City events to consider environmental impact 

We are working with events’ organisers on making sure the city’s popular outdoor events are climate-friendly.

Brighton & Hove’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee will discuss requesting organisers to include an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as part of the event planning for all outdoor events attracting more than 5,000 people. 
The EIA will show how events will:

  • Conserve energy and water
  • Encourage public transport, walking and cycling
  • Look after open spaces and re-instate grassed areas 
  • Reduce and if possible eliminate single use plastic and waste
  • Recycle and re-use resources

Sky litter

We are also proposing to prohibit the release of ‘sky litter’ such as paper lanterns and balloons at events on council land.

These are known to have a damaging effect on animals, birds and fish as they are often mistaken for food and wildlife can get tangled up in the attached strings and ribbons. Balloons can take decades to degrade in the environment and the lanterns are also a fire risk.

Leading the way

Brighton & Hove was the first council to get the British Standard in Sustainable Event Management which supports everyone in the event supply chain – from organisers and venues though to performers and suppliers of food and drink, to take into account environmental issues such as local sourcing, waste and transport as part of event planning.
Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “The city is well-known for our fabulous events and we have been leading the way on supporting sustainable events management for some time.

"Most organisers want to make a positive contribution to reducing emissions and environmental concerns are high on their agenda – for example Brighton & Hove Pride, The Great Escape and Brighton Marathon made great efforts last year.
“The new environmental assessments are set to make an even bigger impact and complement the work already going on. We held 253 events in the city’s parks and open spaces last year – 61 of those attracted more than 5,000 people which represents more than 80% of the annual attendance for events across the city.”

Actions for smaller events

We will continue to support smaller events to sign up to Brighton & Hove’s sustainable events commitment. This enables organisers to choose 10 or more actions, including:
•    Using solar power or low energy LED lighting
•    Re-using display materials and banners
•    Sourcing local suppliers and products
•    Reducing the need for travel when planning an event. 

Events in Brighton & Hove

In March 2019, Brighton & Hove introduced a new outdoor events strategy which further strengthened the commitment for organisers to ensure that their events look after the environment, minimise disruption and benefit communities through local employment and participation.

It includes commitments to re-use and recycling, not using single use plastic and paying the Brighton Living Wage.

Events in Brighton & Hove play a significant role in the city’s visitor economy which, in 2016, was worth £886 million. They also support 21,760 jobs.
The income generated from fees charged for commercial events in parks and open spaces contributes to the costs of the council’s outdoor events team and enables charitable and community events and free public entertainment to be supported at reduced rates throughout the city.
More information about sustainable events.

Find out more about our Outdoor Events Strategy

Read the reports for the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee. The Outdoor Events Strategy is agenda item number 38.

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