Music Festivals are going GREEN

BY Rebecca Randles ON 20th May 2015.

The Balélec music festival in Lausanne Switzerland has recently become certified in ISO 20121; for event sustainability management, this ISO will enable the event organisers to identify the damaging environmental impacts of the festival and help them to moderate it.

The Balélec festival takes place once a year, in the month of May. With a capacity of 15,000 festival-goers and hosts over 30 concerts, all in one evening. The festival is a non-profit event and managed by a committee of 50 volunteers, primarily students.

In 2007 Balélec became the first Swiss music festival to implement ISO 14001 (the environmental management standard; for any company concerned with reducing its carbon footprint, and improving waste management). This resulted in the festival obtaining reusable cups and dishes, refundable public transport and pocket ashtrays. Due to the committee organisers looking to continually improve the existing management system, they decided to implement ISO 20121.


Miriel Steudler, Quality Manager for the festival talks about the main results and impact…

“The organising committee changes every year. The standard forces us to endorse certain procedures, which facilitate the change and help everyone quickly find the right information and meet objectives. The standard’s PDCA (plan, do, check, act) structure also means there is a common thread linking one edition with the next and helps us improve as we go along.

The main environmental impacts we face are waste, sanitation and noise. In terms of our social impacts, we work to keep the communication and collaboration flowing between the EPFL and its neighbours. As for the economic aspects, we focus on keeping our sponsors happy and ensuring our partners get a reasonable return on investment.”


For more information on Environmental standards such as ISO 14001 please email: