— At the Festival

Published on October 6 2020


Carmen de Bizet - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence 2017 © Patrick Berger / Artcompress
During its most recent extraordinary general meeting, held on 18 June 2020, the administrators of the Festival d’Aix unanimously adopted the Festival’s new statutes, which integrated nonprofit social responsibility (NSR) as part of its mission. NSR includes the concepts of sustainable development, transparency, and equity.
Therefore, the Festival is now committed to the principles of social, environmental and economic responsibility of NSR, and to governance that respects these principles, in all aspects of its operations, as well as to the involvement of each of its stakeholders in this approach.

As of 2010, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, an ecological trailblazer, began integrating a sustainable-development approach into its global policy, including a Bilan Carbone© (carbon audit) of all its activities; the processing of waste generated by the Festival’s set construction workshops; and a revision of all set-production procedures, which led to the first 100%–eco-designed and 100%–recyclable set in the performing arts.

Today, the Festival’s set construction workshops rely on eco-friendly raw materials (e.g., cork instead of styrofoam, and paper pulp instead of plaster). Likewise, set design must now include end-of-life constraints from the outset, such as the possibility of separating materials that are subject to specific recycling procedures. Thanks to this research work, the set of Carmen recorded a financial saving of 8% and a 15-metric-ton reduction in CO2 emissions compared to traditional designs. And in 2019, all decommissioned sets (i.e., Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno) enjoyed a second life by serving as scenographic elements for public spaces throughout the Sud Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur Region.

In 2019, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence published the first Guide Méthodologique de l’écoconception des décors « Guide Méthodologique de l’écoconception des décors » (“Methodological Guide to the Eco-Design of Sets”), developed in partnership with Pôle Éco Design—even before the Ministry of Culture issued its own official recommendations for sustainable development.