At the largest event in the Netherlands, we like to lead by example. Our focus goes out to preventing unnecessary waste and to repurpose as much material as possible. However, we also make sure to invest in innovative and sustainable solutions, like the practice of recycling. Together, we want to celebrate a clean and sustainable event. Will you help us?
As the largest event in the Netherlands, we like to set a good example, also when it comes to sustainability. We want the world, and Nijmegen in particular, to remain a pleasant place to live. So that future generations can enjoy together every third week of July.
We can only do this together with you. With a few simple choices you can help us enormously! A drop in the ocean? Imagine that all those hundreds of thousands of visitors take one small step, then we will travel kilometers together. Are you participating?
Our ambition: climate neutral by 2030
We will do this by:
- Map our CO2 footprint as clearly as possible on our focus themes of waste, energy, food & drinks and mobility
- Work on reducing this footprint on these themes (see below), together with our audience!
- Prevent/reduce residual and litter and implement as many circular solutions as possible
- To give sustainable innovations a stage at our festival
- Compensate the last part of insurmountable emissions locally
We work with a circular cup system: every cup that you return to the bar is collected separately and new cups can be made from these.
Food packaging made of single-use plastic may no longer be used, confetti may no longer be shot and freecarrying trays will no longer be distributed, to limit waste. Our construction fence cloths, printed with water-based ink, are recycled or made into new products.
We place around 300 extra waste bins and bags in the city and work with clean teams to keep the city as clean as possible. All residual and sweeping waste is separated for recycling.
We are installing extra toilets to ensure that you can go everywhere. You can move through even faster with a festival wristband. To prevent public urination, the police impose additional fines. We also apply peeback coating to notorious nuisance locations: an invisible coating that protects the walls and 'reflects' urine.
Of course, all our merchandise is made from sustainable materials, so shop with peace of mind!
On Sunday evening you can still enjoy a fireworks show with more environmentally friendly fireworks. We are looking for an affordable sustainable alternative.
What can you do? — clean city
- Buy your drink at the bar in the circular cup. It is not allowed to bring your own food and drinks. Besides being more sustainable, you help keep the parties free.
- Also return your last cup to the bar for high-quality recycling.
- Do you see a clean cup on the floor? Take him to the bar, another cup saved!
- Dispose of waste (including cigarette butts!) neatly in the appropriate bins and bags
- Use the toilets, you will find them in the app. City center residents experience a lot of nuisance from people urinating in public. There will be extra checks this year, so save yourself a fine of € 140!
The stages and (food) stands of the Vierdaagsefeesten need power to function. This is largely done via fixed connections with green, locally generated electricity. Together with the municipality, we try to ensure that every location has a permanent connection. Only a few locations still work with generators. These run on biodiesel supplemented with Adblue, to keep emissions as low as possible. This means that our energy supply will be completely fossil-free in 2023 for the first year!
Food & drinks
Every year we launch a special Vierdaagsefeesten beer with the collective of all Nijmegen brewers: a local and therefore sustainable choice. This year, for the first time, there is also a variant with 0.3% alcohol. Very useful if you want to party for seven days!
As a gift to the city, we have had eleven water taps installed in the city center, which you can use all year round. It is important to drink enough water, especially on hot summer days. You can get your other drinks at the bar, making the Parties possible.
During the Vierdaagsefeesten you have a wide choice of food options: in addition to the city’s regular catering establishments, you will find around 120 additional food stands. These can be found in our app for the first time this year! With the filter and search function you can easily find what you are looking for and you can make conscious choices.
When a location becomes available, we give priority to food stands with local and sustainable offerings. In the coming years we will also be working on mapping the CO2 footprint of the offering, so that you can make even more conscious choices.
What can you do? - Food and Drinks
- Have you ever considered that what you eat largely determines your personal CO2 footprint? Choose a tasty dish with a lower CO2 footprint, for example a sustainable, vegetarian or local choice. We will help you on your way through the filter option of the food offering in the Four Days Marches app.
- Drink tap water instead of bottled water, or refill your bottle at the water taps. You can find them on the map in the app.
- Beer lover? As a specialty beer, choose the Vierdaagsefeesten beer, brewed by the collective of Nijmegen brewers! Also available in 0.3%.
As usual, a spectacular firework show will be held at the Waal during Waal in Vlammen (Waal on Fire). But fireworks and sustainability, how does that work?
Working with Spanish supplier Europla and the Dutch organization Dream Firework, we have made sure our display of fireworks this year is as environmentally-friendly as possible. The fireworks come from Spain, and contain a limited amount of heavy metals. Most of the colours we are currently using are better for the environment. Moreover, CO2 emissions of these fireworks are completely compensated through a sustainability certificate at Trees for all. After the show, all remaining waste will be collected by the DAR. In the future, we have the ambition to provide an even more sustainable alternative, like a laser or drone show, without having to compensate any emissions. Hopefully this will become more affordable and we will be able to find partners who are willing to invest in this and support us as sponsors.
We also take sustainability into account in our communication efforts. We for instance invest in the use of sustainable materials when creating advertisement like billboards, and also print our flyers, brochures and business cards on recycled paper as often as we can.
Safety net along the Waal
As usual, a safety net will be put up along the Waalkade (the dock).The net — which is 1.20m high and 500m long — is put in place to prevent plastic cups and waste from entering the river during the Vierdaagsefeesten.
Water service points
Just like last year, there will be different water taps located throughout the city. In cooperation with Vitens, we have been able to set up 11 different points where you can get water from a faucet for free, year-round.
Where do you find these water service points? Take a look on the map.
Extra space for bike storage
We like to encourage our visitors to travel to Nijmegen in the most environmentally-friendly ways possible, for instance by bike! We facilitate this by providing many extra spaces for bike storage during the Vierdaagsefeesten.
Take a look at the map to see where you can park your bike.
Orange Nanotech developed an invisible coating which can be applied to walls to make them immune to the harmful effects of public urination. The layer will furthermore cause the urine to ‘bounce back’ from the walls, which will discourage public urination and will therefore prevent its unpleasant accompanying smells.
Peeback coating is annually applied on two locations. This year, however, this number has increased to six locations, which means you should just make use of the restrooms that are specifically provided for this purpose ?. You can moreover be fined for public urination, and during the Vierdaagsefeesten there are enough other ways to spend your hard-earned money which are a lot more fun.
Watch the video below about the coating.
Contribute to a clean event:
Your role as visitor is vital to the organisation of sustainable events, just imagine 300.000 visitors contributing to sustainability! With some small adjustments you can reduce your personal footprint and contribute to a more sustainable festival. Will you join us?
1. Arrive by train, by bike or on foot. Is there no train station in your city or town? Bike to the next city to catch a train? We work together with NS and extra trains are running. There will also be additional bike parkings provided.
2. Buy and recycle your drinks at the bar.Buying your drinks at the bar in itself is important for the event, this way we can finance the program and our way to becoming more sustainable. By returning your circular cup (at the bar) we are creating a cleaner city without wasting materials.
3. Use the waste binsThrow your waste and cigarettes in the waste bags and bins provided. We will make sure to separate the trash, meaning as little waste as possible will be wasted and burned.
4. Eat sustainably and localThere is a great selection of food available at the Vierdaagsefeesten, enough choice. Your food choices have s big impact on your personal footprint.
5. Use the circular toilets when nature callsDid you know your pee exists of 90% water and 10% nutrition? These precious materials are preserved through our circular toilet system. The toilets are free of charge and while you wait you will be offered is nice cup of circular mint tea. What more could you wish for?
Plastic Pact NL
Every year we improve on our sustainability. Fortunately, we are in this together with our partners, such as DAR, Semila Sanitair, Peebackcoating, the City of Nijmegen and of course all the event organisers. In 2023 we will announce our new strategy for the coming years and our sustainability program, which will be published here.
Plastic promise is a national movement joined by Stichting Vierdaagsefeesten. It is an initiative by Green Events Nederland and the Green Deal ‘Afvalvrije Festivals’ (Waste free Festivals) and is again supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Cooperating with other pioneers in the event, festival and sports industry, we are committed to the responsible use of plastic. We aim to diminish the use of disposable plastic by 50% within the coming three years by either recycling, or replacing plastic altogether.
Never Give Up On Your Cup
In May 2019, Plastic Promise launched the campaign ‘Never Give Up On Your Cup’. It was initiated to encourage all Dutch festivalgoers to return their used plastic bottles or cups to the bar or designated trash can, so they can be re-used or recycled.
Green Capital 2018
In 2018, Nijmegen was chosen as the Green Capital of Europe. Nijmegen received this award due to its longstanding commitment to making the city greener and more sustainable. You may have been able to sneak a peek at the new visitors pavilion at Kelfkensbos at the Vierdaagsefeesten in 2018, or maybe you participated in the GGRRUUNE march on Thursday July 19 2018.