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.