Our commitment to the environment

The Borders Book Festival is committed to minimising its environmental impact and reducing its carbon footprint by implementing net zero sustainability goals, both on and off stage.


The festival has a zero waste to landfill policy, meaning the festival and our suppliers do not use any single-use plastic or non-recyclable materials. We issue e-tickets to all our events, so no paper tickets are required, and we have recycling bins available throughout the festival site for all to use. Borders Book Festival is Zero Waste Scotland compliant.

All traders in our food village use recycled, compostable, or biodegradable packaging, and our bars only serve drinks in re-usable tumblers.

All our branding and banners are produced using recyclable materials. Although we aim to reuse as much as possible, we are committed to recycling everything that we can’t reuse.


Our festival site and venues are predominantly powered by mains electricity, and we use LED lighting throughout to minimise our energy consumption. Where mains power cannot be accessed, we use biodiesel generators and lithium batteries.

Our mains power is supplied by Scottish Power, the leading windfarm developer in the UK powering clean fuel.


We use electric or hybrid vehicles for author transportation, and we actively encourage the use of public transport. The Borders is renowned for some of the best cycling in the country, and cycle racks are available at the festival for those arriving by pedal power.

To help minimise emissions, we prioritise working with local contractors and suppliers and our staff predominantly work on a remote basis.

Drinking Water

We have installed a public drinking-water station in Harmony Garden, and we encourage festivalgoers to bring a reusable bottle to fill up during their visit. Reusable cups can also be purchased from the festival book shop.


Through our e-ticketing box office partner, a donation to tree planting is made with every ticket purchased. This means you help plant a new tree every time you purchase an event ticket.

We also use a carbon capture tool through Creative Climate Tools, which help us calculate the overall carbon output of the festival. We use Julie’s Bicycle which has been designed specifically for the cultural sector.


We programme sustainability-focused events that educate and explore current issues, whilst encouraging discussion and debate on the environmental and challenges around sustainability.