Sustainability and responsible conduct at Project PQ
In 2022 the Fonds Daku (performing arts funding programme financed by the German Federal Government) awarded me a research grant relating to sustainability in the events industry. Environmental protection and sustainability are very important to me as a performer, artist and director of Project PQ, and I have given a great deal of thought to how I can best put them into practice with Project PQ in the field of events and entertainment. I consider the three-pillar model to be the most appropriate option.
According to this model, sustainability rests on three pillars that together form a holistic concept and should underpin every stage of the process.
Ecology: environmental awareness, conservation of resources and environmental offsetting
Economy: economical use of resources and energy because it saves money
Social component: a fair, respectful approach to colleagues and business partners, promotion of social projects, human resource development within your own sphere of influence.
The following principles are already standard practice at Project PQ: waste avoidance, vegan catering, keeping travelling distances to a minimum and ride-sharing, green electricity on office premises, use of recycled paper, offsetting of CO2 emissions for print orders, economical use of energy, solar power for heating water, avoidance of cheap products, repair instead of disposal, a fair, respectful approach to team members, colleagues and business partners. I donate to Sea Shepered and new sustainable initiatives such as those published on the Startnext website.
Good guidance can be found in the Eco Rider of the Bundesverband der Darstellenden Künste (German Federal Association of the Performing Arts). The Eco Rider can be downloaded here. The energy agencies of the various federal states offer informations for event organisers. Guidelines for events can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the energy agency RLP. The Bundesumweltamt (German Federal Environment Agency) also publishes a very informative website with free downloads for events.
One focus of my research has been on offsetting CO2 emissions. There are a large number of service providers and qualitative differences. In order to calculate and offset my own consumption, I have opted for a non-profit organisation that carries out CO2 offsetting in Germany. With the help of For Tomorrow, I have calculated my own carbon footprint.
Over the past two years, my sustainability efforts have been thwarted by the Covid pandemic. I am currently not in a position to offset my CO2 emissions financially, as the market conditions do not yet make this feasible. I would welcome government incentives for offsetting in the form of tax benefits, for example, so that businesses can stay competitive. The importance and significance of such measures for our future are widely acknowledged, but unfortunately there are no concrete guidelines and consequently the field is still too abstract.
In the course of my research, I have spoken to people who are already working on this topic and have initiated projects. Performing for Future provides a network and platform for sharing information on Facebook. Another valuable source of information is the Wiki collection on the theatre and sustainability. In addition, a list of links to assist with sustainable procurement can be found on the Fundus Nachhaltigkeit website.
Sustainability is all about acting responsibly in your everyday work environment and making gradual improvements. Enhancing your own sustainability also means raising awareness among other people. It’s a question of motivating others and using your own sphere of influence to reinforce awareness of sustainability. As a self-employed performer, I only have limited means at my disposal for organising my own work activities in a sustainable manner, but I have a vast sphere of influence that is not to be underestimated. Art and culture have a lot to do with visions, contacts and communication. You meet people from all walks of life. This creates regular opportunities for raising awareness of the issue. For me, the road to sustainability starts by rethinking every single step I take. Everything needs to be viewed in a new light and assessed in terms of sustainability. This is a life maxim, and since my career as a self-employed performer is an all-important part of my life, it is a fundamental way of thinking that pervades every aspect of my being and is therefore highly effective. I certainly intend to pursue this topic further and actively work on my sustainability process. What about you?
Do you have questions to this topic? Or are you looking for an exchange? Send me an Email or call me.
Funded by the Performing Arts Fund with funds from the Federal Government Commission for Culture and Media as part of the new culture program.