Sustainability & Architecture

Architecture, the labyrinth and a low impact on the environment

Low impacts

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.

In 2016 we’ve started a long term partnership with EticaSGR, focusing on waste, supplies, energy, water and transports. The first year focus has been on waste: litter produced during the event, set up and dismantling operations. A 360° integrated waste management system has been implemented to reduce it and differentiate it. In 2017 the recycling areas at the festival increased from 34 to 54; recycled waste increased from 44% to 50%. The fourth edition focused on reducing our energy consumptions through the collaboration with Liter Of Light – we built a low impact lightening system for our camping, using recycled materials and powered by solar energy. Since 2016 portable ashtrays have been distributed to campers as well as biological soaps. All our dinnerware and cups are biodegradable.

In 2018 the focus has been on mobility focusing on sustainable ways of reaching the festival such as bikes and carpooling. In 2019 we’ve introduced durable cups and suppressed all plastic bottles, this actions allowed us to save 200 kg of plastic waste. In 2019 we’ve reduced our general waste of 35% and increased the separate waste collection of 84%. In terms of mobility between 2018 and 2019 we’ve increasingly used electric cars both for the staff, artists transports and shuttles to the festival, saving over 650kg of CO2.

The labyrinth

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.

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 and the workshop area, which have been the festival’s icons until 2017. In occasion of the festival’ sixth edition, the structures will be 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. 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.

Greener festival
In 2019 Terraforma has been awarded by the non profit organisation A Greener Festival for the commitment to reduce its environmental impacts, being the first Italian festival amongst the improvers.

Our Sustainability Report can be downloaded HERE.