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At Norfolk & Norwich Festival we believe the arts have an important role to play in exploring, communicating and taking practical action against issues around climate change and the environment.

We recognise our operations and activity have an impact on the environment, but we are committed to measuring, understanding and reducing our impact. We will seek to encourage dialogue and inspire change through our artistic and learning programmes, and in our work with artists, partners, networks and audiences.



Through collaboration with Norwich City Council, Festival Gardens will be powered by a renewable mains source from 2023. No more generators

We’ve joined Vision: 2025, aiming to reduce Festival greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2025

We have registered with Culture Declares Emergency, a growing international movement of individuals and organisations in the cultural sector declaring climate and ecological emergency

We work within our networks to share knowledge and examples of best practice, and inspire and empower others to take positive and proactive steps to address the climate emergency

This year we’re working to create a ‘Menu’ for artist riders, aiming to –

  • reduce road miles
  • offer seasonal, organic products
  • reduce packaging
  • reduce food waste

Our ‘Green Team’ staff working group seek local and national initiatives to engage with and identify ways in which we as individuals and as an organisation can lessen our environmental impact

All the drinkware at the Festival Bar is reusable, please return your cup to the bar to complete the cycle. Soft drinks at the Festival Bar are all Fairtrade.

We have compiled ‘Green Trading Standards’ which we use with all our food stalls. Among other things, this requires all concessions in the Festival Gardens –

  • are meat and fish free
  • all serve ware provided by concessions is compostable or recyclable

We encourage all our domestic and international artists to travel by train where possible and subsidise many artists travel through our partnership with Greater Anglia

We encourage travel to Festival sites using foot, bicycle or public transport wherever possible.

Once again for 2023, our Festival production van is electric, courtesy of Motus Truck & Van

We use our ‘Green Volunteer Team’ to talk to audiences about our approach, support the Festival’s environmental messaging and help implement practical initiatives such as disposing of their waste in separate bins while at the Festival

Have compost loos in the Festival Gardens, which use no water and create fertiliser for UK farmers

We encourage audiences to bring their own water bottles to the Festival Gardens and we provide fresh water onsite to refill them.


Water tap in Festival Gardens
Reusable cups


  • We will create a travel policy to encourage and support low carbon transport across all our work
  • We will create a sustainable procurement policy to influence our procurement decisions
  • We will create an action plan for environmentally sustainable operation of our office at Norwich Guildhall
  • We will establish a network of local arts organisations to share equipment resources and prevent the unnecessary duplication of production
  • We will continue to rationalise the use of printed materials and, wherever possible, look to more sustainable options
  • We will consider artists’ touring schedules and the environmental impact of their travel and freight to make considered and informed programming decisions

Read our environmental responsibility plan in full here.



  • Where possible, walk, cycle or use public transport to attend Festival events. If you need to drive, consider sharing
  • Use recycling facilities at venues, or take waste home with you to recycle
  • Enjoy a beer at the Festival bar – in our reusable cups – and return the cup to us once you’ve finished, to keep the cycle going
  • Use our water refill stations in Festival Gardens to save plastic waste

Share your thoughts on environmental issues at #GreenNNF


Read more about what we’re doing at the Festival to reduce our environmental impact in our sustainability blog series, written by Mark Denbigh, Head of Production and Programme.

How we sense as well as do

What we’re doing

Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May Festival and our year-round arts education work, focusing on children and young people, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk and the region.

This year we begin an exciting new initiative, Festival Connect & Create that will bring creative opportunities to those schools and communities with least provision. Creativity transforms people’s lives. It builds cohesive communities, develops vital skills and supports health and wellbeing. We want more people to have access to creative opportunities.

Please consider donating to support and develop this work. With your help we can increase access to the life changing power of the arts.

Registered Charity No. 116442

Amount to Donate £ 0