Carbon Emission Statistics for Hay Festival 2008

Report undertaken by the Centre for Alternative Technology.

Another audit will be conducted in 2013.

Emission Values in Kilograms CO2e

Core emissions for the Hay Festival 2008. Third party emissions are shown exploded.

Total ‘core’ emissions can be given in rounded form as 260 tonnes CO2e. This can be contextualised in various ways to aid comparisons.

26 tonnes per operating day of the Festival
4.3kg per participant
1.29kg per participant per day, with reported average of 3 days stay
1.6kg per ticket sold
0.17kg per £ turnover

If the emissions of participants are included the picture is entirely dominated by travel to the festival:

Emissions associated with Hay Festival 2008, including participants.

With participants included, total emissions are about 3040 tonnes CO2e
304 tonnes per operating day of the festival
50.7kg per participant
15.2kg per participant per day, assuming three day stays
19.2kg per ticket sold
2.0kg per £ of turnover

These results are more or less as expected. By way of context, other recreational trips reported by participants in 2008 were estimated at 1180kg per person. This is 23 times greater than the average at Hay, so the Festival has a reasonable claim to be a ‘green holiday event’.

The ‘carbon intensity’ in terms of emissions per £ is 0.17kg/£ which is typical of service goods, and can be compared with the average intensity of a pound spent in the UK economy of 0.58kg/£. In carbon terms, these are pounds well spent, although of course in order to spend them the participants have to travel, and travel is carbon-intensive, putting the overall intensity up to 2.0kg/£.

Another way to put these results in context is to compare them with similar events. The most comparable figures are probably emissions per participant per day. Average length of time in Hay was reported as 3 days. By way of comparison, the Shambala Festival is a three-day open-air summer event with about 8,000 participants. On a ‘core’ basis Hay has 1.3kg/p/day compared with 2.5kg/p/day for Shambala. On a total basis both festivals emerge at about 15kg/p/day. These figures might form the basis for industry benchmarks.