HEBCELT: GRADUATING TOWARDS A GREENER FESTIVAL
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Year of Natural Scotland
- HebCelt graduates from carbon management programme
- Festival aims to reduce carbon emissions
- Initiatives will help reduce event’s footprint
Pic caption: HebCelt festival director Caroline MacLennan receives the award from Energy Minister Fergus Ewing with Paul Wedgwood, general manager at Carbon Trust Scotland, looking on.
The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival has added another string to its bow by successfully graduating from the Carbon Trust Scotland’s Carbon Management programme for its green initiatives.
HebCelt, which is celebrating its 18th anniversary this year, is committed to decreasing its carbon emissions by 14 per cent by 2017 which will reduce its environmental impact and cut costs.
Caroline MacLennan, the festival director, received a certificate to mark the graduation from Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at a ceremony earlier this month.
She said: “Our carbon management plan has provided us with an opportunity to put formal measures in place to seek to reduce our impact on the environment. We also recognise it makes good business sense so we have committed to a practical target of a 14 per cent reduction in our carbon emissions by 2017.
“We have already introduced measures to meet this target including establishing a green team to implement our policies and recycling waste. Longer term we will be seeking to reduce road mileage by sourcing facilities closer to the festival location and reducing wastewater consumption.”
HebCelt was one of 50 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland to graduate from the programme which is designed to help organisations make energy saving and carbon reductions by establishing their current baseline CO2 emissions, assessing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change and developing a robust strategy to reduce carbon footprints over a five to ten year period.
The programme was rolled out to the private sector in 2011 due to its success since 2006 within the public sector.
Fergus Ewing said the 50 companies graduating this year can expect to see a collective financial saving of more than £14 million over a five year period.
Paul Wedgwood, general manager at Carbon Trust Scotland, said: “The Carbon Trust Scotland has a strong track record in helping both companies and public sector organisations make significant carbon and financial savings by implementing energy saving projects.
“The Carbon Management programme is an excellent vehicle to achieve savings, which will not only benefit the environment but makes excellent business sense too.”
This year’s HebCelt, which will be held from 17-20 July in Stornoway in the island of Lewis, will be headlined by Van Morrison, Dougie MacLean, Capercaillie, The Battlefield Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
It attracts interest from across the world and was recently selected as one of the Top 10 UK summer festivals by influential music publication Songlines for the third successive year.
Tickets have already been snapped up by fans across the UK and Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.
The line-up also includes Karine Polwart, Darrell Scott, Pete Roe, Paddy Callaghan, and local artists Iain Morrison, The Boy who Trapped the Sun and Face the West, as well as Dundee’s Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward & Fisher; Lau, voted ‘Best Group’ at this year’s Radio Two Folk Awards; Orcadian eight-piece The Chair; The Hot Seats, from Virginia; Manchester outfit The Travelling Band; Welsh band Rusty Shackle; Fatherson and The Dirty Beggars, from Glasgow and Rose Parade, a four-piece from Ayr.
The Hebridean Celtic Festival Trust has drawn up a series of long-term aims to help minimise the event’s impact on the environment. This includes the sustainable use of resources, reducing emissions and raising awareness of environmental matters among employees, suppliers, contractors, artists and festival goers.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
The 18th HebCelt takes place between 17-20 July, 2013 and will have two main stages on the Castle Green in front of the Lews Castle in Stornoway, as well as performances in An Lanntair and throughout the rural community.
This year the festival has been selected for the third year in succession as one of the top ten UK summer festivals by music magazine Songlines. It emerged victorious as Best Large Festival at the industry-sponsored Scottish Event Awards 2011, in a three-way final with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections.
Visitors from Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the US made the journey to Lewis last year, as well as many from across the UK.
The overseas contingent helped swell the ranks of a 120-strong volunteer army that contributed over 3,500 unpaid man hours over the course of the four days.
HebCelt is supported by Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highlands & Islands Enterprise and injects more than £1.5 million annually into the local economy.
It is regarded by critics, performers and festival-goers as one of the top Celtic music festivals in Europe and has twice won the Best Event of the Year award at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, which is voted for by the public.
HebCelt has been hailed as one of the UK’s top 50 festivals by the Daily Telegraph and one of the top five by The Scotsman.
The festival has its own YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter outlets.