Since its inception in 2008, BusinessGreen has been at the forefront of championing sustainable business practices. Riding on the waves of their triumphant Net Zero Now campaign, they unveiled the Net Zero Festival in 2020. Despite the world grappling with a pandemic, this festival quickly turned into a digital sensation and has since returned to a physical form.
In 2023 as the UK's green economy continues to thrive, the Festival aimed to connect business magnates, activists, and politicians by showcasing an impressive roster of over 80 exhibitors, each charting paths to rapid net zero transitions. Attendees had the privilege of navigating various platforms, immersed in motivational dialogues, actionable insights, industry networking, and standout showcases—all tailored to underscore commitment to a net zero future.
With an engaged audience onsite, the festival had to uphold all its values in every action it took when building the festival itself. And as an integral part of sustainability, integrating social value was just as important as environmental damage mitigation. Commissioned for a special project, Event Cycle worked with the festival to produce a socially impactful and sustainable logo wall.
Conceived by Event Cycle and brought to life by SHED OXFORD Community Workshop and Little A.R. K. the feature wall, as you entered the Net Zero Festival, was created with sustainability and social impact in mind at every step.
The sturdy frame was shaped by the dedicated hands at SHEDOXFORD Community Workshop, an organisation uplifting men grappling with mental health challenges. Crafted from easily recyclable metals, the main frame structure will be reused year on year at the event before being considered for repurposing, and at the last resort recycling, once it has reached its end of life.
The fabric, intricately intertwined onto the wall, holds a story of its own. Weaved meticulously with discarded event graphics, it’s the handiwork of the women from Little A.R.K. This vibrant community stands as a beacon for single mothers, women from restrictive religious backgrounds, refugees, and young adults. By teaching them about reuse, Little A.R.K. not only imparts crucial life skills but also offers a much-needed additional source of income.
All of the fabric strips and flowers were prepared by the Little A.R.K. community before being brought onsite and the fabric was collected by Event Cycle as part of their work to reduce waste in the events industry. The weights to hold the wall down safely are also made of stuffed bags of fabric and silicone strips leftover from discarded graphic displays.
And where did this all happen? In a Kingston upcycling centre of course. Kindly hosting us to create this masterpiece Save the World Club has a wonderful warehouse they were kind enough to let us use. When they’re not helping us out they can be found diverting items and food from landfills, upcycling them and providing food to vulnerable groups.
Long live the wall
As well as recycling the metal at the very end of the structure’s life, the fabric won’t go to waste either. Once Net Zero Festival is finished with the wall in a few year’s time, Event Cycle will come back in to remove the fabric to create draught excluders for those who find it difficult to keep the heat in their homes during winter. A truly sustainable and social wall.
Keeping carbon down where we can
To transport the wall, Event Cycle were not able to use electric vans as a Luton sized vehicle was required, these do exist in electric form but are few and far between. Fossil fuel powered or not, Event Cycle tracked every mile moved by the wall in a carbon calculator and offset the travel using Earthly.
Want to actively support local communities and incorporate social initiatives into your next event? Think feature walls, experiences and educational elements, all involving local communities and charities.