The Glastonbury Festival has a net positive impact on the environment

The Glastonbury Festival has a net positive impact on the environment

Glastonbury festivalwhich creates a makeshift town with more than 200,000 people in rural Somerset, has a positive net impact on the climate, new analysis has found.

Although Glastonbury produces more than 2,000 tonnes of waste, Glastonbury saves almost 600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. according to analysis by the environmental advisory group The Eco Experts.

The main reason for saving emissions is due to the thousands of trees planted in the local area since 2000, which will now absorb about 800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, according to The Eco Expert’s calculations. But it compensates for its emissions in other ways as well.

Glastonbury also had a history of progressive environmental policy, promoting its “Love the farm: Leave no trace” message.

The end of the Glastonbury Festival 2019


Since 1984, The Green Fields has been run with renewable solar, wind and pedal energy and the farm where the festival is based now has its own solar power.

All mains power on site is delivered from certified renewable energy sources. The festival has also banned the sale of disposable plastic bottles and encourages festival-goers to leave their cars by selling bus ticket packages and driving free shuttles. All of this helps Glastonbury save more emissions than it produces, according to The Eco Experts.

When comparing the emissions from 200,000 partygoers with the amount they would emit if they did not spend time on a farm in Somerset, Glastonbury saves around 1,278 tonnes of emissions.

The eco-experts broke down the festival’s savings on greenhouse gas emissions as follows:


The festival estimates that it produces about 2,000 tonnes of waste each year, of which about half is reused or recycled.

With regard to recycling and reuse, the total waste at Glastonbury emits approximately 224 tonnes of greenhouse gases, according to The Eco Experts’ analysis.

But if you compare it to what 200,000 people would normally emit, it still saves emissions, says The Eco Experts.

This is because the recycling rate at Glastonbury is higher than the national average household that recycles or recycles around 46 percent of its waste. This difference saves about 39 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the analysis. The festival also saves about 136 extra tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by composting more food waste than the national average.

So while Glastonbury’s waste emits a total of 224 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, compared to emissions produced by 200,000 outside the festival, it saves around 175 tonnes.


The use of water at Glastonbury emits about 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to The Eco Experts.

However, Glastonbury participants use 10 times less water than they would at home due to the lack of showers on site. This saves almost 130 million liters and more than 100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions compared to.

But overall, Glastonbury still emits more coal equivalents than it saves when it comes to supplying its festival-goers with water.


When it comes to energy, Glastonbury compensates for more carbon than it emits, according to The Eco Experts.

It mainly depends on its use solar power and biofuels. The use of renewable energy sources means that the festival compensates for about 30 tonnes of emissions more than it produces, according to the analysis. So in this area, the festival is carbon dioxide positive.

It is unclear how much energy and fuel is saved compared to if the 200,000 ticket holders were at home and lived their normal lives.

The displacements

Glastonbury’s main emission compensations come from trees.

Since 2000, it has been arranged for more than 10,000 trees to be planted in the immediate area, which now absorbs about 800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

That is a total of 830 tonnes if you add the 30 tonnes that are saved thanks to the use of solar energy and biofuel. If you subtract the water and waste emissions from this figure (about 230 tonnes), Glastonbury saves about 600 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents each time it is on, The Eco Experts concluded.

When you compare the emissions from 200,000 party cars with what the same number of people would normally emit, Glastonbury saves even more – around 1,278 tonnes.

“Music festivals are by nature carbon dioxide-heavy events,” said Josh Jackman, who did the analysis for The Eco Experts. “Their often remote locations encourage the use of diesel generators; tons of plastic waste are thrown away; and the energy put into getting fans and artists back and forth is enormous.”

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