assessing DGTL's quest to circularity



Festivals are regarded as idyllic and progressive events during which like-minded people come together to celebrate music and the creative arts. While festivals are seen as forward thinking spaces, their environmental impact can easily be neglected. Like cities and other settlements, festivals face challenges regarding water, energy, housing, logistics, waste management, food and behaviour. 


Given their energy-, resource-, and waste intensive operations, festivals need to come up with innovative circular practices to close material loops and eliminate carbon emissions. Intriguingly, because of their temporary and flexible nature, festivals are perfect testing grounds for state of the art technologies. However, the question remains: what technologies are needed, suitable, and effective?


To answer this, information on all the festival's systems is needed. Data on systems such as energy, water, foods, drinks, resources, production, mobility, and consumption must be gathered, processed, and analysed. Subsequently, associated environmental impacts such as CO2, NOx, chemical waste, and fresh water withdrawals can be assessed.


This website presents a novel methodological framework to assess the aforementioned impacts.  As a result, you will gain insights into DGTL's environmental footprint, and acquire a deeper understanding on how festivals can and are taking measures to become more sustainable and climate neutral places.



Before we can assess DGTL’s environmental performance and monitor its quest to circularity, we need to define what a sustainable festival entails. To our understanding a truly sustainable festival is one that provides a high-end creative experience filled with music, art, food, and more - while still remaining within the ecological boundaries of our planet. 


Steered by this definition, we evaluate DGTL's impact, by adopting Kate Raworth’s model for sustainable development: the Doughnut Economy. Find out more about her theoretical framework and our interpretation of it below.

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Theoretical framework 

Kate Raworth's Doughnut  Economy




 festival doughnut

The Festival Doughnut is a practical and context-specific translation of Raworth's theoretical framework on planetary boundaries. While its main purpose is to assess DGTL's environmental performance, it also serves as a blueprint and baseline measurement tool for other festivals and events that aspire to become more circular. 


The application of the Festival Doughnut (the DGTL Doughnut) presented below depicts the associated environmental impacts of five festival supporting systems: water, resources, energy, mobility and food. Each part of the Doughnut represents the cumulative sum of these system's environmental impacts. The green line in the Doughnut represents the boundary, which is set at zero for all environmental impacts. An impact below the zero boundary implies a positive impact; when exceeding the boundary, on the other hand, the environmental impact is understood to be negative. The 2019 DGTL Doughnut shows that the zero boundary is crossed for all environmental impacts meaning they are all overshooting. Since the outputs are measured in different units, the amounts are not relative, instead they  have been scaled to fit the dimensions of the Festival Doughnut. 

The bar charts display the magnitude of each environmental impact as well as the system(s) responsible for the applicable emissions/output. The years are included to see the change over time. After reviewing the Doughnut, each separate festival system ands its related impacts can be explored further in the chapter below.

For an indepth explaination of our methodolgy, calculations on the impacts  and underlying data, cliick the button below.  



festival systems

Click on the festival systems below to learn about their associated impacts 

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As illustrated in the Festival Doughnut above, DGTL is performing well on certain indicators but is still under performing on others. Not surprisingly, becoming climate neutral does not happen overnight. Measures to achieve this end-goal need to be systematically implemented over a period of time.


Over the past few years DGTL has made great efforts to stay within its boundaries and mitigate its environmental impact. The festival has implemented several measures to ensure its systems become more circular and sustainable. These initiatives range from introducing a vegetarian food court to using renewable energy sources to power its stages. 

Find out more about these measures and their impacts by clicking on the timeline below.




the team


alexandra akosa

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florinde vessies

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tes miedema

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During the final year of the master program: Metropolitan Analysis Design and Engineering, all students work on a living lab. The living lab approach entails working together with stakeholders to test, develop and create innovative solutions for the urban environment. In collaboration with DGTL and the AMS Institute, our living lab case was to depict DGTL's level of circularity by developing a model that can measure the environmental impact of its festival activities. As four students with diverse backgrounds: Beta-Gamma (Florinde), Environmental Economics (Lucas), Industrial Engineering (Alex) and Future Planet Studies (Tes), it was important to create common ground on how to fulfill this task. In the end, our range of expertise allowed us the opportunity to develop a more inclusive solution, adding technical, visual, and theoretical concepts to our final product: the DGTL Doughnut. We are proud to present this website and the DGTL Doughnut and hope it will serve as a tool for other festivals striving to reduce their environmental impact.

lucas zarzoso




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Are you a festival or any other event that is aspiring to become more circular but unsure about how to achieve this end-goal? With our Festival Doughnut method, we comprehensively assess the environmental performance of your organization, identify emission intensive operations, and provide you with recommendations on how to make your systems more climate neutral.


Please do not hesitate to contact us for inquiries or collaboration opportunities. Leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible!