A more responsible circus
In September 2020, the Archaos national circus center began adopting new operating methods to create a more responsible and sustainable circus in the face of environmental and social issues.
A diagnosis of existing operations identified a dozen priority issues and led to the adoption of a 10-year plan to meet sustainable development goals and social equity objectives. Guidelines related to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) have become an important tool for the cultural sector and Archaos has included them as a component of its multi-year plan.
Because environmental and social equity issues are a concern for the entire contemporary circus community, Archaos can use the BIAC - International Biennale of the Circus Arts, which is the world’s largest contemporary circus festival, as a laboratory to test innovative new practices. This effort continued during the most recent edition of the Biennale in 2023 when a multi-level social and environmental action plan was implemented for the festival. The plan included a measurement and analysis of Biennale’s consumption patterns, and recommendations were produced to serve as a basis for the preparation of the next edition of the festival.
This action plan featured several experiments, including projects:
• focusing on preserving water resources
• moving towards the total elimination of plastic
• adopting sustainable catering
• improving waste management
• encouraging green transport options
• implementing new energy-saving programs
• raising awareness of sustainable development
• combatting sexist and sexual violence and harassment,
• opening the Biennale to all audiences
A summary of these trial projects can be found in the special report produced with the support of the ADEME environmental agency and the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region. This document is only available in French.
Archaos is also a member of Cofees, the collective of environmentally responsible and solidarity-based festivals in the South of France, and it participates in training courses and other activities organized by the regional network.