Architecture, the labyrinth and a low impact on the environment
One of the main goals of the organisation is to restore Villa Arconati historic garden. From 2016, we started a 3 years program in collaboration with Borotalco, aiming to restore from scratch an historical Labyrinth, which was presumed to be present in the 18th century. The project, developed by Fosbury Architecture follows a series of antiques drawings by Marc’ Antonio Dal Re. The project has been completed in 2018 – the Labyrinth now features 500 specimens of Carpinus Betulus, mingling with the local flora.
The focus on sustainability is at the core of Terraforma. Following the three-years project of restoration of the Labyrinth, Terraforma develops a biennial project of reforestation of the camping area, in collaboration with Borotalco. The project designed by Space Caviar, is inspired by the schemes of the architect Cesare Leonardi, author of “The Architecture of Trees”, in which he examines trees configurations in relation to their shade. More than 100 trees will be planted, taking a cue from the iconic performance by Joseph Beuys, whom in 1982 planted 7000 oaks with the community of Kassel in Germany. The planting intervention aims to be a moment of sharing and active involvement of the territory, the team and partners. The intervention will also be part of the project of neutralization of emissions and its compensation through reforestation on the territory.
Furthermore, we act proactively towards the safeguard of the territory by implementing an extensive gardening project through land recovery, grey water collection and extensive cleaning procedures. Thanks to the engagement of a team of tree climbers, we also trimmed over 60 centennial trees in order to secure about two hectares of the forest.
Our sustainability approach is also reflected in our architectural model. In the past years, we engaged with our community, involving young professional architects such as Fosbury Architecture, Studio Zarcola, and Studio Petrucci to develop our distinctive facilities, mostly made out of wood. Two examples are the triangular main stage called the Alpha Stage designed by Matteo Petrucci, and the workshop area, which has been the festival’s icon until 2017. Another distinctive aspect of our approach consists in the engagement of students from the Politecnico di Milano and young professionals, who are invited every year to take part in formative workshops and assist the architects in the building processes.
From 2020 the structures are designed by Joseph Grima, Space Caviar. Our approach is to minimize the impact of our building operations, as all the excess materials are reused to create secondary facilities such as tables, benches, bins, sinks, and showers.
In 2022, the studio designed the new Vaia Stage, named after the extreme weather event that occurred in 2018 in some north-eastern regions of Italy, with wind gusts of over 200 km/h. About 42.500 hectares of forest were destroyed by the storm’s devastating force. The stage is entirely built out of wood from trees felled by the Vaia storm in order to help the community make use of the vast amount of lumber they have invested in removing from the mountains before it rots.
Terraforma aims to overcome the traditional events management approach, by developing an organizational model able to measure, report and reduce its impacts in terms of waste, mobility, energy and water consumption on nature and its resources.
Regarding waste, Terraforma aims to reduce the amount of litter generated per capita and increase the rate of separate collection in order to boost recyclability. In order to achieve these results, several actions have been implemented to raise awareness on this topic such as:
- Recycling stations;
- Green stewards
- Durable cups
- 100% biodegradable Dinnerware and cups
- Plastic free supplies policies for all beverage products
- No straws policy
Thanks to the commitment of all our community, in 2019 we have been able to reduce by 35% the litter generated per person and reach an overall recyclability rate of 84%. Furthermore, following the introduction of durable cups and banning the use of straws, we have been able to avoid around 170 kg of plastic waste.
MOBILITY AND TRANSPORTATION
Mobility and transportation emissions are one of the highest impacts of a festival. As a result, we act proactively to try to reduce the impact generated both internally and by our visitors. Internally we provide our staff with electric car and vans to manage their movements and those of the artists involved. In 2018 and 2019 the total electric fleet made about 5200 km in total, avoiding an estimated emission rate of 650 kg/CO2.
On the other hand, awareness-raising campaigns are promoted to incentive our visitors to use sustainable solutions to reach our festival. We guarantee free shuttles from the local train stations to the villa to those who decide to use the train to reach the area as well as promote car-sharing and carpooling options. We also conduct a series of questionnaires to assess the effectiveness of our campaigns and estimate the 98% of people using each different way of reaching us. In 2019 we estimated that about 28% of our visitors reached us by train and each car was occupied by an average of 3 people travelling together.
Our policy on energy consumption aims to constantly improve our efficiency, despite the challenging environment in which we operate. We developed and built a low impact lightening system for our campsite. using recycled materials and powered entirely by solar energy, while the light design of all areas is planned following a low impact approach where the majority of bulbs and lights are either LED or low voltage.
Great attention is also addressed to water consumption, especially in regard to our campsite. where we host more than 2000 visitors every year.In 2018, we adopted a specific water control system to allow us to reduce the amount of water used by each individual. Thanks to an awareness-raising campaign and the use of self-closing valves (for showers and sinks), we have been able to effectively reduce the amount of water consumed up to 56 litres per person: a 5% improvement compared to the 2017 edition, but also a much lower rate than the average daily domestic consumption which is estimated to be more than double the figure.
Ecoevents, in partnership with Legambiente, is a certification that helps seizing the the opportunity for a green evolution, every event becomes truly efficient and capable of strategically reconcile the goals of success, respect for the environment and society. Terraforming is the theoretical process in which life on a planet becomes possible through the creation of an atmosphere. Terraforma is the manifesto of the belief that new dimensions can now be Terraformed: it starts in the woods of Villa Arconati and it expands through the architectural approach, the artistic and creative actions, finally to the community of Terraformers.
A Greener Festival is a not-for-profit company, committed to helping events, festivals and venues around the world to become more sustainable and to reduce environmental impacts. As pioneers in event sustainability since the first research in 2005, AGF provide certification, training, expertise, and facilitate the exchange of best practice.AGF provide the first and only sustainable event certification which includes on site assessment and independent verification. Through self assessment, site visit assessment and post event analysis across 11 categories, we provide thorough and useful analysis, insight and credentials for your events sustainability actions.