We have been asking ourselves how to organise a theatre festival – with thousands of participants and attended by international artists and cultural operators – without having a devastating ecological impact. We want to keep coming together as a multitude of bodies and ideas without having the environment bear the weight. That is how PS: Presente Sostenibile was born in 2012. The project, developed by Chiara Mini, questions how to reduce the environmental impact of Santarcangelo Festival – including all other activities organised by the association Santarcangelo dei Teatri – and is committed to finding strategies to protect the planet, or at least the small part hosting us. At first glance, the impact of an event like ours can seem insignificant, but if we look more closely at the various phases of preparation, execution, closing and dismantling, we need to take into account transportation – also considering we host international guests -, the consumption of food and drinks, a peak in waste production, the use of electric power, the materials used for performances and street furniture, merchandising, printing promotional materials… There are many fields where it is possible to find sustainable solutions, and we are determined to do so. We have a long way to go to get closer to having no environmental footprint, both in terms of waste and impact. We still have not found all the solutions, but we have a clear objective, and we are firmly moving in that direction. Festivals have the ability to create temporary communities (which we especially value), offering extraordinary possibilities of encounter and dialogue; this is also why we feel the responsibility of imagining more sustainable ways of inhabiting the world and involving all those passing through the Festival in this effort, which can only succeed if it is collective. In these years, we concentrated on the aspects that seemed more urgent and relevant for our reality, focusing on sustainable mobility, energy supply and saving, waste management and conscious consumption of food and water. These are the foundations of Presente Sostenibile, which we try to strengthen more and more each year. We would be happy to add more and welcome proposals and suggestions from the public, artists, operators and partners. Please write us if you have any suggestions!

Especially during the Festival – but also for the artistic residencies and the events taking place throughout the year – Santarcangelo dei Teatri welcomes many people, including the public, artists and performing art professionals travelling across cities, regions, states and even continents to reach Santarcangelo. We still do not know how to make these journeys more sustainable, especially the longer ones that inevitably have to be made by plane. Many artists and operators visiting the Festival every summer have started choosing trains whenever possible, perhaps taking advantage of the journey to network with other professionals. We want to thank all these people because, this way, they cut their journey’s CO2 emissions in half.
On the other hand, we feel we have a better chance of offering environmentally friendly options in terms of local transportation. In 2013, we created the Biciclo project, recovering and refurbishing the bicycles that allow the staff to move between the Festival locations. From 2021, we will also start collaborating with Helbiz, which will bring – for the first time – a fleet of 100% electric scooters in Santarcangelo, supporting our vision of (almost) zero impact mobility. Last but not least, the collaboration with Shuttle Italy Airport allows us to offer a discount code to those travelling with shared transport to Santarcangelo Festival.

The whole Festival staff is involved in a collective effort to minimise energy consumption and, for the energy we need to use, we looked for a supplier who could guarantee us the lowest possible impact. In 2014, Serint Group carried out an analysis of the association’s energy supply contracts and consumption. This led to the stipulation of a contract for a supply of energy from renewable sources with E.ON group, a company committed to cleaner energy and smarter consumption.

The ever-increasing piles of unrecycled or unrecyclable waste – both at sea and on land – make us anxious, and contributing as little as possible to their increase has always been one of our primary objectives. Perhaps producing zero waste is not possible, but it is the goal we are aiming for. Every year we ask ourselves how to reduce our waste even more. One step at a time, we started eliminating disposable plastic products and started using compostable ones. Whenever possible, we stopped using disposable products altogether, choosing durable products such as ceramic plates and metal cutlery. We also created customised reusable cups in order to avoid the horrible sight of disposable plastic cups covering the ground after an event. The effort towards being (almost) zero waste will never succeed unless it is truly collective. In addition to our staff, we also ask all those visiting and animating the Festival and the activity of Santarcangelo dei Teatri to use as few disposable items as possible. For example, choosing electronic tickets saves paper, ink and energy that we would use to print them, and the same goes for downloading the digital version of our catalogue. However, to ease the conscience of paper lovers – whom we understand very well – we decided, along with Gruppo Maggioli, to print all our publishing materials on FSC certified paper. We will have to throw away something at some point and, during the Festival, together with our main partner Gruppo Hera we will intensify our recycling, which has to be done carefully to ensure that waste can be properly recycled. Since this can, at times, be confusing – for example, where do pizza boxes go? -, the app il Rifiutologo comes to the rescue, dispelling any doubts.

Santarcangelo Festival is appreciated among artists and performing arts professionals, also because everyone – regardless of their geographical background, diet or preferences – agrees that the food is delicious. Being in Romagna certainly helps, but we also do our part because we deeply care about this aspect of the Festival experience. Not to mention that the food we choose and the way we consume it have a decisive environmental impact. The staff canteen and the Centro Festival opened to the public offer organic seasonal food, as locally sourced as possible from small businesses or supplied by our partner MARR, who shares our commitment towards sustainability.
We also chose to offer many vegetarian and vegan options, lowering the CO2 emission resulting from the consumption of animal products. The kitchen team also keeps food waste to a minimum, preparing creative leftover recipes and carefully using the right amount of food necessary to feed us all without barely wasting anything.
We carefully selected the products available during the Festival, also thanks to the collaboration with Birra Amarcord, who offers beers crafted with a great attention to quality and supply chain, favouring locally sourced and sustainable materials, from the energy supply to the reuse of barley malt byproducts, which are given to local livestock farms.

Santarcangelo Festival is known for many things, one of which is the heat welcoming all its visitors. Hosting an event in Romagna in July, we cannot help but worry about keeping our guests and staff hydrated and how to do so without using thousands of disposable plastic bottles. For this reason, every year – together with Gruppo Hera, Romagna Acque Società delle Fonti, Amir SpA and Adriatica Acque – we install water fountains, in addition to those already present in the city. This way, everyone has free, convenient access to all the water they need. Here you can find the closest drinking fountain or water station. Our dislike towards PET is so strong that, in order to avoid its use by everyone (including artists) during the Festival, our team of volunteers and space managers fill and carry glass countless glass bottles to all the performance spaces; we are truly grateful to all of them for this enormous work. Sometimes, when this is not possible, we still rely on plastic bottles, but we are working on that. P.S. If you have doubts about the quality of water from the municipal supply, know that it is often much more controlled than bottled water, whose transportation and conservation are hard to monitor. With the app Acquologo you can also see its composition in detail.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity signed in September 2015 by all 193 UN member countries. The Agenda consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), integrated into a wider action plan totalling 169 targets. They aim to trace and follow a model for a better future, more aware of the environment and the wellbeing of people, giving equal dignity and importance to the three dimensions of development: environmental, economic and social. This programme can be a shared foundation, a starting point for making a necessary change and living in a truly sustainable world for everyone. Not everyone is equally responsible for the climatic, environmental, economic and social crisis we are experiencing. However, only a collective response has a chance to stop it: this is why we are speaking of a global challenge, requiring everyone’s involvement – countries and citizens, private businesses and public sector, civil society, information and cultural operators. We, too, feel the responsibility and the desire to contribute to this collective endeavour. We are making a special effort to reach a few specific goals, whose corresponding symbol can be found under each Presente Sostenibile project. If you would like to know more, we presented the objectives below with the corresponding target we are trying to support.

Goal 2: End hunger
It is time to reconsider how we grow, share and consume food.
If managed well, agriculture, silviculture and fishing can offer nutritious food for everyone and generate sufficient incomes, supporting rural development centred around people while protecting the environment.
2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanita-tion management

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Sustainable energy is an opportunity – it transforms life, the economy and the planet.
7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older per-sons
11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
It involves different stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, policymakers, researchers, scientists, retailers, media and development aid agencies. It demands a systematic, cooperative approach between acting subjects in the supply chain from producers to consumers. It also re-quires involving consumers in raising awareness for sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing them with adequate information and involving them, among other things, in a sustaina-ble public supply.
12.3 By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information
and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sus-tainable development
17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, build-ing on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships