The Fira Mediterrània compensates for its emissions of CO2 by collaborating in the environmental improvement of community centres in Catalonia.
The Fira has again calculated the size of the carbon footprint left by the last edition so that it can compensate for the emissions which it was unable to minimise.
The Fira would like to incorporate the 2030 Agenda into its events, thus contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and at the same time creating a connection between culture and sustainable development.
Fira Mediterrània de Manresa has again calculated the volume of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by its activities, in order to compensate for the emissions which it was unable to minimise and to help to reduce the volume of ‘greenhouse gases’. To perform the calculation, the Fira worked once more with Anthesis Lavola, a company specialising in the implementation of sustainability among different organisations. One of the company’s offices is in Catalonia. This year, the Fira has compensated for its emissions of greenhouse gases by collaborating in eleven environmental improvement projects in different community centres in Catalonia, through the Government of Catalonia’s Climatic Change Office. This collaboration is part of the Fira’s commitment to the environment. The Fira has received a certificate issued by the Catalan Climate Change Office —part of the Government of Catalonia’s Department for Climate Action, Food and the Rural Affairs— confirming that it has compensated for the emissions which it generated during the last Fira.
Actions to improve the environment
After carrying out the study, Anthesis Lavola calculated that the 25th Fira Mediterrània generated 99.05 tons of carbon dioxide. That figure was considerably higher than the 67 tons recorded for the previous year. The increase was due to the greater amount of travelling, which was, in turn, due to the recovery of the full programme (including the street activities) and to the attendance of visitors from abroad. Both the programme and the international attendance had been substantially reduced owing to the restrictions caused by the pandemic. To compensate for these emissions, the Fira contacted the Government of Catalonia’s Climatic Change Office, and, through the company SendeCO2, invested in projects in Catalan community centres included in the Bossa 2 of the voluntary programme of compensation for emissions. A total compensation of 100 GG (greenhouse gas) credits was effected, enough to compensate for the emission of 100 tons of carbon dioxide.
To simplify and rationalise the compensation system, ‘Bossa 2’ actions include projects in 11 community centres in Catalonia. In this way, when GG credits are obtained in this Programme, one is not acquiring credits for reducing emissions in one specific project, since it would be very difficult to balance the available tons with those required, but, instead, credits are obtained for a group of projects.
The actions consist of replacing certain installations by systems which are more compatible with a healthy environment, and which involve a reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Also included are two projects which, through charitable organisations, re-distribute food to help needy people. All of these contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
What is the origin of the greenhouse gases generated by the Fira?
63% of the emissions of greenhouse gases produced by the Fira are the result of travelling by professional people, journalists and artists. 49% of these people travelled to Manresa by road in private transport, 47% came by plane or ship, and only 5% travelled by public transport. 18% of the emissions were produced by the consumption of energy (electricity and ‘C’ grade heating oil for the equipment and generators which supply the areas in which the programmed activities take place). The overnight stays and the subsistence of the performing artists and the accredited specialists generated 16% of the emissions. Promotional materials such as banners, programme charts and merchandising bags generated 3% of the emissions.
Other actions to encourage sustainability
Fira Mediterrània de Manresa is aware that proposals in favour of sustainability are more necessary than ever. These actions are part of the efforts being made to incorporate the 2030 Agenda into the event and contribute to the achievement of the SDG by creating an area of connection between culture and sustainable development, beyond the climatic emergency and beyond the sustaining of the environment.
With this aim, every year since 2019 the artistic programme of Fira Mediterrània has brought to the table one of the 2030 Agenda’s SDGs. In 2019 it reflected about questions related to gender; in 2020, about cultural sustainability; in 2021, about the inalienable relationship between culture and education; and in 2022, several activities to encourage community involvement.
With its commitment to the environment, Fira Mediterrània implements other measures to be able to achieve a form of management that is the most sustainable and the most respectful of the environment. It therefore promotes sustainable means of transport for the professional people involved, the artists and the attending public; it has reduced the volume of printed material; it promotes the use of recycled, re-usable and minimally contaminant materials; it encourages recycling among the participating standholders; it works with local suppliers whenever possible; it evaluates users’ degree of satisfaction with its efforts in support of sustainability; it considers the challenges for society when designing the artistic programme, and, by means of incentives, it facilitates accessibility and the inclusion of communities which are at risk of exclusion from cultural activities – indeed, it recently created an easily accessible website.
An easily accessible website
On its 25th anniversary, the Fira Mediterrània has worked intensively on a complete internal and external re-organisation of its website, which is the principal means of access to information about the activity generated by the event, and indispensable in various participative processes (such as the submission of artistic proposals and the registration of specialists). The main aim has been to make access to the website easier for all its users, regardless of their capabilities (in other words, both for specialists and for the general public). This involved re-programming, using criteria of accessibility, and the updating of its design. Apart from making this informative tool easier to use, with these changes the Fira seeks to facilitate social inclusion and participation, to extend its reach and to offer services which, among other advantages, are more inclusive and more innovative.