In 1989, in concert with Recyc-Québec and Alcan (since become Rio Tinto Alcan),
the Festival implemented the first environmental actions in the events sector in
Montréal. Since 2002, we have carried out recycling in partnership with the Consortium Écho Logique—Rio Tinto
Alcan has been the sponsor since 2006. Together, we have established a pilot project
ensuring the evaluation of resources required on the site and in production offices—at
the time, this was a first in the large-scale events sector. We are very proud that
the system of integrated recovery of waste products generated by a festival attracting
over two million visitors serves today as the model for countless public events.
- Every year, on average, 27 tons of recyclable materials are treated on the
Festival site, including approximately 28% cardboard fibres, 30% plastic,
glass and metal and 6% wood.
- Food concession kiosks use biodegradable serviettes, glasses and plates made from
In 2010, the 19 tons of cardboard recovered allowed us to save 458 trees
from being cut down.
With the help of Rio Tinto Alcan, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
was one of the first large-scale North American events to become carbon neutral.
In 2008, the Festival participated in a project headed by Planetair. Established in collaboration with the Fonds
d’action québécois pour le développement durable (FAQDD),
the project in question allows us to establish a method
for calculating CO2 emissions at the Festival, aiming towards producing a guide,
information tools and training symposiums for the benefit of Quebec festivals seeking
to reduce their carbon footprint.
Developed by the Festival with the cooperation of the Fonds d’Action québécois pour
le développement durable (FAQDD) and Planetair, the tool for calculating CO2 emissions
is available free of charge to any event seeking to improve its green record.
The Festival perimeter is entirely carbon-neutral for the entire duration of the
event. Rio Tinto Alcan finances the purchase of offset credits, allowing the Festival
to neutralize the CO2 emissions generated by the entirety of Festival operations,
including artists’ travel, business travel by organizers, the movement of employees
during the Festival period, backup generators, the vehicle fleet, electricity consumption,
and artists’ lodging, etc.
Reduction at source
In addition to implementing concrete recycling actions, we increasingly invest our
efforts in reduction at source. A number of positive habits are already well established
in this domain:
- We have reduced the use of individual water bottles by opting for 18-litre water
containers in backstage areas and in the pressroom.
- Since 2004, measures implemented to reduce use at source have allowed us to decrease
waste by over one third.
- We advocate the use of internet documents for press conferences. We also make USB
keys available to journalists, who may also download information to their handheld
If placed end to end, the 30,734 500 ml bottles that the Festival
spared in 2011 would reach the same height as 22 Eiffel Towers.
Reuse and valorization
We have developed an exclusive range of eco-friendly products, including 100% recyclable
and reusable bags made of jute and polypropylene, as well as clothing made from
natural and recycled fibers that have been certified as environmentally sound.
We exclusively use hydroelectric power, which produces less pollution, for all our
developmental operations. Only emergency generators are powered by gas. In addition,
we make efforts to reduce nighttime and daytime illumination in order to minimize
our electricity consumption.
We recover rainwater to water a number of planters located on the site.
The representative of the maintenance team supported by the Consortium Écho-logique
meets with merchants on the Festival site to inform them on the recovery process.
For their part, the Écho-Scouade group crisscrosses the Festival site to sensitize
the public on the importance of waste recovery. In the Rio Tinto Alcan tent, a team
of certified presenters informs festival-goers on various environmental subjects,
from reuse to carbon neutrality.
Since the very beginning, the involvement of festival-goers and merchants in initiatives
proposed by the Festival has allowed us to divert over 200 tons of recoverable and
compostable waste from landfill sites.