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NIFFF 2021 : A ROAD MAP TOWARD A MORE SUSTAINABLE FESTIVAL

For its 20th edition (July 2–10), the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) is implementing a new strategy to minimise its impact on the environment. Designed around a 5-year sustainability plan, the strategy highlights the NIFFF’s willingness to reduce its carbon footprint and to become part of an environmentally responsible partner network. This project is a direct result of the audit done during the 2019 edition by the Swiss Summit Foundation, which is already monitoring the festival’s progress. 

Supported by the Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise (BCN), a long-term partner of the festival, this sustainability plan concerns all sectors of the event: from energy to waste, to transports, to food and drinks, and even to the social aspects of the NIFFF. We want to answer the legitimate concerns of our audience, the youngest among all Swiss festivals.

A ROAD MAP FOR THE NEXT EDITIONS

After the audit performed by the Summit Foundation in 2019, the organisers set up a series of objectives relating to the most important domains in order to reduce their carbon footprint. From 2021 to 2025, each edition will add five measures impacting five different dimensions of the environment: transports, waste, food and drinks, energy and infrastructures, and even things related to social events. An evolutive road map, regularly reviewed by the Summit Foundation, will be used.

Among the first measures are the switch to the green electricity from our partner Viteos, a Neuchâtel-based energy provider working on renewable energy.

Many short-term promotional projects will cease to take place, while an ambitious recycling and upcycling project will focus on the festival’s archives. Food and drinks offerings will give priority to local produce and develop vegetarian options.

Viteos installation on the banks of the Areuse.

MESURES TAKEN

  • Switch to the green electricity of Viteos
  • PVC tarps and short-term roll-ups will no longer be produced
  • Transformation of previous editions’ materials into reusable signage, in collaboration with Backstage MusicWear 
  • Upcycling of textile archives by Anaïs Surmely, stylist and cofounder of the Biel/Bienne-based brand ninn
  • Reduction of meat-based food offered by the festival stands and by the internal catering service
  • Procurement of beers, wines, and non-alcoholic beverages from Swiss brands only
  • Reduction of the number of printed materials
  • More efficient management of the festival’s digital archives and improvement of digital tools

T-shirts of the previous editions of the NIFFF transformed into schunchies by ninn.

PVC fabric from previous editions of the NIFFF transformed into a backpack by Backstage Music Wear.

PVC fabric from previous editions of the NIFFF transformed into a bucket cap by Backstage Music Wear.

A PROJECT FOR OUR AUDIENCE, THE YOUNGEST IN SWITZERLAND

With more than 60% of our audience under 34, the NIFFF is the Swiss film festival that has the youngest audience. The festival must therefore set an example and fight climate change, which will affect young people more than anyone. The festival wishes to act on all fronts, on a communication level as well as in all our locations in order to raise awareness, and support audience members, volunteers, and the large network of partners and providers who are all setting forth on the new path forged by the NIFFF. Such is the case of watch manufacturer Hamilton, who is a big champion of the project. NIFFF is also inviting the audience to follow the festival’s progress through regular communication all year round, detailing present and upcoming measures.

AMBITIOUS OBJECTIVES

A 5-year plan implies having a long-term vision that will durably reduce the festival’s emissions. The NIFFF wishes to reach zero waste, to collaborate only with local providers, and to offer food and drinks menus based off organic produce, and redesign them around vegetarian and vegan dishes. We want to ensure everyone feels included and will thus improve accessibility for the visually impaired and the hard of hearing. NIFFF will promote diversity in the programme (the NIFFF signed the SWAN charter in 2019) as well as in the team, and push for volunteer training.

Progress will be occasionally analysed by the festival and by the Summit Foundation in order to fine tune the measures and thus reach these ambitious goals.

NIFFF’S TIMELINE

2-10 July: NIFFF 20th edition
4 July: 20th edition celebratory day