Guide to organise sustainable events: mobility and transport

June 3, 2016 | Events

Generically, the main origin of emissions during an event comes from trips and logistics services, but also energy consumption at the venues and the technical equipment employed.

Logo_carbon neutral event_APDBased on a sustainable planning for the event, it is important for ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD) to study the location and the transportation connections to establish the different available options for the guests to attend. On occasion, if the chosen venue does not have good connections it might be feasible to seek other alternatives with better characteristics, but when this is not possible, the most opportune action is to improve mobility. Equally, efficient transportation of goods for the set-up and hosting of the event is paramount in this planning together with journeys within a large single event that has different sites separated by significant distances. In this sense, the agency must recognise and take advantage of all the possibilities offered by the existing infrastructures, facilitating and promoting sustainable mobility for all the players in the event: guests, organisers, suppliers, etc.

In summary, transportation or mobility associated with the event must be appraised from the following perspectives:

  • Journeys to and from the venue: undertaken by guests and those derived from the transportation of materials and logistics services.
  • Mobility within the venue.
  • Mobility infrastructure within the venue.

Good sustainable practices

  • Selection of venues well connected to the public transport network.
  • Reduction of the number of necessary journeys and their distances.
  • Offer guests information on available public transport and connections to reach the venue, accommodation, airport, train stations, etc.
  • Promote the use of collective transport.
  • Employ vehicles with increased energy efficient engines and fewer polluting emissions.
  • Guarantee that all individuals have access to all methods of transportation, selecting or recommending those with no accessibility barriers.
  • Provide the appropriate attention to event guests and/or participants, procuring their maximum level of satisfaction in relation to the activities carried out at the event.

Case study: Music Day


The 2012 edition of the Music Day was the first time a musical event was carbon neutral, as a result of its full commitment to sustainability, the collaboration of ACCIONA as a sustainable partner and the ambitious sustainable production plan envisioned by APD. On account of its environmental commitment, Music Day was internationally recognised with the EUBEA Award for the Best Sustainable Event in Europe.

Specifically, in relation to the present work area for this section of the guide, we wish to highlight the section related to the festival’s sustainable mobility, celebrated at Matadero Madrid, for which APD carried out several actions to reduce CO2 emissions at organisation and external levels, that is, directed at the guests to the event:

  • Production vehicles: efficient vehicles were provided for the sustainable internal mobility of the Production Team. To this end, a collaboration agreement was made with BMW, who provided the organisation with several vehicles. In addition, an agreement was also made with Car Sharing Respiro, who facilitated a “zero footprint” vehicle as Respiro annually compensates its CO2 emissions. An electric car was also available.
  • Internal mobility for personnel: promotion of sustainable mobility within the Production Team inside the venue, which consisted of 8 bicycles to be used internally by the workers.
  • Bicycle use for guests: in respect of external mobility for guests, the use of bicycles was promoted from the event’s website and its social media channels. To make it even easier, a bicycle parking area was setup at Paseo de la Chopera, next to the main access to the event.
  • Promotion of shared vehicles: to promote the use of collective transport for guests an agreement was made with by Comuto.
  • Information on public transport to attend the event: the different information channels for the event offered information on how to attend the festival venue using collective public transport.