28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
With the climate collapse imminent, we are aware that sustainability is essential for the future of all of us. Acting sustainably, rather than to the detriment of future generations or other people, is to take collective responsibility, and this also applies to the Ji.hlava IDFF. We are gradually introducing social, environmental and economic sustainability measures into our work, the organisation of the festival and all our activities throughout the year.
Striving for greater sustainability is not new to us - we are now in our fifth or sixth year of actively seeking new solutions and improving in this area. We reflect this in our production, partnerships as well as towards festival participants.
In 2023, we have identified a number of priority areas to address as part of our environmental agenda: waste, mobility, food, energy and collaboration:
- Food: Recognising the importance of the topic of food and its connection to regional resources, we are working with sustainable food ambassador, journalist Petra Pospěchová. Together we have prepared the Inspiration Forum programme - a debate on the possibilities of localism, a sustainable cooking show and a number of other complementary events. However, we also reflected the theme of food in the organisation and production of the whole festival, including the preparation of meat-free and local catering and cooperation with local restaurants. We are trying to motivate them to use local ingredients from the Vysočina region when creating the festival menu.
We made a map where visitors could find a list of restaurants that cook vegan or vegetarian dishes. In addition, for last year's edition we prepared an original recipe, which visitors could use to remind themselves of the festival mood at home after the event. Those who like to bring gifts back from the festival were delighted with special edible merch. This included renowned regional honey, jam, tea and juices. We started from the principle that it is always better to taste regional treasures than to produce more waste.
- Waste: We work with utilities, the municipal council and local waste processors. Our aim is to reduce waste production by 10% each year. For example, we want to prevent waste by using reusable crockery wherever possible. And because waste is not only what we sort, but the topic also affects wastewater, we have decided to use eco-friendly cleaning products from Tierra Verde to put as little burden as possible on the ecosystem. When buying merch, we prioritize products without unnecessary packaging. After purchasing, festival goers could take them in their own bag instead of another disposable one. Last year, they could also enjoy original creations and take away original merchandising pieces made from previous years' festival materials.
- Energy: Although we are dependent on the cinema’s energy suppliers and those of other festival venues, we take responsibility for saving and reducing our consumption. We carefully monitor energy before and after the event and try to manage more efficiently based on the data. We do not shine lights where they are not necessary, we do not overheat the spaces, and as a result we reduced energy consumption by tens of percent compared to previous years.
- Transport: Also in 2023, we cooperated with public transportation authority in Jihlava and as a result accredited festival participants could use it for free. All they needed to do is to have a valid accreditation. In addition, we also encourage the use of public transport, such as buses and trains, for convenient travel to and from Jihlava. To provide transportation for guests, we have reduced our car fleet size by sharing or switching to renting electric cars from our partners. We continued our cooperation with Nextbike bike sharing and festival visitors had the first 15 minutes of the ride free; even 30 minutes to selected festival venues.
- Collaboration: At the Inspiration Forum we discuss sustainability issues as well as share experiences with other festivals in during the Industry programme every year. In previous years we have opened up pressing economic development topics such as degrowth and last year the Inspiration Forum theme intertwined water, drought and food and many other global issues in a local context. Thanks to other collaborations, we also built more sustainable guest service counters that we can use repeatedly and avoid disposable equipment. We believe that together with other festivals we can act together towards sustainability.
In 2023 we have added many new features in our environmental agenda, thus building up on what has already been done in previous years.
Environmental ombudsperson and the sustainability implementation team:
As of 2019, Environmental ombudsperson is at the core of the festival team. In 2023, Sonia Klepek Jonášová has taken on this position, helping us to best implement the individual measures of the social, environmental and economic sustainability agenda and to set out the important steps well.
The festival buffets and refreshments served at festival events, as well as the catering for the staff, are vegetarian and the ingredients are sourced from local suppliers. We are very happy that every year we manage to establish cooperation with local suppliers who regularly supply us with Czech wine, beer, whisky and more.
Paper and printing
We have cut down on the number and quantity of festival printed materials, flyers, etc. At the same time, we use recycled and recyclable paper wherever possible and look for the best alternatives for each printed material. We do not print on chemically bleached papers. We sort the paper so it can be reused.
Starting with the 26th festival edition we re-use festival passes from previous years. Visitors can reuse their passes from previous years and a label will be attached to them at the accreditation desk for this year’s festival edition. This will reduce the production of single-use festival passes. At the end of your stay, you can either keep your festival pass for next year or return it to the Accreditation Centre.
Transport and its monitoring
For many years we have been limiting individual transport by private cars. We make the most use of public transport by surface transport for festival guests and the festival team. We use minivans and larger cars to make the movement of guests to/from the festival more efficient. For transportation from larger cities, we recommend much more economical public transport for guests.
Instead of cars with combustion engines, we prefer electric cars. This year we have acquired two electric cars for our team and we want to increase their number in the future.
We are monitoring the mode of transport that the guests and visitors use to get to/from Ji.hlava in order to determine the overall carbon footprint of the festival. The energy and food consumption is quantifiable by our own means, but we need the help of visitors with the information regarding transportation.
We have arranged free public transport in Jihlava for all accredited visitors. In cooperation with Next Bike bike sharing, we offer free bike transport around the city for the first 15 minutes.
During the 23rd edition of Ji.hlava we planted an orchard with 23 trees and since then we have planted one new tree every year.
Electricity instead of diesel
We are now using electricity in the refreshment zone in front of DKO instead of diesel generators, which are usually used in similar one-off zones.
Waste sorting and recovery
We have reduced the quantity of waste that the festival produces. We carefully segregate all waste not only during the festival but also in the year-round office operations.
We encourage stallholders at the festival to reduce disposable packaging, sort leftover vegetables and fruit into brown bins for compostable waste and other waste for reuse. We do not use disposable plastic straws.
We continue to look for the best alternatives for beverage and food packaging.
If you have any questions or ideas for improvement please contact email@example.com.
This project was co-funded by the European Union’s Single Market Programme.