Cannes Lions announces new relationship to promote sustainability

Deloitte announced as first official Sustainability Partner to drive sustainability agenda at the Festival and in industry

10 June 2019 – Cannes Lions, the largest global event for the creative communications industry, today announced its commitment to activating for a more sustainable future and making the Festival a more environmentally responsible event, alongside its first official Sustainability Partner, Deloitte. As part of a multi-year initiative to help change the event’s environmental footprint, Cannes Lions has pledged to significantly reduce the amount of single use plastic at this year’s Festival in June.

“Climate change is a global crisis, and marketers and advertisers are uniquely positioned to raise awareness and encourage action in ways that others cannot,” said Cannes Lions’ Chairman, Philip Thomas. “Cannes Lions is a platform to engage the very best creative minds and encourage them to embrace sustainability to ensure the future of our world. We go beyond just raising awareness to hosting conversations that create action in our industry. We are delighted to work with Deloitte Digital to ensure our community is aware of the role we can all play in reducing our impact on climate change.”

As a first step for 2019, Deloitte will provide Closca glass water bottles for all Cannes Lions delegates in an exclusive design with no visible branding to encourage long-term use after the festival ends. The initiative aims to encourage attendees to make small, incremental changes that, over time, can have a major impact. With a goal of saving 150,000 single-use plastic bottles from ending up in the ocean throughout the Festival week, it will significantly reduce the greenhouse gases released when plastic bottles break down.

Water refill stations will be located throughout select Festival venues and equipped with location technology so that delegates can easily find the nearest refill station via the Closca app. Participants will be encouraged to share relevant photos, videos and stories with #mylastplasticbottle on social media to extend the conversation beyond the Festival.

To further reduce the amount of harmful waste produced during the Festival, Cannes Lions delegate bags are made from fully biodegradable materials and are given to delegates with no paper materials included. In addition, recyclable paper cups and water cartons will be used throughout the Festival and plastics used at the Cannes Lions Closing Party will be recycled by the Carlton Hotel, a venue with a Green Globe certificate for more than eight years. The Festival has worked closely with the City of Cannes to ensure that the award-winning initiatives implemented throughout the municipality are upheld and incorporated into Festival activities wherever possible.

“Cannes Lions is all about the power of creativity. This year, we’re excited to work with the Festival to more effectively demonstrate the connection between creativity and sustainability,” said Alicia Hatch, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and chief marketing officer, Deloitte Digital. “This year’s Festival is another step on the journey to becoming a sustainable event. Large-scale events make an impact on the environment, and while we know we can’t solve climate change alone, every initiative to be more environmentally aware helps.”

To provide a dedicated space for engaging discussions about the impact of climate change and solutions for the SDGs, Deloitte Digital has teamed with SAP, Qualtrics, Freuds and Project Everyone to create the Goals House. The sustainable enclave made from natural, ethically-sourced and biodegradable materials will serve as the meeting place for leaders in Cannes to discuss topics including sustainable supply chain, impact investing and more.

“Deloitte and all of the Goals House supporters believe that the creative community has a unique opportunity to use its collective voice to champion for a better future. The Goals House is a logo-free environment where the industry can come together to focus our creative firepower to support global sustainability goals,” said Hatch.

This sustainability initiative comes one year after the Festival introduced the Sustainable Development Goals Lions (SDG), which recognises work that harnesses creativity that seeks to positively impact the world. Entries into this Lion must demonstrate how they contributed to or advanced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across people, planet and prosperity. In support of the United Nation’s SDGs, the Festival donated the fees from the 2018 SDG Lion entries, totaling €323,280, to the Palau Pledge as the winner of the inaugural Grand Prix to further develop the project. The 2019 winner will be announced during the Festival on Friday 21 June at the final Awards Show.

Young Lions competitors at this year’s Festival will also be tasked to solve challenges revolving around the SDGs with 24 hours to produce creative responses to charity briefs. Additionally, the second annual Cannes Lions’ ‘Change for Good’ Hackathon is working with the Earth Day Network and the Earth Challenge 2020 global citizen science initiative, to help citizens solve key environmental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Creatives and technologists from around the world are invited to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental issues including; air quality, water quality, biodiversity, pollution and human health, with the winning idea granted funding from Amazon to put the ideas into action.

Alongside these initiatives and activation’s, some of the world’s most respected sustainability experts are speaking at this year’s Festival including; David M. Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme, Livia Firth, Co-founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge and John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK while brands such as P&G, Mars Inc. and The Body Shop explore brands as force for good. To find out more about sustainability at Cannes Lions please visit


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