How we make citizens of the world live in a sustainable way around the world
Hosting a music festival requires an enormous amount of resources: food and water for tens of thousands of fans; electricity, fuel and massive physical structures for performance; and equipment for large teams of staff.
The environmental impact can be significant. But there are plenty of ways to reduce these ecological costs, while also using major events to promote sustainability more broadly.
Global Citizen has a long history of incorporating sustainability principles into our festivals and our team has strived to build on these efforts year after year. As an organization that campaigns for the defense of the planet – and writes extensively on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss – it is important for us to aim for zero waste, zero emissions and zero environmental damage, by modeling at what an ecologically sustainable future looks like in dealing with it.
This year, we’re going up a notch. In addition to doing Citizen of the World Live As safe as possible from a public health point of view, we are also working to further reduce its environmental impact.
Here are four ways we do Citizen of the World Live sustainable, with many of these actions being implemented in places around the world.
1. Reduce emissions
Something you may not know is that large outdoor events require generators for power. And industrial generators use diesel, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels available. Instead of traditional diesel, Global Citizen and partner organizations are using an alternative called Neste MY renewable diesel which translates into 90% less greenhouse gas emissions to keep the lights on at each festival site.
2. Carbon offsetting
Between flights to bring performers to specific locations all the way to the electricity needed to power refrigerators, stage screens, and lights, a festival’s greenhouse gas emissions can add up quickly. Since 2018, Global Citizen has partnered with groups to offset estimated emissions from events.
This year, we are teaming up with South Pole, a carbon offset company that focuses on fundraising programs that empower Indigenous communities. The program we have chosen to support focuses specifically on empowering communities by improving healthcare and education, in addition to helping restore ecosystems.
3. Better waste management
The thousands of Global Citizens who will be present Citizen of the World Live events around the world will, due to the nature of the events, generate a lot of waste from food, drink, merchandise, etc. But Global Citizen is dedicated to both minimizing the amount of waste and ensuring that all of it can be effectively recycled, composted or treated.
At all festival sites we will have composting bins and recycling stations. Teams of volunteers will scour the grounds to make sure everything is disposed of properly.
To avoid food waste, we’ll be donating leftover food in New York City to the City Harvest nonprofit. Elsewhere, we will incorporate more vegan and vegetarian options to minimize the environmental impact of the daily food.
What could be better than getting rid of waste sustainably? Creating no waste. In Central Park, the festival will eschew single-use plastic bottles and straws, and instead Global Citizens will be encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to refill at free water stations. All drinks sold by vendors will be in easily recyclable aluminum containers. At other locations of the festival, food will be sold in compostable containers and plastic beverage containers will be of an easily recyclable variety.
The Citizen of the World Live The stage will also recycle thousands of pounds of material from the 2019 Festival in Central Park. Rugs and carpets will be recycled and all furniture is rented and will therefore be reused. In New York, we will donate 50 native saplings which will then be used in the scenography of the park. Through these and other efforts, we will reduce the amount of single-use waste going to landfills.
4. Sustainability volunteers
Citizen of the World Live is both part of a 24 hour broadcast event to end poverty and defend the planet and our year Recovery plan for the world campaign. As a result, we want to ensure that our sustainability efforts go beyond the boundaries of each festival venue, which is why we will have teams of traveling volunteers to engage and encourage fans to integrate sustainability into their daily lives. These volunteers will also ensure that all waste is properly managed.
You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defend the planet and end poverty by act here, and be part of a movement driven by citizens around the world who are taking action with governments, businesses and philanthropists to make a difference.