Plan 2009-2012

Our Plan: approach to Sustainability 2009-2012.

We formulated a We Care plan for the period 2009-2012, believing that we simply had to start somewhere.
We deliberately tried to formulate the plan as directly and concisely as possible.

Evaluation of the period 2009-2012

Since the beginning of our We Care campaign, we have increasingly been drawn into the whirlwind of attention that is currently being paid to sustainable themes. Not so long ago, sustainability was a hot item in local and national politics as well as in marketing. In the meantime, under the pressure of the current economic crisis, many plans, opportunities and ambitions have had to be adjusted.

At Noorderzon we have managed to obtain Green Key certification every year since the definitive manual for public events was established. And we have also learned a great deal in the process. Everything requires time, attention and patience. Sometimes playing a leading role has not been so pleasant or practical – we couldn’t quite achieve what we were aiming at, or it may have been better to wait on developments that were already in progress. For example: a particulate filter for an electrical power unit had to be manually changed during the festival in 2009 and this cost a small fortune. In 2013, the new generation of electrical power units are routinely equipped with a particulate filter that is self-cleansing. We are proud that we could restrict our plastic waste because we were still able to serve drinks largely in glass, as we have always done. This tradition has been abolished in 2013, and we are changing to completely compostable PLA plastic.

We have also observed a shift – in society and in our own activities – in the interpretation of ‘sustainability’. Instead of only thinking in terms of ‘don’t be manic, just go organic’, much more attention is currently being paid to the bigger picture: awareness, durable relationships, social involvement. We have adjusted our plans and activities accordingly (see the homepage of We Care).

Our Plan: approach to Sustainability 2009-2012.

Time: the period 2009-2012

  • Result / Parameters: measurable and noticeable difference in the fields of energy usage, waste products, water usage, use of ingredients, awareness, publicity materials etc.
  • Aims: in all layers and at all levels of the Noorderzon organization and in the Festival itself, we strive to find and install solutions and initiatives that are as sustainable as possible. We must accept a realistic perspective and a workable period of time (2009-2012), and execute the plans within the financial and pragmatic, logistical possibilities of the Noorderzon Foundation and its partners.


  • Education: through alliances with educational programmes, for example, as well as by organizing the Noorderzon Kids Activities. We support internal education – research, exploration, reading – and external education, such as the Kids Activities (implemented as far back as 2009) 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 signs in the toilets to turn off the tap or the lights, to providing information on the resources we use.
  • Involvement: we cannot perform all these activities alone; our (large) numbers of visitors, volunteers and staff also 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.
  • 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.