Highlights: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Guide to Sustainability

30th July 2014

Bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a daunting task. With over 3,000 productions listed in this …

Bringing a show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe can be a daunting task. With over 3,000 productions listed in this year’s programme, it may seem easy to get lost in all the activity. The following tips are highlights from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Guide to Sustainability about how to produce and run a sustainable show successfully for the 2014 Summer Festivals Season.

Choose a Green Champion and use the Green Arts Portal

Choosing a Green Champion also happens to be the first step towards registering for the Green Arts Initiative, an accreditation service provided by Creative Carbon Scotland. Selecting a leader for your environmentally-friendly efforts will help guide your production towards its more sustainable existence. Creative Carbon Scotland offers assistance to temporary and permanent venues through the Green Arts Initiative and the Green Arts Portal (no longer in use; edit 21/10/2019), which is a monitoring system for permanent venues and companies to track progress through simple, but effective, objectives.

Green your publicity

There should always be the option to use recycled or FSC-certified paper when printing. PR Print and Design and EAE print distribution are two companies based in Scotland who ensure sustainable printing, distribution and print publicity display. As we have mentioned in a previous case study, make sure you are monitoring the quantity of prints you actually use, and reduce print runs when possible.

Plan for reuse

Design your set, props and costumes to be reusable and created from sustainable materials. Lighting plays a big factor in many shows’ carbon footprint, so make sure you use efficient lighting choices. Creative Carbon Scotland and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will host their widely successful Re-use and Recycle Days 25-26 August. Companies and productions can bring their used set items to swap for different ones from other productions, all without any extra cost.

Travel sustainably

Edinburgh is an ideal festival city because of its compact city centre. When travelling by foot it not an option, there are plenty of bus routes, tram and cycling options available.

Inspire change and follow #GreenFests

Whether its through green-focused programming and themes or achievable objectives such as using public transport to travel to and from shows, audiences want to know how you are greening your practice. Don’t be afraid to show off your commitment to being green by publicising via print, digital and word-of-mouth channels. As part of #GreenFests we will be collecting this type of information to distribute across our digital channels.


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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

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A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

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