Our approach to sustainable development

After conducting a Carbon Accounting assessment on the activity of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in 2012, a strategy for sustainable development was set up for the next three years, including almost one hundred environmental, economic, societal and governance measures. Since 2010, several key initiatives have focused on waste disposal, transport, natural resources, responsible purchasing, communications and raising awareness. Today, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence has expanded this approach by adopting an SRO (Social Responsibility of Organizations) strategy and create a steering committee and technical committees that involve all of the Festival departments and staff.

Contact for Sustainable Development
Véronique Fermé


Eco-design of sets

Anticipating the end-of-life of sets from the time they are designed, the Festival succeeded since 2019 in constructing the entirety of its sets with a 100% ecological design. The time dedicated to eco-designing a set is by far offset by the savings made on the overall lifespan: 80% of the environmental impact and the costs of set production, transport, and end-of-life expenses are determined during the design phase.


For the first time in 2019, all decommissioned sets have been given a second life with regional stakeholders and partners, avoiding any destruction or disposal. The sets for Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno will help decorate public spaces, like schools, day camps or exhibition venues.


  • Waste resulting from communications has been halved after adjusting the number of publications and providing digital alternatives, collecting programmes left behind by audience members and recycling all decorative PVC banners and signage.
  • At the Festival venues, our ongoing partnership with the Aix Urban Community has again promoted waste sorting and optimal management of the litter left behind by festival-goers.
  • A new partnership with the social integration company Elise has helped to optimise sorting of waste from the Festival teams.


  • The Festival is continuing to encourage the public to opt for car-pooling, especially through the Aix Automobile Club, and for public transport, in partnership with the Region's public transport networks.
  • Since 2014, the Festival has hired 3 hybrid vehicles for the logistics teams and has trained staff in energy-efficient driving. The Nissan Couriant car dealership and the Aix Ecomobile Club put two electric vehicles at the disposal of the Festival as part of a partnership, for short journeys between the Venelles workshops and the Festival venues. In two years, these combined actions have led to a reduction of 31% in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
  • In 2019, the Festival participated in a mobility audit—launched by the Collectif des Festivals Éco-Responsables et Solidaires en Région Sud, Provence–Alpes–Côte d'Azur (COFEES), of which the Festival is a founding member—that included a travel plan for festival-goers and an economic impact assessment.

Responsible purchasing

The sustainable development charter that has been drawn up, and now included in all specifications for the Festival, invites suppliers to adopt the environmental approach of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in their services and working methods. Environmental and local criteria are also included in the assessment and selection processes for new suppliers.

Communication and raising awareness

  • All the communications materials inform, promote and raise public awareness about the Festival's environmental initiatives, especially through the Eco-Friendly Festival Goer's charter displayed in all venues and available from the Festival website.
  • The Festival mobilized a network of nearly 40 cultural organizations in France and in Europe, including opera houses, theatres, and companies in the film and television industries, to participate in an exchange of good practices and in a joint reflexion on how best to implement their commitment to sustainable development, eco-design, and social and environmental responsibility in the performing arts and audiovisual media.
  • In addition, the Festival d’Aix is publishing the first “Guide méthodologique de l’écoconception des décors” (“Methodological Guide to the Eco-Design of Sets”), developed in partnership with the Pôle Eco-Design.

Social and societal approaches

  • The Festival carries out a mission of training and professional integration through the Académie and hosts workshops for young trainees as part of apprenticeship contracts.
  • As an innovative player in bringing art and culture to wider sections of society, the Festival d'Aix has been developing educational and social-artistic projects in the region for many years now. The long-term Passerelles initiatives are a laboratory for introducing opera to young people, families, to the most fragile and to people with limited access to culture.
    They help to generate a dynamic at the Festival, thanks to the commitment of a wide network of teachers, educational players, associations and artists/teachers. Through mutual feedback on experience, ideas and assessments with these partners and our audiences, the Festival seeks to play an active part in the region's cultural development.



All Festival venues are accessible to people with reduced mobility. For visually impaired or blind people, in collaboration with the Accès Culture association, the Festival stages performances at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché each year using audio-description.


To help anyone wishing to make a request relating to these measures, the Festival has created a special contact: call Julia Bonnet / julia.bonnet@festival-aix.com /  Tel:  +33 (0)4 42 17 34 25

Ecologically Responsible and Solidarity Festivals Collective in the Region SUD Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

The Festival d’Aix is a founding member of the Cofees group

Since 2014, 16 of the most emblematic performance arts events in the Sud, Provence–Alpes–Côte d'Azur region have joined forces to create a new and unique initiative—the COFEES collective—in order to propose concrete and innovative actions in environmental and social matters, by adapting the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) ISO 26000 norm to their professional activity. This voluntary commitment is meant to raise awareness and to encourage cultural festivals to institute responsible practices, by exchanging knowledge, sharing means, and reducing their environmental impact, while still favouring dialog and collaboration between local stakeholders and local governments. Indeed, cultural events need to affirm their role as leaders in civic rights.
These festivals are held in six different departments of the Région Sud, and are centred around a variety of artistic disciplines:

Les Envies Rhônements (Bouches-du-Rhône)
Marsatac (Bouches-du-Rhône)
Festival Nuits Carrées (Alpes-Maritimes)
Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône)
Festival d’Avignon (Vaucluse)
Festival OFF d’Avignon (Vaucluse)
Les Suds, à Arles (Bouches du Rhône)
Les Escales du Cargo (Bouches du Rhône)
Festival de Chaillol (Hautes Alpes)
Cooksound Festival (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence)
Festival Zik Zac (Bouches-du-Rhône)
Festival International de Piano de La Roque d’Anthéron (Bouches du Rhône)
Festival Résonance (Vaucluse)
Les Plages Electroniques (Alpes-Maritimes)
Festival Mimi (Bouches-du-Rhône)

Futher information about COFEES

with the support of

Développement durable