Glastonbury’s wind turbine and EV charging in Cornwall: The sustainability success stories of the week

Published every week, this series charts how businesses and sustainability professionals are working to achieve their ‘Mission Possible’ across the campaign’s five key pillars – energy, resources, infrastructure, mobility and business leadership.

Across the UK and across the world, leading businesses, cities, states and regions are turning environmental ambitions into action. Here, we round up five positive sustainability stories from this week.

ENERGY: Glastonbury to get its first on-site wind turbine


Glastonbury’s organisers have a long history of environmentalism, having previously held space for climate activists and charities, and always funnelling a share of profits into local green charities.

This week, Octopus Energy erected a wind turbine at Worthy Farm to generate renewable energy for food outlets at the festival. It is co-located with a battery array and will generate an estimated 300kWh of power each day, enough to power 300 fridges.

The turbine will operate in addition to an onsite solar array. The idea is not only to reduce the environmental footprint of festival operations, but to promote renewable energy tariffs to attendees.

Octopus Energy’s chief executive and founder Greg Jackson said his firm and Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the festival, have “so many shared values” and are “excited to work together for the long term”.

RESOURCES: Ella’s Kitchen pledges packaging that is easier to recycle


Recycling flexible plastic packaging is extremely challenging using traditional mechanical recycling processes – especially when it is used in multi-layer formats that also include other materials. Pouches for pet and baby food often use this kind of packaging to maintain product longevity, but this comes with a potential risk of landfill or littering downstream.

It is promising news, then, that Ella’s Kitchen is shifting to mono-material pouches which can be recycled at kerbside across the UK. It is aiming for 75% of its pouch portfolio to be switched to the new, easy-to-recycle format by the end of 2024.

The business will also continue to work with its packaging manufacturers to explore potential solutions for transitioning the remaining pouches to fully recyclable material.

“Ella’s Kitchen will continue to lead by example, proving that businesses have a crucial role to play in improving the wellbeing of people and planet,” said brand chief executive Mark Cuddigan. “Our vision is to inspire others and create a ripple effect that reaches far beyond our organisation.”

MOBILITY: First Bus launches its first EV charging hub for customers


First Bus is aiming to operate only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and has already made major investments in electric buses and charging infrastructure. It will need to add around 400 e-buses to its fleet each year to meet the 2035 goal.

Now, the business is going one step further, encouraging customers who take part of their journey by car to go electric. It has opened a charging hub for customers at its Summercourt depot in Cornwall, fitted with eight rapid charging points that can provide a full charge to a family car within 30 minutes.

The chargers will be available on a pay-as-you-go basis. They will be open to members of the public as well as local businesses. Preparation works are now underway on site, and the chargers should enter operation by the end of the summer.

First Bus UK’s chief sustainability officer Isabel McAllister said: “We believe this is the right thing to do. By future-proofing sites like Summercourt, we are proud to be progressing our net zero journey and investing in a greener future for our local communities.”

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Parkdean Resorts slashes emissions by almost one-fifth


A timely story as the summer holiday season begins; British holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts has posted a 17% reduction in its operational emissions since 2019 and published plans to roll out more low-carbon technologies in the future.

The reduction in emissions is partially attributable to switching liquid natural gas to biofuel. Other key projects have included installing more than 1,200 solar panels across two holiday parks in Dorset; rolling out LED lighting; and implementing more energy-efficient approaches to heating swimming pools.

Parkdean Resorts is aiming to reduce Scope 1 (operational) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions by 25% between 2019 and 2025. To drive further progress, it will ramp up investment into energy and water efficiency, plus onsite solar.

The firm’s director of sustainability and procurement Jane Bates said: “By celebrating small wins, we have galvanised and empowered our teams to make a difference in their everyday roles, and together, we’re embedding our strategy into daily decision-making and working to put sustainability at the heart of The Great British Holiday.”

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: Velux and WWF unveil nature projects in Vietnam and Madagascar


Velux has been working with WWF since 2020, as part of its commitment to mitigate its historic carbon footprint using nature-based solutions. The partnership will span for 20 years and deliver forest conservation and restoration projects across the world.

The two newest projects were announced this week, in Vietnam and Madagascar. The project in Madagascar intends to halt deforestation and replace lost trees with new, native trees. This should deliver two million tonnes of emissions, both avoided and removed.

In Madagascar, work will be undertaken to conserve and restore mangroves in the Manambolo-Tsiribihina region. Mangroves act as natural carbon sinks and also provide natural defences against extereme weather and erosion. 500,000 tonnes of CO2 benefits are expected from this project.

Pictured: A WWF-Velux forest project in Uganda.

Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Is there such a thing as “miles per kilowatt-hour” for our existing all-electric cars, and what cost per kilowatt-hour may we assume?

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