Despite a drastic slowdown of the Events Industry due to the recent pandemic, global industry analysts foresee a rapid recovery and growth in the coming years both in terms of number of events and market value.
Meanwhile, sustainability awareness in the Events Industry has been growing and consolidating on a global scale, especially in the music and sports events segments that are mostly characterized by 1) temporary installations, 2) high number of participants and 3) presence of side activities.
Considering all the stakeholders involved and all the activities taking place during the Pre-Event, Event and Post-Event phases, 4 main sources of sustainability impact can be identified:
- Logistics, which includes stage set-up and dismantling activities as well as displacement of people (i.e., artists/players, entourage, staff, visitors, etc.) and goods;
- Energy, which includes activities related to on-site energy generation (e.g., diesel generators);
- Waste management, which includes set-up and dismantling activities (cables, clamps, etc.), food and drink, merchandising, packaging;
- Water consumption, which includes water use for public toilets and dispensers.
Music events show the most maturity and attention to sustainability issues, especially thanks to the growing sensitivity of some artists and groups.
- According to the Tyndall Centre's Super-Low Carbon Live Music research – commissioned by UK band Massive Attack to set out specific targets and roadmaps for music events to tackle climate change – logistics and energy are priorities in achieving these goals.
- Founded in 2004, non-profit organisation Reverb partners with musicians (incl. Maroon 5, Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, etc.), festivals and venues to minimize the environmental impact of concert events, from eliminating single-use water bottles to coordinating local farm food to fueling sustainable biodiesel in tour buses to composting and donating food waste, etc. Thanks to its Music Climate Revolution campaign, Reverb has supported more than 350 events, enabling the use of 950,000 gallons of biodiesel for tour fleets and more than 287,000 tonnes of CO2 savings.
- Coldplay's 2022 world tour (Music of the Spheres) is another best practice in the music segment, offering multiple insights into the endless possibilities of integrating sustainability without negatively impacting the quality of the event.
Carbon neutrality commitments and ambitions are also growing in major sports events:
- The Paris 2024 Olympics aims to be the first sporting event with a positive impact.
- Formula 1 has announced that it intends to achieve a Net-Zero target by 2030.
- The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040 after signing up to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.
Despite the growing focus on climate change and the diffusion of sustainability-driven pilots and tests in recent events, the industry is still lacking consolidated technologies and solutions to be implemented on a wide scale. All these features make music and sport events a fertile ground for sustainable innovation.
Enel X is searching for solutions that can enrich its current value proposition with innovative solutions granting added value to customers. Indeed, Enel X’s ambition is to become a sustainability enabler and partner for Event organizers, developing a package of sustainable solutions addressing and mitigating the sustainability impact of the Events Industry while enhancing its accessibility.
Starting from the 4 main critical sources of sustainability impact identified in the previous section, Enel X's interest is to explore potential innovative ideas addressing criticalities related to logistics and energy:
- Logistics – Enel X is looking for sustainable mobility solutions to reduce the carbon footprint related to visitors/ fans, staff and suppliers' logistics and improve events accessibility for people with disabilities and impairments;
- Energy – Enel X is looking for sustainable energy solutions to reduce the carbon footprint mostly related to the dependency on diesel generators.
Note: Waste management and water consumption are out of scope for this Challenge.
To better understand the breadth of opportunities within the scope of this Challenge, Coldplay’s world tour could be taken as a best practice, given its great ambition in terms of climate neutrality as well as its tangible and innovative solutions implemented during the whole tour, despite the multiple locations and the large number of participants. Below are some examples of solutions that may clarify what Enel X considers within scope for this Challenge. When we speak of solutions, these are to be understood as both hardware and software innovations.
- Travels & Logistics:
- Software and apps to manage, plan and optimize the movements of the entourage, organizers, staff and artists during the event (optimization of routes, reduction in the number of journeys, integration with zero impact vehicles);
- Green vehicles that can be used during the event to move staff, artists and event participants (e.g. scooters, bicycles, electric vehicles, etc.).
- Plug-and-play, mobile systems for on-site generation of energy from renewable sources (e.g., modular solar systems, kinetic energy solutions such as floor tiles, bicycles etc.);
- Battery systems to be connected with on-site generation plants; any other solution that avoids the use of diesel generators.
Note: The examples are not binding or exhaustive and are only for illustrative purposes to better frame and guide the Challenge.
Submissions must address the following Solution Requirements.
- Solutions must be applicable to at least one of the target countries (focus is EU/LATAM/US), and compliant with specific local public administration requirements and regulations;
- Technology readiness level (TLR) ≥ 3.
The submitted proposal should include the following:
- Detailed description of the proposed approach, including (but not limited to):
- Technical specifications of the system;
- Description of the activities required and an estimate of the cost for installation and integration;
- Any evidence for the application and existing use cases;
- Advantages and potential weaknesses of the proposed solution.
- Data, journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solution.
Enel X may wish to partner with the Solver at the conclusion of the Challenge. Solvers should describe their expertise and include a statement indicating their interest in this opportunity.
The proposal should not include any personal identifying information (name, username, company, address, phone, email, personal website, resume, etc.) or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property they do not want to share.
This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world:
- SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
- SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation;
- SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
- SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.