Environmental Sustainability at MIF

At MIF, we are always working to reduce our negative environmental impacts and amplify our positive ones. We continually monitor and report on our activities to better understand and improve our performance. We aim to inspire audiences to think and act more sustainably through our artistic programme, community engagement and in-venue behaviour and innovations.

You can view the MIF Environmental Sustainability Policy on our website. We have also created a glossary for the policy. It is the foundation of a 5-year action plan, addressing all areas of MIF’s activities. Delivering these actions is the responsibility of everyone at MIF. It’s our responsibility to seek every opportunity to be as sustainable as possible.

MIF’s approach is that sustainability is a journey. We may stumble occasionally and not always get things right first time, but we will not allow this to stand in the way of progress. We invite all those we work, and engage with, to join us in the journey.


MIF was the first international festival to be independently certified as meeting BS 8901, the original British Standard for Sustainable Event Management, and helped to develop ISO 20121, the international sustainable event management standard.

In 2010, we helped to set up the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST), a citywide group that meets regularly to discuss and progress sustainability issues in the cultural sector. This is now expanding across the region as GMAST.

At MIF19:

  • We recycled or reused 88% of sets and props
  • We used 766 suppliers from Greater Manchester
  • We reduced printed materials with 39 out of 48 events using e-tickets as default
  • We provided ten bicycles for staff & artists to use, supported by TfGM
  • We used three electric cars and a small van, provided by Electricity North West
  • We gave 1200 metal water bottles, supplied by Craghoppers, to artists, staff and volunteers
  • We funded the training of 37 staff members to work with The Carbon Literacy Trust and become Carbon Literate. All permanent staff will receive carbon literacy training by the time we reach The Factory

Individual MIF19 commissions also took sustainable actions. Staff collected recycled cardboard, tech boxes, packing materials and old trainers for a scene in Invisible Cities. Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) donated over 400m of cleft chestnut fencing to Manchester parks and around 300 straw bales to Wythenshawe Community Farm. All 11 food stalls for Animals served only vegan food and drinks over the weekend.

Current Goals

We’re always working towards a more sustainable MIF of the future. We want to:

  • Be on a committed path towards zero-carbon activity by 2025, using operational data from 2023 as the benchmark. This will include assessment of the carbon footprint of the construction of The Factory
  • Inspire audiences to think and act more sustainably through our artistic programme, community engagement and in-venue behaviour and innovations
  • Collaborate with industry partners to test and pilot innovative sustainability technology in The Factory
  • Develop models of sustainable production and transportation to support MIF’s international work

For further information on MIF’s sustainability work, or if you have any queries please contact sustainability@mif.co.uk