Circus artist Said Mouhssine, wearing a Hi-Viz vest, holds his arms aloft in triumph. There is a blue recylcing bin beside him.

Our Commitment

At Belfast International Arts Festival we are committed to making our activities and events as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.

Our global climate is changing, causing devastating impacts to many around the world, particularly to those who have the fewest resources and are the most vulnerable. Now more than ever, we need to find innovative, sustainable ways of operating and fulfilling the function of an arts festival: providing time and space for people to exchange ideas and celebrate our common humanity. We believe that art has a key role to play in championing and exploring environmental causes and are committed to minimising any adverse environmental effects caused as a result of our activities.

We pledge to continually record and assess our carbon output, including our energy and water consumption, travel, digital activities and procurement. This will help us to create a baseline for realistic targets and support us to further reduce our environmental impact in a meaningful way.

What are we doing already?

These are the 10 key actions we are currently taking to reduce our environmental impact.

  • Working with Green Tourism towards accreditation.
  • Monitoring our Carbon Footprint. We keep this under regular review and use this data to set targets and implement measures to reduce our carbon impact.
  • Using e-tickets as standard to reduce the number of paper tickets printed.
  • Sharing international touring productions with other venues and festivals across the UK/ROI to reduce travel impact.
  • Encouraging more sustainable travel of artists, audiences and staff through active travel, public transport or use of electric vehicles.
  • Offering digital events and maintaining hybrid working to cut down on travel.
  • Screening our suppliers for their carbon credentials.
  • Being energy conscious in our offices: reducing our usage as far as possible and choosing energy efficient options when replacing lighting and appliances.
  • Focusing on waste reduction and working to recycle as much as possible.
  • Buying local and prioritising plant-based options when catering for events.

You can find out more about the steps we’re already taking, and our future plans in our Environmental Sustainability Policy .

What can you do?

We’re committed to doing everything we can to reduce our environmental impact, but we need your help!

Here are 6 things you can do to support us on our Green mission:

  1. Travel Green – Did you know, audience travel is our biggest area of environmental impact? By walking or cycling to Festival events where you can, or taking public transport, you can help us cut our carbon emissions. If driving is your only option, requesting an electric vehicle from your taxi company or car-pooling with friends also makes a big difference! For advice on travelling to Festival events, check out our list of Festival Venues or our guide for Getting To Belfast.
  2. Eliminate Waste – Small changes can have a big impact! You can make a difference and reduce your waste by swapping out single-use for reusable coffee cups or utensils, making sure to recycle, and leaving no trace when attending Festival events.
  3. Save Water – Water is our most vital resource, so we encourage you to try and use water as efficiently as possible when visiting our Festival venues and avoid flushing unsuitable items (wet wipes, sanitary products, nappies etc.).
  4. Eat Local – You can see our suggestions of Where To Eat featuring some of our favourite restaurants who use tasty local produce. Why not try some of their wide range of delicious plant-based options? We’ve even got some special discounts available just for our Festival audiences!
  5. Visit Neutral – Support ‘Green Accredited’ and carbon neutral activities during your visit to Festival events. Why not check out our ‘Green Belfast’ guide for inspiration on fun-filled, low-carbon activities around Belfast?
  1. Stay Sustainably – Staying over in Belfast? Let us help you make a greener choice for less with our full range of hotel discounts from our ‘Green Accredited’ partners.