From ensuring that all projects are resourced efficiently and produced responsibly, through to partnering on sustainable initiatives with our sponsors, suppliers, venues and co-commissioners, we work hard to guarantee that the Festival has as minimal impact on the environment as possible.
MIF was the first international festival to be independently certified as meeting BS 8901, the original British Standard for Sustainable Event Management. The Festival is now certified to the second level of ISO 20121, the international sustainable event management standard that MIF helped develop for London 2012.
In 2010, we helped to set up the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST), a citywide group that meets regularly to discuss sustainability issues in the cultural sector. In November 2014, MAST was awarded a Silver Green Apple Environment Award for Carbon Reduction in Leisure & Tourism, and in November 2018 were awarded the Manchester Culture Award for Promotion of Environmental Sustainability.
We aim to follow sustainable practice at every Festival. At MIF19:
- We recycled or reused 88% of sets and props.
- We used 766 suppliers from Greater Manchester.
- We reduced printed materials by investing more in Digital marketing, advertisement and e-tickets – reducing our printed ticket stock by 50% compared to MIF17, with 39 out of 48 events using e-tickets as default.
- We provided ten bicycles for staff & artists to get around the city, supported by TfGM.
- We used three electric cars and a small van, provided by Electricity North West who are leading the North West to zero carbon, to transport artists, staff and equipment around Manchester.
- We gave 1200 metal water bottles, supplied by Craghoppers, to artists, staff and volunteers as part of a drinking water initiative.
- We funded the training of 37 staff members to work with The Carbon Literacy Trust and become Carbon Literate, something which we endeavour to continue, looking ahead to MIF21 and The Factory.
As well as these Festival-wide initiatives, individual commissions took sustainable actions during MIF 2019. For example, staff collected recycled cardboard, tech boxes, packing materials and old trainers for a scene in Invisible Cities that depicts frenetic consumerism and waste. Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) donated over 400m of cleft chestnut fencing from its set to Manchester parks as well as about 300 straw bales to Wythenshawe Community Farm. All 11 food stalls for Animals served only vegan food and drinks over the weekend.