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Event Sustainability – The Goodwood Estate

Event Sustainability – The Goodwood Estate


Hey guys,

Previously, I have talked about what a sustainable event is:

An event is sustainable if it is capable to outlive with the resources that they depend on while fulfilling “important social, cultural, economic and environmental roles that people value” (Getz 2007:70). As well as, including stakeholders that are devoted to following the same objectives and direction as the event (ISO 20121:2012).

So, today I decided to recycle one of my master coursework’s again to provide you with an example. But before I start explaining what the Goodwood Estate is; first, I’m just going to clarify a key concept.

Have you ever heard about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Maybe you have.

Well, Ersen (2015:136) explained that CSR is concerned with “the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary expectations that are driven by contracts between companies and society that society has of organisations“. Essentially, the concept can be defined as the practices and policies “concerned with integrating social problems with firms’ managerial operations in their interaction with the stakeholders in ethical and eco-friendly ways” (Kim, Kwak & Koo 2010:255).

Goodwood is a 12,000 acres traditional country estate, renowned for the “spectacular range of sporting activities including horseracing, motor racing, golf, flying, and shooting, as well as attracting over half a million visitors each year to its flagship events” (Visit Chichester n.d.). As a result, it is highly recognised for staging incredible motorsport events, such as the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival.

The Goodwood Revival is a weekend race event staged in a historic period theme that recreates the glamour and romance of motor racing. So, I have attended this festival once, and I have to say it’s a different and unique experience. Personally, I completely loved it, not only because I’m obsessed with cars and races, but also because of the splendid event experience provided. The Festival of Speed is a summer weekend motoring garden party that features a mixture of motorsport stars and cars.

In 2011, the Goodwood Group decided to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable event management. Therefore, started working “to the requirements of BS 8901, the British Standard” (British Standard Institution 2012), towards implementing a Sustainability Management System for Events, called ISO 20121. Table 1, shows their event sustainability objectives in 2015.

Table 1: Goodwood sustainability objectives for events in 2015 | Source: Goodwood (2015)

After being granted the ISO 20121 certification, Goodwood started to put in place a number of sustainable strategies for their events. So, in terms of sustainable practices, Goodwood is minimising waste at the source, by “increasing the use of sustainably sourced and reusable materials” (Goodwood 2015:12). This will be achieved with the mitigation of card and plastic packaging, plus collaborating with suppliers “to reduce the amount of disposable waste and increase the percentage of reusable packaging” (Goodwood 2015:12). Additionally, products served at the events are either sourced locally or from the Goodwood estate. 

Furthermore, Goodwood is “continually striving for energy efficiency improvements in the build, during, and post-event” (Goodwood 2015:13), by using a fuel-efficient, super-silenced, self-contained and low emission generator throughout the venue. As a result of monitoring the use of fuel carefully, there was a decrease in fuel oil supply from 2014 (188,942 litres) to 2015 (186,721 litres). The Estate has also installed water-saving devices in the venue toilets, to ensure efficient use, and wastewater is “collected for processing to avoid pollution of the natural environment” (Goodwood 2015:13).

Regarding the impact of the events in the local community, Goodwood has positioned noisy operations away from residential areas, such as waste collection and deliveries. And as already mentioned, local businesses supply products, whenever possible.

Even though the events are about cars, Goodwood provides shuttle services that transport attendees from the train station to the venue. In 2015, a total of 113 shuttle buses transported 39,030 attendees, “which is the equivalent of taking 13,010 cars of the road” (Goodwood 2015:14), to attend the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed. Therefore, since the implementation of the international standards, there was a “40% increase in use of public transport for events” (British Standard Institution 2012).

A waste management plan has also been implemented, consisting of having recycling bins across the venue, which allows “for segregated collection of waste streams” (Goodwood 2015:15). According to Goodwood (2015:15), in 2013 the event’s landfill diversion rate was 31%; however, the following year “an on-site transfer station” was implemented, reflecting “an overall landfill diversion rate of 71%“.

Finally, in terms of CSR strategies, all the event’s profit is invested towards improving their management systems. Plus, with the international certification, the organisation is able to address challenges more effectively, by operating above and beyond best practices. Goodwood is committed to incorporate sustainability into all the aspects of their business operations. And lastly, but not least, all their events provide attendees with an opportunity to escape from their everyday life, by creating a different event experience environment.

After such an in-depth examination, Goodwood could improve their event sustainability and CSR practices by, for example:

  • Donating the unserved food to a local food rescue service, such as UKHarvest or Fare Share Sussex;
  • Provide a reusable, 100% stainless water bottle for attendees and multiple water refill points throughout the venue;
  • Use solar panels throughout the venue for attendees to charge their electronics, etc.;
  • Encourage more the use of the shuttle buses, by offering each individual that uses these services a bonus, such as a free drink or meal;
  • Involve more local and regional community by recruiting them as volunteers.



British Standard Institution (2012) Event Sustainability Management Systems. BS ISO 20121:2012. Geneva: British Standard Institution

Ersen, E. (2015) “The influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on building corporate reputation”. In Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice (Vol. 11)

Fairley, S., Tyler, B. D., Kellett, P., and D’Elia, K. (2011) “The Formula One Australian Grand Prix: Exploring the triple bottom line”. Sport Management Review, 14(2), 141–152

Getz, D. (1997) Event Management and Event Tourism. New York: Cognizant Communication

Getz, D. (2005) Event Studies and Event Tourism. New York: Cognizant Communication

Goodwood (2015) Annual Sustainability Report 2015. West Sussex: EventSustainability Tool

Hansmann, R., Mieg, H. A., & Frischknecht, P. (2012). “Principal sustainability components: Empirical analysis of synergies between the three pillars of sustainability”. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 19(5), 451–459

Henderson, S. (2011) “The development of competitive advantage through sustainable event management”. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 3(3), 245–257

Jones, M. (2014) Sustainable Event Management, 2nd edn. New York: Routledge

Kim, J. B., Kwak, G., & Koo, Y. R. (2010) “A note on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in city branding and design”. Asian Journal on Quality, 11(3), 251–265

Raj, R., & Musgrave, J. (2009) Event management and sustainability. Cambridge, MA: CABI

Visit Chichester (n.d.) Goodwood. [online] available from: <> [22 March 2019]


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About Me

Portuguese, from Lisbon, 23 years old. PhD student with dyslexia and ADHD. Impossible? Not a chance. Hard working? Pretty much. Frustrating? Some times, but it turns out that it strengthens you. Rewarding? Each achievement over the years felt like a victory. Now, here I am, on the most challenging step until now, the PhD. So, bear with me, with all of me, as I continue to follow my passion for mega-events and cars.

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