Dekmantel | Sustainability
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Sustainability at Dekmantel

Our unconditional passion for music has shaped our festivals and record label into what they are known for today. Now, it's time to look ahead. In the coming years, we want to work towards becoming an engine for positive change in the festival industry, advocating for both the protection of the planet and people. This is why we do not only focus on reducing our CO2-Footprint through mobility adaptations and an elaborate resource plan, but also make investments aimed at inspiring the change we hope to achieve. We see this pledge as a starting point that we hope to look back on in a couple of years with pride.

Creating awareness and inspiring change

Our operations involve numerous stakeholders – first and foremost, a large number of festival visitors, but also artists, municipalities, and other organizations within and outside of our industry. We seek to raise awareness from within our community to beyond with these projects:

• An annual impact report: this does not only visualize and demonstrate our impact, but it also enforces transparency about what we want to achieve and how we do it. The first of this series of reports is currently in the making, and will be available through this website in early 2024.

• Initiatives to share knowledge: by organizing and participating in panels, sharing information through our channels and giving workshops, we want to let others be a part of our progress. In the future, we want to work towards sharing concrete wins and examples of less successful initiatives, and demonstrate that much can be achieved through trial and error.

• Partnerships & collaborations with a cause: we believe in actively enforcing change through partnerships with other industry stakeholders, as well as collaborations with (grassroots) organizations that have a shared goal, to multiply our impact.

• Establishing lasting political relationships: we’re motivated to actively enter into conversations with interest groups and activists around Het Twiske, and contribute to the sharing of knowledge with local municipalities. We are convinced that a mutual understanding between policymakers and cultural organizations like us is essential to preserving the sector for future generations.

Mobility measures

When it comes to lowering our environmental impact, the greatest gains can be achieved by reducing flights. This remains a challenge, because we also see the cultural value in connecting our public with artists from local scenes and beyond. Having said that, we want to reduce our collective carbon footprint as much as possible. We started to compensate all crew and artists’ flights in a credible and structural way in 2019 and we’re continuing to do so via Atmosfair. In the coming years, we will work towards:

• Creating awareness about mobility matters: we aim to motivate our partners, visitors and employees to reconsider their choice for transport and push them towards greener alternatives, aiming to reduce the total amount of flights.

• Actively promoting CO2-offsetting for those who cannot avoid air travel, as well as providing relevant information and easy options to do so, e.g. through our ticket shops (festival visitors) and contracts (artists and employees).

• Intensifying the current policy of enthusing local visitors to come to the festival using green modes of transport, i.e. bicycle or public transport.

Resource management

The aim of our waste management plan is to further minimize our environmental footprint by targeting all raw materials, including plastics, energy, wood, metal, paper, scenery, packaging materials and food and drinks in our food court. Besides our main priority of waste separation and reduction of plastic disposables, we are tackling the following issues:

• Monitor, report and optimize: we’re mapping out incoming and outgoing material flows in resource reports for next year’s events, giving us more insight into main impact areas and how to improve upon these. For instance, the impact of facilities can be monitored more efficiently, and adjusted where necessary. Taking these insights into account in initial decisions on the types of (decoration) materials, packaging options and the supply of disposables, will ultimately aid our mission of reducing waste.

• Convert waste flows into raw materials as much as possible: we believe that a more circular approach is key in resource management. While materials such as plastic, paper and glass can already be recycled reasonably well in the Netherlands, the processing of organic waste is still tricky (compostable packaging cannot be absorbed into a high-quality compost, and waste processors often reject it). We started composting our foodcourt's leftover materials on-site in 2022, turning scraps and biodegradable tableware into nutrient-rich compost in a mere 24 hours. After Lente Kabinet, we donated the compost to a local farmer. After Dekmantel Festival, we started a research project with the municipality to investigate whether the compost can be used as ground enrichment – helping the grass of the Amsterdamse Bos to recover faster.

• Reduce energy consumption: in 2016, we organized the first major festival in the Netherlands with a completely climate-neutral energy supply through the use of 100% renewable biofuel, and we didn’t stop there. We achieved a reduction of 47% of our energy consumption within the first year of the smart power plan that we set up in collaboration with ZAP concepts, and we’re determined to invest in further improvements, such as a fixed power grid at het Twiske.

Preserving nature

We believe that the areas we briefly inhabit each year should remain accessible before, during and after our festivals to those who seek a balance between recreational activities, peace, quiet and nature. Therefore, we continue to delve into new ways of ensuring that our events are never at the expense of nature. We do so through these efforts:

• Collaborating with an independent eco-consultancy: TAUW advises us in various ecological matters, such as annual examinations of our festival’s impact and extensive research into the protection of local flora and fauna, in the context of the Wnb (Dutch Nature Conservation Act). These investigations are taking place during the entirety of the event (before and during construction, after the event) and are supervised by an independent ecologist.

• Giving back to nature: we have always felt the desire to contribute to the beautiful and green environment in the Twiske, and in 2020, we had the chance to donate several pear trees of the Pyrus Calleryana Chanticleer variety. This tree produces stunning white, eye-catching blossoms in spring (very attractive to bees and other insects!). Recreationists and festival visitors alike can watch these beautiful ornamental trees grow over the coming years, and we’re eager to invest in similar afforestation initiatives.

• Exploring generator-independence: because a grid connection would further reduce emissions, we’re currently researching the possibilities of fixed, renewable power grids for our events.

• Avoiding nitrogen emissions: we don’t want to burden the nitrogen-sensitive nature in the protected natural areas around us, and through numerous innovative interventions, we have been meeting strict nitrogen emission regulations since 2019. For Lente Kabinet, nitrogen emission is 0.00 MOL per year.