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A festival with a conscience: environmental results for 2021

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

The 74th edition of the Festival de Cannes was buoyed by the Festival’s commitment to working to protect the planet. From slashing waste and carbon emissions to supporting local, national and international environmental projects and screening engaging films with a message to share, we look back over the impactful measures taken by the Festival for the very first time in 2021, anchoring the event and its underlying structure in a long-term, pro-active eco-friendly policy.

Reducing carbon emissions and waste

Transport, printing, single-use plastic, ... are some of the many areas of action for which the Festival de Cannes committed to reducing carbon emissions and waste.

2021 key measures:

  • 60% of the official car fleet was comprised of electric and hybrid vehicles

  • The Festival slashed its usual volumes of printed materials by 79% by continuing efforts to digitalise publications and tickets and cut back on print runs

  • The red carpet replacement rate was halved, thereby saving 1,400 kilos of material

  • The Festival's caterers complied with an 'eco-responsible' set of specifications, prioritising fresh, seasonal produce and short circuits, and offering vegetarian options

  • Plastic water bottles were completely eliminated

  • French-made goodies accounted for 40% of all sales


Support to environmental projects

A total of € 515,189 were raised by the Festival de Cannes to fund 6 environmental projets selected by a committee of independent experts comprising the following specialists:

  • Jean-François Camilleri, founder and CEO of Echo Studio

  • Anna Creti, professor of economics at the Université Paris Dauphine and director of the Chaire Economie du Climat

  • Jean-Pierre Gattuso, oceanographer and research director at the CNRS

  • Anne Girault, energy and climate expert and chair of the Association Bilan Carbone

Sustainable forest management - Ma Fôret (Grasse, FRANCE)

Perched in the heights of Grasse, this native Mediterranean forest is currently seeing its ancient Scots pines withering away and its downy oaks drying out, all across a 75-hectare area. The initiative rolled out here aims to accomplish three things: help the forest regenerate, prepare it for climate change, and protect the old trees and the habitats that they represent.

Post-forest fire reforesting initiative - Centre National de la propriété forestière (Grasse, FRANCE)

This initiative was launched in the aftermath of the 2017 forest fire that ravaged Saint-Cézaire-sur-Siagne in Grasse's hinterlands, destroying 53 hectares of forest in the process. Reforesting here involves a mix of species, and will revitalise the landscape in a site popular with tourists.

Farmland reforesting initiative - Centre National de la propriété forestière (Saint-Saury, FRANCE)

This initiative is being rolled in the Cantal region's Saint-Saury, where farmland is being reforested with a mix of a dozen different hardwood and softwood species. This should help trap and store several thousands of tCO2eq over a 30-year period. The project is currently awaiting Low Carbon Label status.

Carbocage Eco-Méthane – Pur Projet et Bleu-Blanc-Cœur (FRANCE)

The Carbocage Ecométhane initiative offers support across France in transitioning beef livestock farming towards sustainable, responsible practices. Livestock farming is currently a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. This scheme aims to encourage a better-balanced diet for cattle in order to reduce emissions, safeguard biodiversity, and ensure animal welfare.

Muskitia Landscape Protection – SouthPole (HONDURAS) The Muskitia Landscape Protection project is shielding mangroves from deforestation by offering natural protection against flooding, erosion and storms, as well as by filtering pollutants in the water. Muskitia Landscape Protection works hand in hand with eight indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities, setting up training schemes and sustainable activities to improve livelihoods and living conditions for local people, all while protecting Honduras' invaluable cultural and natural heritage.

Ribeirihnos Redd Project – Ecoact (BRAZIL)

In the Brazilian State of Pará, the region's local communities are classified as 'traditional peoples', giving them no ownership titles or deeds. This initiative provides them with certificates of ownership for the land these communities already own in order to protect the forest from illegal deforestation and poaching.


Cinema for the climate

In a bid to demonstrate its commitment to the planet both on and off the screen, in 2021 the Festival de Cannes developed a special film category dedicated to the environment, called “Cinema For The Climate”. Seven feature films were screened as part of this selection in 2021:

  • La Croisade (The Crusade) by Louis Garrel (FRANCE)

  • Marcher sur l’eau (Above Water) by Aïssa Maïga (NIGER-FRANCE)

  • Invisible Demons by Rahul Jain (INDIA)

  • Animal by Cyril Dion (FRANCE)

  • I Am So Sorry by Zhao Liang (FRANCE- CHINA)

  • Bigger Than Us by Flore Vasseur (FRANCE)

  • La Panthère des neiges (The Velvet Queen) by Marie Amiguet (FRANCE)

The passionate film-makers and protagonists who attended Cannes (such as young Indonesian activist Melati, or Bella Lack and Vipulan Puvaneswaran, the two teens who Cyril Dion chose to focus on in his documentary Animal) paved the way for an exceptional press conference. Led by Paloma Moritz, spokesperson for the 'On Est Prêt' movement, the event was an opportunity to engage in real-time debate on the role that film can and should play in platforming the environmental and social challenges of the future.

Support the Festival de Cannes' social and environmental policy


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