Due to the vast quantity and diversity of audiences it reaches, the cultural sector plays an important role in disseminating information and values and setting an example, and it is for this reason that since 2014 the ICUB has introduced environmental sustainability as a criterion across all its programmes.
How can a live arts festival help improve our planet? The Grec Festival de Barcelona asked this very question in 2016, and since then, it has been working to reduce its environmental impact.
The Grec Festival de Barcelona is certainly one of the city's most iconic festivals and one of the most eagerly awaited by local citizens, and it is precisely because of its importance and the number of people who attend the festival that it is crucial for it to be environmentally responsible.
CO2 emissions and atmospheric pollution
In its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions, in 2020, the Festival Grec - Teatre Grec joined the Voluntary Agreement Programme for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promoted by the Catalan Office for Climate Change of the Generalitat de Catalunya, and each year it takes on new commitments to reduce its emissions.
The Festival Grec - Teatre Grec offsets a large part of the emissions it generates through the CleanCO2 tool, giving carbon offset credits to different international projects that help to reduce CO2 emissions by generating energy from renewable sources or by avoiding the use of fossil fuels, among others.
It provides the public with a shuttle bus service to make it easier for people to get to and from the Teatre Grec using public transport. This is a free service that runs from the theatre to Plaça d’Espanya, Plaça de la Universitat, and Plaça de Catalunya, which, in the last edition of the festival, also used vehicles with the zero emissions label issued by the DGT.
It has also installed ten bike racks on the street near the entrance to the theatre.
In an effort to reduce water consumption, the toilet facilities, taps and showers have been modernised, with the installation of dual flush mechanisms on the toilets and low-flow shower heads in the showers in the dressing rooms, and the installation of low-flow taps with timed flow in the public lavatories.
The technical and production staff use their own reusable bottles, and the festival organisers provide water fountains so everyone is able to refill their bottles. The artists are also given a reusable bottle in place of plastic water bottles.
The printed programme for each show has been replaced with a QR code which the audience can scan when they arrive at the theatre, thereby saving more than 98,000 printed copies.
The restaurant uses reusable crockery and non-bottled water, and the snack bars in the gardens serve drinks in reusable glasses and have free drinking water fountains for everyone.
Criteria covering recycling and the correct management of consumable materials are included in our contracts with external suppliers, and the company that operates the sound system uses rechargeable batteries.
Sustainability criteria are included for textile products, in relation to sourcing wood from forests certified as sustainably managed, in relation to the environmental quality of the vehicle fleet, and the environmental quality of food products in the contracts with various suppliers of installation and removal services, machinery and technical assistance, accommodation, sound systems, lighting and catering.