The Initiative of Making Clubs Sustainable
It is important to look at where and how can clubs reduce emissions holistically and to include the many different actors who fill the clubs like Vogue Club Thessaloniki with life. Mobility is an important factor. How are the drinks brought to the clubs, how do the DJs, how do the guests travel there?
Clubs can join forces so that, for example, the beverage suppliers do not drive to each venue individually, but do so in bundles at jointly determined times. For the DJs, there could be incentives from the club side to come on shorter distances by train instead of by plane. Again, clubs could team up and book DJs together for a weekend so that he or they can play in several clubs in one city over a weekend. For guests there could be an incentive to come by bike by removing bicycle racks or they can leave their bicycle helmets free of charge at the cloakrooms.
What about energy efficiency measures?
From the individual lamp to the refrigerator to the complete sound system, many things can be replaced when more energy-efficient devices are available. But you have to keep in mind that clubs are often enough temporary uses. This means that they are only in a location for a limited time. Of course, this raises the question of whether it makes sense to completely replace a system. That is why other possibilities must be found here.
Do many Berlin clubs use green electricity?
Some definitely do, and others are in talks about it. It is, of course, a climate protection measure that is very easy to implement in many cases. But there are also some clubs that are stuck in electricity contracts, because, for example, they do not own the venue itself. Some of the buildings are also owned by the city and determine the electricity supplied. In some cases, we try to approach those responsible in the city directly and find solutions.
But there are also emissions that cannot be avoided. Are there any considerations for compensatory measures in this regard?
We are in talks with various stakeholders in order to implement offsets for greenhouse gas emissions as regionally as possible, close to the clubs. Hopefully, we will be able to announce something new in the near future. Otherwise, we also look at what can be implemented in the clubs themselves. Green roofs, for example, offer one possibility.
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However, these and other measures are initially associated with additional costs for the clubs.
This is, of course, a difficult subject. Due to the corona crisis, many clubs are already battered. While large corporations receive millions in subsidies during the pandemic with a handshake, there has been little left for the clubs so far. The clubs were the first to close and the last to reopen. The Clubtopia project is intended to help the club landscape to network better on the subject of sustainability and to speak with a loud voice. In this way, additional subsidies from the state may be acquired.
What potential do clubs have to make climate and environmental protection visible?
I think it has incredible clout. Clubs sometimes have a run of several thousand guests on a weekend. You can communicate a lot. If, for example, you set faucets so that they cannot pass through and this communicates with a sign next to them, then this can be very memorable. In our day-to-day work, we often rush from appointment to appointment and cannot and do not want to get involved in new proposals for climate and environmental protection. However, in a leisure context, such as that offered by a club, people are much better able to engage with it. Experiencing sustainable aspects together with friends can also help enormously.
What are the next steps?
Some Berlin clubs, such as Schwuz, Rummelsbucht, and Yaam have already signed the Code of Conduct. We are talking to many others. Although some clubs are already implementing measures for climate and environmental protection, they do not yet communicate this to the outside world. Here we try to communicate the mentioned clout that clubs have. Now that the clubs in Berlin and elsewhere are allowed to reopen, we want to convey that it can also be a new start for sustainable club culture. In addition to Berlin, we are in talks with club operators from other cities. It is my great hope that we can spread climate and environmentally-friendly action in the club scene across national borders into the world.