A responsible and socially-conscious company

Othello, variation for three actors, Nathalie Garraud, 2014 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

New practices and sustainables actions

For ten years now, the Festival d’Avignon has been working on its environmental impact. The Festival is a member of the Collectif des Festivals Écoresponsables et Solidaires en région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (Cofees), a signatory member of the Charte Éco-festival with the City of Avignon, the Grand Avignon and Avignon Festival et Compagnies (AF&C), and a signatory member of the Drastic On Plastic Charter. In 2020, we set up a collective and cross-departmental task force to lead our long-term action.

By rethinking its organisation, the Festival continues its project to reduce its waste production and its greenhouse gases emissions, to encourage social inclusion and to influence consumption habits, this time on a larger scale. This project aims to make CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) part of its models of administration and governance. The goal? To develop new skills, invest into and find new resources, multiply ambitious actions, all in order to give rise to and accompany new collective practices to face the current climate emergency.

Read about the IPCC report

« Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concept that has corporations incorporate social, environmental and economic preoccupations in their activities and their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. By adopting more ethical and sustainable practices in their operating methods, they aim to contribute to the betterment of society and to the protection of the environment. In other words, it is “a company’s contribution to the challenges of sustainable development. » Source : ecologie.gouv.fr

Our improvements

The Festival d’Avignon encourages its audience, its artists, and its staff alike to use public transportation and “soft” modes of transportation year-round and during the Festival:

  • Information about possible means of transportation and their modalities available on the website and in the programme
    How to move around during the Festival

    Plan your Festival

  • Introduction of shuttles to less central venues for festivalgoers: in 2021, over 39% of festivalgoers used shuttles to reach those venues

  • Purchase and lease of bicycles for our employees during the Festival as well as of cargo tricycles to transport heavy loads through the city centre streets: about twenty bicycles, ten electric bicycles, as well as tricycles and cargo bikes

  • Purchase of three clean, hybrid and electric vehicles to replace our combustion engine vehicles: 1 hybrid vehicle, 1 electric car, 1 electric van

Waste management is a major concern for the Festival d’Avignon:

  • All our venues are equipped with recycling bins.

  • Elimination of single-use plastic thanks to the use of consigned water bottles for our staff and artists, of reusable cups at the bar and for receptions, and water fountains for the public. This allowed us to reduce our plastic waste by 1.84 tonne.

The Festival d’Avignon continues to work towards reducing its energy consumption:

  • Further investment in LED light sources, which use less electricity: 22.8% of our investment budget was dedicated to acquiring LED light sources.

  • Feasibility study conducted to install a Building Management System and photovoltaic panels on the roof of La FabricA, the Festival’s permanent venue.

  • Green electricity supply for FabricA, the permanent venue of the Festival d'Avignon and six other temporary venues.

  • A new environmentally-friendly, less energy-consuming, and more welcoming store. It was entirely redesigned with sustainable materials. Moreover, the products we sell all respect the sustainable sourcing charter.

The Festival d’Avignon continues to work with suppliers and service providers respectful of its CSR policy and of the “Sustainable sourcing charter,” in particular for its merchandising and catering.

  • Choice of merchandising in strict accordance with the “Sustainable suppliers charter” for the store. For instance, products are made by local artisans as much as possible, in respect of human rights, with low environmental impact materials, without plastic packaging, etc. The Festival d’Avignon also had merchandise made out of the tarps use for signage (duffel bags, isothermal lunch bags, keychains, wallets, small pencil cases).

  • Catering and meals (bar, receptions, welcome coffee) in accordance with the “Sustainable catering providers charter” of the Festival d’Avignon. We encourage the use of reusable or recyclable packaging as well as organic seasonal produce sourced through short food supply chains.

  • Printed documents: We print on 100% recycled paper or 100% produced from sustainably-managed forests (SFM). We work with printers who have received the Imprim’vert label or the ISO14001 certification and who use vegetal ink.

  • All documents are available online and can be downloaded in order to limit printing. We’ve reduced the quantities of communication documents we print. For instance, we printed only 60,000 copies of the programme in 2022, against 80,000 in previous years.

  • Urban signage limited to specific spaces (municipal signage network and local shops we work with). Tarps used for signage are reused every year.

  • Printed documents: We print on 100% recycled paper or paper 100% produced from sustainably-managed forests (SFM). We work with printers who have received the Imprim’vert label or the ISO14001 certification and who use vegetal ink.

  • Our servers are all located in France.

The Festival d’Avignon aims to alert its audience to social and environmental issues through the programming of the Workshops of Thought, which keep growing every year. In 2021, the 19 July workshop “Ecological transformation. Labopro 2021” allowed a community of performing arts professionals to come up together with a number of concrete solutions for the ecological transition of the industry. In 2022, the Festival continues to shine a light on those issues with the Workshops of Thought.

The Festival d’Avignon welcomes handicapped and neurodivergent people, including as part of its programme. In 2021, Bérangère Vantusso’s Moving the Lines - Stories of maps with the Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche, and Gulliver, the last voyage, directed by Madeleine Louarn and Jean-François Auguste with the actors of Catalyse were the best examples.

A few figures and actions…

On the Festival’s side:

  • We have appointed sustainable development officers in each of our services who meet every month to discuss and implement actions in keeping with the social responsibility of the Festival (assessments, plans, environmental indicators, etc.)

  • A reduction of our plastic waste to 1.84 tons in 2021 thanks to the implementation of reusable cups at the bar

  • A continued investment in the transition of our lighting equipment to LED light light units, which consume less electricity: 22.8% of the investment budget has been committed to this in 2021.

  • We exclusively use eco-labelled paper and Imprim’vert-labelled or ISA 14001-certified printers and reduce the number of prints. Since 2021, 15,000 fewer programmes have been printed each year, representing 3.75 tonnes of paper saved each year.

  • We’ve reorganised our whole communication system to reduce waste (updating our file, favouring digital over physical communication, gradual restocking of communication documents, etc.)

  • We have conceived a shop that is more respectful of the environment, less energy consuming and more welcoming, entirely redesigned with sustainable materials. We favour responsible purchasing from local companies for the merchandise on sale at the Festival shop.

  • We favour suppliers who are geographically close to us, who respect human rights, use materials with a low environmental impact and limit plastic packaging.

  • We organise meetings and debates to imagine concrete solutions for the ecological transition of the cultural sector.

On the audience’s side:

  • 41% of festivalgoers know about the environmentally responsible policies of the Festival d’Avignon

  • 39% of festivalgoers came to the Festival mainly by soft modes of transport (walking or cycling)

  • 28% of festivalgoers came to the Festival mainy by public transportation (and 40% of them did so out of concern for the environment)

Accessibility - Employability

Accessibility is one of the major challenges of solidarity. By taking into account access to buildings, information, creation and employment, the Festival d'Avignon has chosen to focus on essential actions for people with disabilities but also of social exclusion.

People with disabilities

Many mediation actions for people with disabilities are organised during the Festival and throughout the year.

More information
Information on the specific needs of disabled spectators
Preparing your visit

Training for ticket agents and reception staff is provided by Audiens' culture-disability mission, as well as the implementation of recommendations for the reception at the Festival d'Avignon ticket office and for the accompaniment to their reserved seats in theatres by the reception staff, to help take everyone into account.

People suffering from social exclusion

  • Mediation actions, set visits, workshops, etc.

  • Adjusted ticket rates

  • Particular focus when signing up for participative projects (amateur actors for the dramatic series in the garden of the bibliothèque Ceccano, young culture reporters, etc.)

  • Job access (see below)

  • Dramatic creation workshops with the inmates of the Centre pénitentiaire d’Avignon-Le Pontet

To know more

Job access

The Festival d’Avignon transforms into a large company during the month of July, growing from a staff of 33 permanent employees throughout the years to almost 800 in July, including many ticket agents, waiters, technicians, and custodians. The Festival takes its social and ethical responsibility very seriously, and is therefore careful to staff its teams with people from all backgrounds. We particularly favour the hiring of young adults from neighbourhoods that have been targeted by urban development policies and who have worked before with associations from the neighbourhoods of Monclar, Champfleury, and la Rocade in Avignon. We also partner with those associations year-round. The Festival d’Avignon also works with the Audiens “Mission Handicap” to employ people with disabilities, in addition to its collaborations with similar companies and with the ESAT. Finally, the Festival d’Avignon also focuses on promoting the respect of professional equality between men and women, in terms of job access, remuneration, and the fight against sexual harassment and sexist actions.

Our goals:

  • to encourage the professional integration of youths from neighbourhoods targeted by urban development policies,

  • to increase the professional integration of workers with disabilities,

  • to encourage social diversity among the teams of the Festival d’Avignon,

  • to support professional equality between Women and Men,

  • to increase trust and collaboration with the associations partnered with the Festival d’Avignon.

In 2021, the Festival hired people from 24 different countries and from all continents.

In 2021, the Festival d’Avignon once again worked with several social institutions such as the local mission, social centres, or the judicial protection of youth, in order to reach a public cut off from the professional world or facing integration difficulties. In the same spirit, the Festival d’Avignon also regularly invites artists with disabilities as part of its programme.

In 2021, the Festival d’Avignon continued its commitment to job accessibility for people with disabilities.

A partnership was set up in 2021 with the Audiens “Mission Handicap Spectacle”. This work is done with the help of a network of partners such as Cap Emploi, Pôle Emploi, and with the help of the Handicap platform. Our job listings are written in as much detail and as inclusively as possible so that potential candidates can determine if a position is compatible with their personal situation.

In 2021, we employed 5 people with disabilities (3 in 2020 and 2 in 2019).

The Festival d’Avignon regularly takes part in panels and other events dedicated to professionals:

  • “On stage, backstage, and in the bleachers: Cultivating equality!”: as part of the URRH of the AGEFIPH, 29 March, 2021 (online event) and as part of the House for the public and for professionals, 16 July, 2021.

  • “Panel for the employment of people with disabilities in culture”: 1 April, 2022 at la FabricA, in partnerships with Audiens. This panel allowed us to open our recruitment campaign for seasonal contracts to people with disabilities.

  • 1st Forum for economic inclusion in culture and in creative industries”: as part of the House for the public and for professionals, 12 July, 2022, organised with the Afdas. This forum will bring together many institutions aiming to promote a more inclusive society and to work towards that goal.

In 2021, the Festival d’Avignon hired 327 women and 402 men, or 45% of women and 55% of men. An action plan on gender equality in the Festival will be set up in 2022 to defend professional equality, with five fields of action:

  • Hiring and recruiting

  • Career management

  • Prevention and action against sexist acts and sexual harassment

  • Remuneration

  • Professional life – family responsibility balance

On 1 January, 2020, the Festival d’Avignon switched supplementary health insurance providers to Audiens in order to provide its employees with the best possible guarantees. This health insurance plan covers all our employees’ beneficiaries, with the employer covering 50% of the monthly premium.

Our guidelines for the prevention of professional risks was reorganised in 2021 in order to guarantee the health and safety of our staff. It is regularly updated in partnership with our works council.

As a responsible employer, we also engage in active social dialogue with employee representative bodies. In July 2019, a company-wide agreement was signed to add to the employees represented in our works council representatives of occasional workers. An agreement regarding the working hours of permanent and seasonal workers was signed in July 2019, and an agreement regarding the working hours of occasional workers was signed in March 2021. The personnel delegation includes 5 representatives and 3 substitutes, representing all professional categories.

  • Débattre : droits, lutte contre les violences, vies masquées, politique sociale, avec Audiens (12, 13, 14 juillet, Cloître St-Louis)

  • 1er Forum de l’inclusion économique dans la culture et les industries créatives, avec l’Afdas (12 juillet, Avignon Université)

  • Culture et économie sociale et solidaire, la 3e voie, avec la Fondation Crédit coopératif. (13 juillet, Cloître St-Louis)

  • Le Grand débat : mettre en œuvre la transition écologique dans le spectacle vivant, avec le Syndeac (14 juillet, Cloître St-Louis)

  • Labopro : présentation d’un référentiel écolo, avec Arsud (17 juillet, Cloître Saint-Louis)

  • Diversité dans le spectacle vivant : où en sommes-nous ? avec le Théâtre National de Strasbourg (18 juillet, Cloître St-Louis).

Partners of the CSR policy

  • Acceo, to allow deaf and hard-of-hearing people to communicate with our staff thanks to a service of qualified operators who will accompany them throughout

  • Caisse d’Epargne, for the tactile model of the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des papes

  • Fondation Casino for our work with the youths of the Centre Alain Pujol

  • Fondation Raze, for audio description

  • FACIL’iti, for digital accessibility

  • Enercoop, for 100% renewable electricity

  • La Maison du bon café, which caters our events using organic produce sourced through short food supply chains and without single-use plastic packaging

  • Audiens for the training of our ticket office staff and permanent employees and for our recruiting day for handicapped people

  • Dynamo Cycles, lessor of electric bikes and cargo bikes during the Festival d’Avignon

  • Afdas, for the Forum for economic inclusion in culture and in creative industries

  • La Nouvelle Fabrique, for the design of the tactile models of the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des papes and of La FabricA

  • Accès Culture, for the design of the tactile models of the Cour d’honneur of the Palais des papes and of La FabricA and audio description for blind and visually-impaired people

  • Urapeda Sud for the translation in French Sign Language of the press conference announcing the programme

  • Association Valentin Haüy for its work with blind and visually-impaired festivalgoers