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Sustainability

“We know that the climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues that our industry and the world are facing today. We are working to minimise the carbon emissions of the Festival through our operations. In addition, the platform the Festival provides brings together high-level decision-makers – marketers, agencies, media owners and CEOs – to have the conversations that count, and that includes conversations on climate action."

Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS

Our approach

We're committed to having a positive impact on the environment and the communities we hold our events in. Our goal is to reduce both the waste and carbon emissions associated with our events. This is an ongoing journey, as we want every event we run to be the most sustainable it’s ever been. That only comes through establishing long-term goals and intentions and then taking consistent action. Across our events, we consider our positive impact in three ways:

  1. how we run our event
  2. the impact of our content
  3. how we work with suppliers and partners.

How we run our event

Measurement →

Ascential Sustainable Events Standards →

Impactful action →

Measurement

We’ve been measuring the carbon footprint of the Festival since 2022. We do this in partnership with event sustainability experts TRACE by isla. 

Our roadmap looks to significantly reduce the carbon emissions and waste generated at our events year on year. 

The event's carbon footprint and the ‘Standards’ shape the actions we take at the Festival each year to reduce our waste and emissions. 

The carbon footprint tells us whether the actions have had the right impact and what we need to do at future events to continue decarbonising. 

What action are we taking at Cannes Lions 2024?

  • Upcycling Partner Activations: We’ve partnered with GreenBee Event Upcycling for the third year running. It’s a not-for-profit association based in Cannes, and its aim is to promote the reduction of waste materials linked to the event industry. We recommend all our partners donate any good-quality products that would otherwise end up in landfill.

  • Event transport: We’ve committed to using 40% electric cars for our Jury and VIP car fleet this year.

  • Solar power: Solar charging stations are used in the Palais, so you can charge your phone and USB devices using solar energy.

  • Reducing single-use plastic: We’re partnering with HOPE Hydration to provide water fountains around the Palais and Parvis, so we recommend bringing a refillable water bottle. We’re reducing single-use plastics where possible and asking our partners to do the same.

  • Improved waste management: We’re employing environmental agents this year to oversee the back-of-house waste management. This means materials used in the Festival build can be upcycled and reused. We’re also increasing the number of recycling bins around the Festival to make it easier for you to get rid of waste sustainably.

The impact of our content

The Lions Awards are the heart of the Festival. Every entrant has the chance to share how sustainability has been considered in their work. This year we’re opening up the option for entrants to share this with the Jury. This will encourage those making progress in these areas to share their success and ignite conversations in the Jury room. Last year, the insights gained from the sustainability questions informed The Progress Check: Sustainability, which is available on The Work.

Sustainability on stage

Join sessions across all of our stages to discover the new frameworks, innovations and thinking in sustainability. Hear from voices inside and out of the industry including, United Nations Development Programme, The Weather Company, Ad Net Zero, Kantar, WARC, #ESGpraJÁ, Clean Creatives and also from one of our Secret Speakers. All will share a variety of insightful and practical tools to help guide and inspire the industry.

Sustainable Development Goals Lions

In 2018, in partnership with the United Nations, we launched the Sustainable Development Goals Lions at Cannes Lions. This Award celebrates creative work that actively supports the progression of our Global Goals and uses the power of creativity for change. Every entry into the SDG Lions has an impact, with all entry fees donated to Lion-winning charities. In 2023, the SDG Lion raised over €267,000. Our Glass Lion also raised €73,000, which goes to charities supporting gender equality, taking the total raised by both Lion Awards to over €2m since 2015.

How we work with suppliers and partners

  • Our Green Guide is available to all our partners and suppliers. This sets out the practical ways they can reduce their carbon emissions and waste to create a more sustainable Festival.

  • We’re partnering with ACT Responsible for the 22nd year, giving it a space within the Palais. It’ll be holding an exhibition, alongside a content programme, which will spotlight social and environmental work that has had an impact, showcasing the power of advertising creativity in this field.

  • For the third year, our partnership with Parley for the Oceans will see the Sustainable Development Goals Lions trophies made out of Parley Ocean Plastic® derived from reclaimed fishing nets. At the Festival, water cartons will be supplied by Aquapx to reduce plastic bottle waste, and the delegate bags, supplied by Supreme Creations, will be made from fully biodegradable materials, as well as soil safe inks made in carbon neutral and fair trade factories.

  • Givsly Partnership: We are encouraging partners to work with Givsly who are offering our sponsors and partners an alternative to material giveaways at the Festival. Sponsors can give delegates the opportunity to opt out of taking materials and instead give a donation to a nonprofit.