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SUSTAINABILITY

TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour was created to inspire people to enjoy, explore and protect our oceans. Over the last 10 years, the world tour has shared its message with over 325,000 audience members in 14 countries, and raised over £20,000 for ocean charities.   

 

We’re passionate that this ethos is reflected in our touring practices. The UK Ocean Film Festival is a low-impact tour, and we are constantly evaluating touring practices to reduce our environmental footprint and grow our positive social impact. We are trying to meet, and in many cases already exceed, environmental touring standards recommended by the Theatre Green Book – see more HERE.

 

Our sustainability plan below includes current touring practices, information about venues the tour visits (often called ‘receiving venues’) and future plans.

AT THE OFFICE

  • The Ocean Film Festival office has solar panels installed - and any additional electricity from the grid is 100% green.

  • The company’s work from home policy has reduced travel mileage to and from the office by more than 95%.

  • Office paper and packaging materials are re-used where possible - or recycled where appropriate.

  • Packaging materials are recyclable/biodegradable and we do not use plastic packaging.

ON THE ROAD

  • Presenting and technical staff travel to venues together to minimise mileage.

  • We plan the tour with short travel legs, negotiating with receiving venues to relax exclusion zones where necessary. We plan runs of shows rather than mobilising for single shows wherever possible.

  • Touring is completed in a medium sized van with the current highest vehicle emissions standard of Euro 6.

  • Only one van is used to travel to shows for both staff and transported goods. We limit our transported goods to achieve this, and where possible use the receiving venue’s technical gear to minimise equipment transported. When feasible, a smaller vehicle is used for some events to reduce environmental impact.

  • We plan staff accommodation close to that night’s venue, or en-route to the next venue, to minimise mileage.

  • Audiences are encouraged to use sustainable transport to reach events.

  • We also offer a virtual edition of the Tour so if audience members wish to reduce their travel miles, they can watch the festival films from home!

REDUCING PRINTED RESOURCES

  • Tour Magazine - A digital version of the Ocean Film Festival tour magazine is now available to read at shows. Where audience members take a printed magazine, they are encouraged to return it at the end of the night if they do not wish to keep it - so it can be used again at future shows. We’ve reduced our print run of the Ocean Film Festival tour magazine by 60% in the last 5 years.

  • Printed Promotional Materials - We’re continuing to reduce the amount of print promotion used for the tour (posters and flyers) and always work with venues on prioritising digital, rather than paper marketing materials, where it is available. Over the last 5 years we have reduced the number of posters and flyers sent out by 40%

  • Prize Draw - the prize draw is now paperless, saving 100% of the paper previously used.

  • Ocean Film Festival attendees are encouraged (via social media and ticketing emails) to use digital tickets, rather than printed tickets.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY MERCHANDISE

  • Ocean Film Festival merchandise (t-shirts and Buffs) has no plastic packaging.

  • Buffs are made from a 100% recycled fabric made from PET bottles.

  • T-shirts are made from an environmentally friendly bamboo viscose / organic cotton blend.

PARTNERING WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CHARITIES

  • Every year the UK Ocean Film Festival works with ocean conservation charities, promoting and supporting the charities’ work and projects through social media, emails, exhibiting at Ocean Film Festival shows, and promotion of the charity on stage to audiences. The 2023 Ocean Film Festival is partnering with the Marine Conservation Society and PADI.

TOUR VENUES - ENCOURAGING CHANGE

  • For more than 5 years we’ve been communicating with all tour venues to establish their environmental policies and where necessary make improvements, paying particular attention to single-use plastic. We ask venues to serve drinks in either glass/re-usable vessels, and where this is not possible recyclable vessels or biodegradable / compostable vessels (provided these are then properly disposed of).

  • We request that all venues have tap water freely available for audience refills. We ask that venues don’t use plastic straws, and only offer paper bio-degradable straws on request. We encourage venues to minimise printed promotion for the Ocean Film Festival.

  • If a venue is unable to allow glass into the auditorium (due to venue licensing restrictions) and does not provide a sustainable alternative, we ask the venue if audience members can bring their own re-usable cups/bottles. This is then communicated to attendees (via email, ticketing reminders and social media).

  •  Since being challenged on their plastic credentials, the majority of venues have improved their long-term approach to minimising/eliminating single-use plastic.

  • If a tour venue continues to not meet our environmental standards, after working with the venue to find a solution, we will look for a replacement venue where possible.

  • Prior to attending a venue, we conduct a survey to establish their approach to the use of single-use plastics. Based on responses provided by the venues to this survey, the following venues have been identified to have an excellent approach to single-use plastic -  Abingdon Amey Theatre, Bath Komedia, Birmingham Crescent Theatre, Brighton Dome, Dorking Halls, Exeter Corn Exchange, Guildford G-Live, Shrewsbury Theatre Severn, Southampton Mast Mayflower Studios, Truro Hall for Cornwall. The following venues have been identified to have a good approach to single-use plastics -  Cambridge West Road Concert Hall, Bristol Redgrave Theatre, London Union Chapel, Poole Lighthouse, Porthcawl Grand Pavilion. 

FUTURE PLANS

  • Continue to aim to reduce our environmental footprint through holistic tour planning, adopting new technologies such as cleaner vehicles, and reducing printed materials.

  • We will aim to offset our Tour production and travel in the next year through financial contribution and support of tree planting/sea grass planting and other environmental programmes.

  • Continue to reduce print promotion and paper usage – with a target of a further 50% reduction in the next 5 years.

  • Continue to challenge and work with venues on sustainability standards for ticketing, travel to the venues, bar/food service impacts and other elements - and aim to improve their practices, not just for our events but to adopt them as part of their normal every day practices.

  • Continue to enhance our work with partners on promotion of environmental programmes and campaigns to encourage change in the community.

 

LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY GOALS AND THE MUCH MORE IMMEDIATE CLIMATE EMERGENCY means that navigating the future and the now is not always easy -  but we will continue to actively play our part in the challenge and seek to continually improve and reduce our environmental footprint across our entire business.

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