generators
  • Approximately the same level of emissions as Malta annually
  • Emissions from static diesel generators at events are equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the road every day
  • It would take a forest four times the size of the West Midlands planted every year to offset these emissions

Says Luke Howell CEnv MIEMA Founder & Director Hope Solutions:

“Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution. We are releasing this report to open up the conversation with the industry to effect positive and practical change without diminishing customer experience. For the organisers, every litre of diesel not used is saving money and contributing to the fight against climate change.”

Says Rob Scully MSc, Head of Operations, ZAP Concepts UK:

“On average the UK event industry could reduce diesel consumption by 40% without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events. Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives. The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”

View the factsheet here.