The approach to Sustainability: Noorderzon Cares – We Care
Sustainability has become a hot item: we all wish, individually or collectively, to make a difference. Sometimes it is only sloganeering, but sometimes it genuinely involves brilliant initiatives. Noorderzon really wishes to make a difference. And we can do so by taking measures that make the festival cleaner, fairer and more sustainable. We do so in conjunction with our public, partners and suppliers.
- Result / Parameters: measurable and/or noticeable differences in the fields of energy usage, waste products, water usage, use of ingredients, awareness, publicity materials etc. We also seriously consider degrees of relevance to our festival with regard to connections with, involvement in, or intensification of, sustainable relationships.
Aims: in all layers and at all levels of the Noorderzon organization and in the Festival itself, we strive to find and realize solutions, initiatives and partnerships that are as sustainable as possible. We must accept a realistic perspective and a workable period of time (such as 2009-2012, for instance), and
execute our plans within the financial and pragmatic, logistical parameters available to the
Noorderzon Foundation and its partners.
- Involvement of the direct working environment: a festival is a major customer of temporary services, products, and hire of workers and materials. Where possible, we shall always opt for a local supplier for the hire and purchase of all our requirements, ranging from suppliers of food to dealers in theatre equipment. On an artistic level, we opt for a mixture of international companies and local initiatives.
- Involvement of the direct living environment: in the so-called ‘soft’ domain, we try to accept our responsibility by entering into co-operative efforts with the Food Bank Groningen, among other instances. We supply bags with tokens for Kids Activities, some consumption vouchers and information under the heading Food for Thought to families who need to visit the Food Bank in order to make ends meet. In addition, on Wednesday afternoons during the festival we bring a part of our children’s activities to children who are chronically ill in hospital.
- Involvement of the public and our crew: we cannot perform all these activities on our own, so a (large) number of our visitors, volunteers and staff have to be mobilized. In addition, our plans must not be regarded as directives imposed from above, but must be supported and nurtured by everyone who works for and with Noorderzon. Accordingly our crew always wear 100% sustainable festival shirts!
Accessibility: a festival benefits from optimum accessibility. Our festival ground is freely accessible and 25% of our programme is also free of charge. The admission charges have been determined in accordance with a friendly pricing policy. In 2013, admission tickets range from free to a maximum of EUR 15.
We co-operate with the clubhouse of the Association for the Deaf in Groningen, which has tested a number of performances against their suitability for the deaf and hard of hearing. These performances are marked by a characteristic icon in all our publicity material. The same applies to wheelchair accessibility. And in our communication, we also aim to realize the best possible match between visitor and performance by displaying films on the makers and films on the programmer. Via Twitter, Facebook and the e-mail address helpmijkiezen, people can ask us for suggestions for interesting shows.
- Education: we try to promote education through alliances with educational programmes, for example, and by organizing Noorderzon Kids Activities. We support internal education – research, exploration, reading – as well as external education and the provision of public information
- Awareness: communication plays a major role in this domain, perhaps the greatest role. Various large and small aspects are involved here, ranging from instructions in the toilets to turn off the tap or the lights, to providing information on the resources we use
- Choices: a number of choices have already been made. And, of course, the biggest decision of all has long been taken: we wish to become more sustainable than we already are. And we commit our temporary platform to this goal, whole-heartedly!