At Connect Festival, we are committed to reducing our environmental and ecological impact. As signatories of the Green Nation Sustainability Charter, we are responsible for preserving the live music experience for generations to come. We are proud to be one of Scotland’s newest and most exciting festivals, with a mission to harness our creativity towards embracing and influencing positive social and environmental change.
We are also members of Vision:2025, a growing network of over 500 outdoor events and businesses taking positive climate action. This commits us to following clear and robust minimum standards and shared targets for sustainability. As members, we have pledged to significantly reduce our climate impact, measure our emissions annually and work together as an industry to share experiences and develop best practice in this area.
In our first year at the Royal Highland Centre, we made significant progress in these goals, and are proud of what we achieved— but there is more work to be done. Our primary impact areas are transport, energy consumption, human health and well-being and resource efficiency.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED
- We chose a site that can sustainably host our festival, using mains power, water and waste systems to reduce temporary and carbon-intensive alternatives.
- Zero waste from the festival was sent to landfill.
- We recycled or composted 58% of all waste, the rest was incinerated to create Energy from Waste (EfW).
- We ensured our bars and food outlets used 100% FSC certified compostable serveware.
- 100% adoption of low-carbon HVO (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil) diesel to fuel our on-site vehicles and generators.
- Reduced the quantity of carbon-intensive diesel generators by accessing grid power for everything on site other than our principal stages.
- Provided multiple bottle refill stations and drinking water points throughout the festival site.
- We used 100% LED festoon lighting and tower lights – reducing our power consumption.
- Our festival décor and dressing was all made from sustainable, reclaimed or recycled materials.
- Improved our data collection on carbon emissions so that we have an accurate baseline to start help us set goals for the future.
- Partnered with Tiny Changes to support and raise awareness of young people’s mental health, raising over £10,000.
- Created our ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ wellbeing area – bringing mental health and physical wellbeing to the fore with yoga workshops, cold water therapy, massage, and sound therapy.
- Our entirely pre-pitched campsite reduced the overall campsite waste to less than 5kg.
- Hosted Sustainability Talks with guests discussing circular and regenerative farm practices, food systems change, reducing waste and decarbonising energy consumption.
- Engaged charities such as Music Broth – Scotland’s biggest free musical instrument library – spreading the message of equitable access and increasing awareness of repairability.
OUR 2023 INITIATIVES
- We are getting drastic on plastic. We will not sell water or drinks in plastic bottles.
- We will increase the availability of free drinking water, draught options including soft drinks and sell only aluminium cans (with a minimum recycled content).
- We will encourage the use of (almost) all types of refillable bottles.
- We will continue our commitment to 100% compostable FSC certified serveware.
- All the food on site will be made using higher welfare produce, produced by local food traders with a directive to reduce food miles wherever possible.
- Leftover food will be donated to local foodbank wherever possible.
- We will double the capacity of the free shuttle bus service to/from Ingliston Tram station.
- We are expanding our campsite options to reduce daily travel to site, with an eco-bond placed on each camper to encourage the site to be left waste-free.
- Build upon last year’s sustainability talks, expanding into workshops and supporting community projects and groups to lead and inspire change.
- Our merchandise range will be made from high quality, sustainable materials which are made to last and are produced using ethical labour practices.
- We will empower our staff and artists to play their part in improving the sustainability of the festival, by educating them on the initiatives we put in place across the site.
- We will announce a festival charter in the coming weeks which will build upon the foundations laid out above.
PLAY YOUR PART
Plan your travel. The Royal Highland Showgrounds has excellent transport links, it’s easy to reach us whether you travel by Train, Tram, Bus, Coach or Liftshare.
Check out our Getting Here page for more information
- Bring your reusable water bottle (however no glass please) and use our bottle refill points!
- To reduce campsite waste, please try to avoid poor quality camping equipment and make sure you take your kit home. Alternatively, you can camp with us using our pre-pitched tent packages.
- Separate your waste in our bins, this helps us to increase our recycling and composting rates.
- Try out some of the local vegetarian or vegan options from our fantastic food traders.
- Visit our partners and charities on site who are doing amazing things for music, for our communities and for our planet.
- Fill in our post event survey and help us capture as much data as we can about the carbon footprint of our festival. This helps us set goals for the future as we continue to evolve and improve upon our efforts year to year.