Eco-friendly music festivals: a cool case in the Netherlands

    14 Aug 2021

    Nowadays, music festivals are becoming more environmentally friendly.

    The festival of electronic music of the Dutch brand DGTL became a precedent in the world. The company has entered into a new partnership with SkyNRG, a market leader in biofuels (a global leader and pioneer in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). From now on, DGTL guarantees that all artists who attend the company’s international festivals will fly using only biofuels. In this way, they will reduce CO2 emissions.

    In addition to the Netherlands, the festival also has locations in Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Tel Aviv, and Bengaluru.

    ♻ Representatives of the event say that they are now environmentally friendly in all aspects of the sustainable development cycle: water and sanitation, energy, food, and goods.

    DGTL has announced the final piece in its ‘overall sustainability puzzle’ after partnering with SkyNRG, a pioneer in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

    The new partnership will ensure that all artists flying to and from DGTL’s eight international editions reduce their CO2 emissions by replacing fossil fuel with SAF, using the ‘book and claim’ model.

    The festival says it now has a ‘firm handle’ on every aspect of its sustainability cycle. It has solved sustainability issues around energy, water, and sanitation, food, and commodities at its events.

    Last year, DGTL’s flagship event in Amsterdam was the first electronic music festival to become fully sustainable, setting a precedent in the international live music industry.

    The brand also has editions in Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore.

    “We feel a responsibility to continuously improve and maintain our social and environmental impact on the globe, and we are committed to leaving the world a bit better than we found it,” says DGTL’s sustainability coordinator Mitchell van Dooijeweerd.

    “That’s why we are always researching and implementing innovative measures to reduce emissions progressively. But we’re looking beyond our own emissions too. Through this partnership with SkyNRG, we reduce CO2 emissions together with our artists and ensure that what we do inspires our surroundings.

    “Replacing fossil kerosine with SAF is a huge step forward for unavoidable flights. Furthermore, it is a scalable solution that can also reduce air travel emissions for other events, where air travel may be unavoidable. DGTL’s festivals have a huge reach, which is why it is important we lead by example and plant the seed for change.”

    SAF is fuel for aircraft produced from sustainable resources instead of being refined from petroleum, like fossil-based aviation fuel. SAF can significantly reduce CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuel, depending on the technology and feedstock used.

    Under the new partnership, DGTL and SkyNRG – alongside climate tech builder Chooose – will also launch a carbon emissions calculator that both the industry and general public can use to evaluate and reduce their CO2 footprint.

    DGTL does everything it can to minimize air travel. Still, SAF will allow them to reduce their carbon footprint from flying to net-zero by replacing fossil kerosine with SAF for unavoidable journeys.

    This innovation is the final piece in DGTL‘s overall sustainability puzzle. The organizers have already solved sustainability issues around energy, water & sanitation, food, and commodities (waste) at their events.

    Tackling and unraveling the mobility problem – often deemed a problem too far – means DGTL now has a firm handle on every aspect of its sustainability cycle. Working with SkyNRG, DGTL‘s sustainability model once again provides a groundbreaking blueprint for other promoters and large-scale event organizers.

    Source: BP p.l.c.

    SkyNRG‘s Program Manager, Jef de Vries commented:

    “Although SAF has been in commercial use since 2011 and over 300,000 flights so far have been powered by it, it still makes up less than 1% of the overall fuel use in aviation. Therefore, SkyNRG scales up supply and demand by building new production capacity and forging partnerships with industry pioneers like DGTL festival.”

    Explaining how DGTL has collaborated with artists across its multiple global line-ups to drive the SAF initiative, festival booker Jelle Lobbes said:

    “When we reached out to the artists about this project, we found out most of them were already engaged in more sustainable travel. Agencies already implemented offset programs for their roster and really thought about their journeys. This showed we’re all on the same page and motivated us to join forces and take the next step forward.”

    SkyNRG uses a system for supplying SAF to DGTL called Book & Claim. With this system, SAF is not used on the aircrafts the artists fly with but rather tanked into the fuel system of an airport close to the SAF production facility. The SAF produced and supplied is continuously tracked, and the corresponding carbon emission reductions are then allocated to DGTL and the artists.

    The benefits of this system are that it reduces carbon emissions from fuel transport and uses existing supply chains. This system is also commonly used when purchasing green electricity. Green electricity is added to the overall grid by the person paying for it, without it being delivered to that specific person’s home, for example, thereby improving the overall sustainability of the grid.

    The overall aim of the DGTL-SkyNRG partnership is to show the industry and all music fans – many of whom regularly use air travel – how they can reduce their own CO2 footprint by using SAF. To that end, DGTL and SkyNRG, together with climate tech builder CHOOOSE, will soon launch a leading-edge carbon emissions calculator that both the industry and general public can use to evaluate and reduce their CO2 footprint.

    Thanks to their work with SkyNRG, more sustainable travel can now finally be ticked off DGTL‘s sustainable ‘to-do’ list, making them true trailblazers in the world’s quest for achievable sustainability.

    Other circular systems at DGTL festival (Amsterdam):

    EnergyEntirely on renewable energy, from 16,000 liters of diesel to 0 liters of diesel.
    Resources (formerly called waste)From 2.3 kg residual waste to 0 kg residual waste per visitor.
    Food court100% plant-based menu.
    SanitationCircular sanitation group, where DGTL extracts nutrients from urine and faeces, is used as soil improvers and fertilizers. From pee to tea. 

    About DGTL:

    With music, art, and sustainability as the main pillars, the DGTL events have taken their own place in the festival landscape worldwide. DGTL is the first circular electronic music festival, with a strong focus on topics such as energy, sanitation, food, raw materials, and mobility. DGTL has already reached out far beyond its home base in Amsterdam with editions in Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore (India). After a year of reflection, DGTL sees 2021 as the start of A New cycle, a year in which everything DGTL has worked on in recent years has come together.

     About SkyNRG:

    As a pioneer and global leader in sustainable aviation fuel, SkyNRG scales up SAF demand and supply globally. Having supplied over 30 airlines on all continents, it is SkyNRG’s mission to make SAF the new global standard, driven by sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. To ensure SkyNRG makes the right decisions regarding the sustainability of its operations, projects, and products, SkyNRG is structurally advised by an independent Sustainability Board, which includes representatives from WWF International, the European Climate Foundation, Solidaridad Network, and the University of Groningen. Also, SkyNRG’s operations are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the highest possible certification standard for sustainable fuels.

    An excellent example of other festivals striving for an eco-friendly way of life, isn’t it?

    Are you impressed by music festivals’ environmental solutions? Read how subscription services became the new norm and changed our lives.

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