We are so proud of the role we play in enabling audiences from across the world to discover thrilling art at the Edinburgh International Festival, yet we recognise that the international nature of our work has an environmental impact. That’s why we have embedded sustainable initiatives at the heart of everything we do to help create a brighter future for Scotland and beyond.

Our ambitious targets are driven by an urgent need for global change and our desire to be recognised as an industry leader in sustainability.

Our priorities are to:

  • Reach net-zero carbon emissions across our organisational operations by 2030 and across our artistic programme by 2045.
  • Work with our partner venues, companies, orchestras and individual artists to instil sustainability best practice from the inception to delivery of our festival.
  • Embrace new models of working with companies and orchestras to reduce carbon impact, recognising that our artistic programme and associated travel and freight is our biggest impactor.

Our actions:


By 2030, we will

  • Reduce staff travel emissions by 20% against the baseline each year.
  • Reduce overall energy emissions by 30% each year as well as switching
    to renewable suppliers in all International Festival controlled buildings.
  • Reduce general waste by 20% against the baseline each year.
  • Reduce emissions from water consumption by 20% each year.
  • Replace all Festival building light fittings with LED.
  • Look to switch to 100% renewable electricity at the Festival offices in The Hub.
  • Adopt a carbon offsetting scheme.

Leadership & Influence

  • Work with the City of Edinburgh Council to accelerate improvements to active travel and electric vehicle infrastructure.
  • Share our Sustainability Action Plan with Festival venues and make recommendations for carbon-saving measures.
  • Gain Accreditation in the Resource Efficiency Pledge.

Engagement & Behaviour Change

  • Develop a new, highly interactive website with dedicated sustainability resources.
  • Adopt locally produced food catering for all Festival events.
  • Start tracking audience travel emissions to better understand their carbon impact.
  • Participate and engage with local and national community projects such as litter picks, tree-planting schemes and urban bees hives.

Artistic Programme

By 2045, we will

  • Reduce artist travel emissions by 10% against the baseline each year.
  • Reduce freight emissions by 10% against the baseline each year.
  • Replace our fleet of hired cars with electric vehicles as soon as is feasible.
  • Set annual travel carbon budgets for staff and for the Festival programme.
  • Decrease carbon intensity of the programme by introducing artist residencies and other similar solutions.