The Edinburgh Festivals are committed to minimising their impact on the environment and continue to work both jointly and independently to achieve this.  Our robust sustainability plan details the actions that we will be taking up until 2030 across all our areas of work – Edinburgh Science Festival, Learning, Worldwide and other activities.

Environmental Policy

  • Report our UK and Worldwide emissions both separately and together, each year*
  • Support our staff to make carbon-conscious choices through initiatives such as providing carbon literacy training
  • Carbon Reduction Targets
  • Decreasing our office and warehouse (scope 1 & 2) emissions by 75% by 2030, and reaching Net Zero by 2040
  • By continuing to use renewable energy suppliers and working with our landlord to find a sustainable heating solution
  • Reducing our transport emissions from business travel within the UK and other countries by 70% by 2030 through prioritising low carbon travel methods
  • Continuing to prioritise public transport and cycling where possible
  • Phasing in rented electric vehicles for our Generation Science tours, and other business travel, as they become available, with the aim of a fully electric rented fleet by 2033
  • Reducing our flight miles by 33% by 2030
  • Reducing our footprint* from food, materials and freight by 2030
  • By identifying a more circular approach to materials use, choosing sustainable food providers, and using sea cargo over air freight

What we do already


  • We design many of our Festival props and display equipment to support re-use of materials. For example, our wooden exhibition display casing has a long lifespan and has already been used 3 times; our Consumed exhibition 2022 used mainly second-hand materials.
  • With e-tickets, the festival is paperless where possible. We have reduced the number of programmes that we print, sourcing Fsc approved and recyclable paper for all printed material.


  • We encourage sustainable travel by festival participants and guests – working with Lothian Busses to achieve this
  • We promote a hybrid model, reducing commuting carbon by welcoming home-working
  • We use shipping rather than air freight where event timelines allow
  • We have reduced our flight volume to our international sister festival, the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, by 20%. We will continue to look at ways to reduce air mileage, and commit to offset any unavoidable flight emissions
  • We avoid internal flights where a train can get us there in a day and no longer pay for internal flights for our speakers and performers unless it is an accessibility requirement


  • We have already transferred energy supplier for our offices and warehouses to Good Energy, meaning that all the electricity we use is accounted for by renewable generation
  • We sort 100% of recyclable waste in our office